Slow start for Faro Capital of Culture

news: Slow start for Faro Capital of Culture

IN WHAT could only be described as an extremely lacklustre presentation, the programme for Faro National Capital of Culture 2005 was announced last week in a ceremony held at Faro Câmara. Those present included Secretary of State for Culture, José Amaral Lopes, Secretary of State for Tourism, Carlos Martins, Faro Câmara President, José Vitorino, and several other local dignitaries. In total, nine million euros is being invested in the one-year project, 5.2 million euros of which will be spent on the staging of events. As previously reported in The Resident (February 4 edition), the project has been fraught with problems and it was no surprise to hear that the first event on the programmeFrom page 1

is not scheduled to take place until April 30 – confirming previous reports of significant delays.

The programme could turn out to be enjoyable, but, after such an unenthusiastic announcement, it was difficult to get excited about the forthcoming events. Professor António Rosa Mendes, in charge of the project, read out the cultural agenda with little passion and, sadly, the mood among those present in the room seemed to be one of apathy rather than anticipation.

What’s in store

Faro National Capital of Culture officially begins on April 30 with street entertainment, a classical music concert at Gambelas, a show at Teatro Lethes and the opening of various exhibitions.

A total of 130 shows will take place throughout the year, including theatre, dance, music and a circus. The programme also includes 23 art and sculpture exhibitions and 150 film screenings.

The highlight of the presentation came when it was confirmed that Faro’s eagerly awaited new municipal theatre is to open on July 1 with a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Cinema: Highlights of the cinema programme include films about the Algarve by acclaimed Portuguese screenwriters (João Botelho and Margarida Gil) that are being produced thanks to support from the Faro project. A series of short films, documentaries, animations and features by various home-grown talent is also being funded by the Faro National Capital of Culture Commission. Children with special needs will benefit from the special Capital of Culture year as they will be given technical training in film-making.

Theatre: Among the theatre productions in store is a play entitled Homenagem a José Saramago, a tribute to the legendary Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize winner, and the staging of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, directed by Eric Lacascade.

Music: As well as a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Algarve’s much lauded Orquestra do Algarve will feature in the music programme as well as the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto, among others.

Dance: William Forsythe’s Impressing the Czar is set to be performed by the Flandres Royal Ballet, along with a new circus production from Les Arts Sauts, a respected French company. There will also be productions with a local flavour, such as Aldeias das Serras, which is based on life in the Algarve’s interior villages.

Art: A total of 23 exhibitions feature in the art agenda, 21 of which are new co-productions created this year. Themes include The Invention of the World and the Arts of Madeira.

Literature and science: Finally, events under the umbrella of literature and science include a reading group and workshop for the poetry of Sophia M.B. Andresen, as well as congresses and conferences with themes including the ‘World Year of Physics’. Caroline Cunha