Orquesta Barroca Granada
Sebastián Durón is usually recognized as one of the leading Spanish composers of theater music, although this repertoire is barely performed nowadays, even in concert version. As far as we know, ten complete scores of Durón’s stage works have been preserved, four of which are entirely sung, a number that is higher than that found in theater music by other important Spanish musicians of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as Juan Hidalgo, Juan de Navas or Antonio Literes. The fact that, in his theater music, Durón uses both the conventions of 17th-century Spanish court theater and some elements of the dramma per musica has placed these pieces in a diffuse and poorly understood territory, unlike what happens with the works of Hidalgo and Literes, repertoire which has been studied better. For some scholars, the theater music of Durón is incoherent due to the introduction of elements that are unfamiliar to the Spanish court theater, in contrast to the great dramaturgy devised by Calderón de la Barca and Hidalgo.
The Granada Baroque Orchestra is a Spanish musical ensemble established as a cultural association, based in Granada, and devoted to the performance of Baroque music by European authors —and, specially, that by Andalusian composers— with historically informed criteria and using period instruments. Apart from its concert activity, the Granada Baroque Orchestra plays a strongly educational role by organizing masterclasses on performance with period instruments and historically informed criteria, aimed at young musicians who wish to receive specialized orchestral training in this kind of repertoire. Founded in 2002 by Pablo Heras-Casado, since 2007 its Principal Conductor has been the harpsichordist Darío Moreno. Since its refoundation in 2007, the orchestra has been conducted by important guest conductors, such as Barry Sargent, Peter Biely, Peter Zajíček, Alfred Cañamero, and Elena Borderías, among others. It has performed concerts in relevant musical seasons, like the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Festival de Música Antigua de Granada (MAG), Cátedra Manuel de Falla of the University of Granada, Semana Internacional de Órgano de Granada, Circuito Andaluz de Música, Muestra de Música Antigua “Castillo de Aracena” (Huelva), Ciclo “Francisco Guerrero” (Ronda, Málaga), Festival de Música Renacentista y Barroca de Vélez Blanco (Almería), and Festival de Música Clásica “Ciudad de Huéscar” (Granada), among others. Moreover, it has performed concerts in prestigious concert halls, like the Manuel de Falla Auditorium (Granada) and the National Auditorium of Music (Madrid), where it performed Handel’s “Messiah” in 2013, receiving great acclaim from both the public and critics. Besides, the orchestra has collaborated with renowned soloists, such as Bob van Asperen, Bart Vandewege, Michael Form, David Hernández Anfruns, Raquel Andueza, Eva Juárez, Olalla Alemán, Aurora Peña, Soledad Cardoso, and Marta Infante. In 2011, the Granada Baroque Orchestra recorded its first album, “Ciel e terra”, released on the label IBS Classical. The album included a selection of arias by Handel, performed by the tenor David Hernández Anfruns as the soloist, and with Darío Moreno as the conductor, gaining great praise from both Spanish and international specialized critics. In 2017, the orchestra started the first Baroque opera season in Granada, with the support of the Department of Culture of the City Council, staging the opera “La guerra de los gigantes” by Sebastián Durón (1660-1716). In 2019, it carried out its second staged production with the performance of the Baroque zarzuela “Acis y Galatea” by Antonio Literes (1673-1747) in the Manuel de Falla Auditorium, in a clear commitment to the recovering and enhancement of the Spanish musical heritage.
Íliber Ensemble is a chamber music group devoted to the research and performance of early music with historically informed criteria and using period instruments. It was founded in May 2013 in Granada and integrated by young musicians from different parts of Spain. Since its creation, its Principal Conductor has been the harpsichordist Darío Tamayo, and its artistic and research activity has focused on recovering and disseminating all those repertoires that, despite its great quality and interest, have been consigned to oblivion, with special attention to the Spanish Baroque musical heritage. Since the beginning, they have performed concerts in important musical seasons, such as the Meet In Beijing Arts Festival, Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, or MusaE, a project organized by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, as well as in early music festivals in Granada, Córdoba, Vélez Blanco (Almería), Lorquí (Murcia), and Sant Joan (Alicante). This activity has brought them to prestigious music halls, like the Manuel de Falla Auditorium (Granada), Palau de la Música (Valencia) or Daning Theatre (Shanghai), and to emblematic spaces, such as the Ateneo de Madrid, the Granada Cathedral or the Constitutional Court of Spain, receiving a great welcome from the specialized critics. Likewise, the ensemble has been awarded with HEBE Prize 2016 in the Music category, and has been finalist as the Best Young Ensemble in the GEMA Awards 2017, granted by the Spanish Association of Early Music Ensembles, of which it has been a member from that year onwards. Throughout its track record, it has collaborated with ensembles like the Granada Baroque Orchestra, Tomás Luis de Victoria Choir, Granada Opera Choir, or Todos los Tonos y Ayres, as well as with renowned voice soloists, such as Raquel Andueza, Marta Infante, Eva Juárez, Olalla Alemán, Soledad Cardoso, or Aurora Peña, among others. Moreover, it has completed several artistic and research projects together with entities like the Instituto Cervantes, the Confucius Institute, or the Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía. In 2017, it carried out its first staged production with the performance of the opera “La guerra de los gigantes” by Sebastián Durón, together with the Granada Baroque Orchestra and in collaboration with Asociación Ars Hispana. Moreover, last season it made its international debut with a tour throughout China together with the group Todos los Tonos y Ayres in May-June 2018. Recently, it has undertaken its second staged project, with the performance of “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell, together with the Granada Opera Choir.