The International Cervantino Festival 2013

Today, we are going to talk about the 41 edition of the Festival International Cervantino 2013 in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico and it’s going to begin today, on October 9th.

Already are 41 years of this great international festival of the Arts in the beautiful historic city of Guanajuato, cultural heritage of humanity and you can see in this great festival the best of music, dance, theater and opera from 9 to 27 October.

“The Art of freedom” is the theme of this year.

A Picture of the beautiful “Juárez Theater” in the city of Guanajuato in Mexico.
Another beautiful picture of “Juárez Theater” in Guanajuato, Mexico.

The Festival International Cervantino is going to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of the two “giants” of the opera, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.

The Cervantino festival will also have  the presence of the great Mexican tenor Arturo Chacon Cruz, the great Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli, the pianists Cyprien Katsaris, Abdiel Vázquez and Edison Quintana, who will pay homage to Wagner and Verdi.

One of the major events of this year in the festival is the extraordinary opera, “The Flying Dutchman” by Richard Wagner at the Teatro Juárez, next October 10 at 21:00 hrs.

Another big event will be the “Requiem” by Verdi, with the Symphony Orchestra of the state of Puebla, also at the Teatro Juárez, the next October 16.

In the courtyard of Industrial Relations at the University of Guanajuato will be displayed on a giant screen Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” on 10 October at 20:00 hrs.

Uruguay is the guest country and Puebla is the Mexican state guest at this year’s edition.

These are all disciplines that are part of the Festival International Cervantino:

“Visual Arts”, “Camera and recitals”, “Cinema”, “Master Classes: Dance”, “Master Classes: Music”, “Conferences”, “Classical Dance”, “Contemporary Dance”, “Traditional Dance”, “Dialogs Cervantine towns”, “open rehearsals”, “street performances”, “Tributes”, “Sound installation”, “Jazz and world music”, “Music”, “early music”, “cultural events for children”, “Opera”, “Orchestras”, “presentations of books”, “Paths”, “Rock and Electronic”, “reading rooms”, “Workshops and readings” and “theater”.

I love the Festival International Cervantino because it shows the best of the art and culture of my country, Mexico, and also the art and culture of different foreign countries.

Various artistic disciplines that are involved in the International Festival
Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico.

A little history of the “Festival International Cervantino”:

Despite not being a very populated city, Guanajuato, (where the festival is), is culturally very rich.

The wealth produced by the operation of the mines during the colonial period began the tradition of the theaters and other cultural events to meet the wishes of the middle and upper classes.

It is traditional for the city sponsor concerts, sunsets dance and drama, not only in the theaters but also in many small squares.

In 1953, Enrique Ruelas, professor at the University of Guanajuato, start a theatrical show annual entitled  “Los Entremeses” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

In 1972, he founded the “Colloquium Cervantino”, symposium that was carried out between June and September as an extension of the theatrical activity dedicated to the author of Don Quixote.

That same year, the president Luis Echeverría Álvarez proposed the creation of an international cultural festival with headquarters in the city of Acapulco; however, the tradition of “Los Entremeses”  motivated the city of Guanajuato to be selected as the principal city of the international cultural festival.

A night picture of the beautiful, colonial historical city of Guanajuato, Mexico.
A picture of the new grand Opera House “Bicentenario Theater” in the city of León,
Guanajuato in Mexico.
Another night view picture of Guanajuato, the city where the”Internationl
Cervantino Festival” is held.
A “String Quartet” concert is held in a beautiful Mexican church in Guanajuato
during the “International Cervantino Festival”.

In this way combined the idea of the first international event of 1972 with performances from fourteen countries, including Mexico. For this reason also the event of 1972 was formally regarded as the foundation of the festival.

The festival quickly drew the attention of renowned characters as Queen Elizabeth II of England and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who attended in 1975.

In 1976, the Secretariat of Public Education, the State of Guanajuato, the eponymous city and the University of Guanajuato established, by decree, the creation of an organizing committee responsible to invite the artists both Mexican and of different nationalities.

Some of the first to be invited were Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” and Dolores del Rio.

The Committee continued in charge of the Festival, working jointly with the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts, the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute of Culture of Guanajuato.

In 1978,  King Juan Carlos I de Borbon and Sofia of Spain attended as guests of honor.

In the 1980s, the Festival attracted with the interpretations of Lazar Berman, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Joan Baez, Gilbert Becaud, Mario Lavista, Guillermo Velazquez and the Lions on the Sierra of Xichu, the National Ballet of Canada, the Dance Theater of Alwin Nikolais, the Bolshoi Theater, Sankai Juku, Scena Theater STU and the Puppet Theater in Hungary.

In 1989, UNESCO declared the city of Guanajuato Cultural Heritage of Mankind, what allowed the restoration of the greater part of its colonial, nineteenth century architecture buildings and  the theaters.

During the last decade of the twentieth century participated in the festival artists such as: the guitar trio of Amsterdam, the voices of change, the Quintet of Vienna, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Krystyna Borucinska, Kronos Quartet, Madredeus, the Open Theater in Belgrade, the Company Lindsay Kemp and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In the year of 2000, it  started the habit of appointing both Mexican states and countries or regions as special guests.

In 2001, the Oceania region was invited along with the Mexican State of Veracruz. The proceedings of these years included those by Hélène Grimaud, Eugenio Toussaint, Juan Fornell and Los Van Van, the Vienna Symphony, Enrique Bunbury, Panteon Rococo, Frankfurt am Main Fortas and Les 7 doigts de la Main.

The city was declared “Cervantes Capital of America” in 2005, which resulted in the federal government coined in a silver commemorative coin.

In 2010, the 38th edition of the festival was dedicated to the celebration of the bicentennial of Independence and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

Three Mexican states, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Querétaro, together with three countries: Argentina, Colombia and Chile were the special guests, since they also held their respective bicentenaries’ generation that same year.

The 2010 edition had 3161 artists from thirty-one countries, with special emphasis on the music and the traditional Mexican dance.

The edition of 2011 convened to 2800 artists from 29 countries, in a variety of genres from classical music and folk music until the techno music, as well as open air theater performances, exhibitions, theater pieces and other recent works of the last century, composed by famous writers.

On the other hand, the theme around which everything revolves the festival is the environment, as expressed in the theme: “The gifts of nature”.

The special guests were Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Mexican state of Nayarit.

Among the artists include: the Oslo Camerata, Geir Henning Braaten had, Knut Reiersrud and Mari Ignoring; the Mexican opera “Il Postino” composed by Mexican composer Daniel Catan, the Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, they performed  Russian music of the nineteenth century (particularly of Tchaikovsky) and an exhibition of the Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo.

Last year, the Chicago symphony orchestra, with maestro Riccardo Mutti visited Mexico and they gave a beautiful concert at the International Cervantino Festival.
The organization of the International Cervantino Festival costs 122 billion mexican pesos, being their sponsors CONACULTA, the State of Guanajuato, the University of Guanajuato and the city of Guanajuato.

These are some different posters of the many years of the “InternationalCervantino Festival” in Mexico.

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