May 2nd marks the anniversary of Spain’s popular revolt against the French empire’s grip on the country’s sovereignty back in 1808, an event immortalized by Goya’s celebrated depiction of the terrors of war in Los Fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo. Yes, that’s right, the colonial powers also have their own independence day, and Madrid knows how to remember it in style: starting Sunday there is a week’s worth of cultural activities organized by the local government—here are four events well worth going to.
Corrida Goyesca in Las Ventas
To the culture interested picture-snapping-exploring foreigner, it doesn’t get any better than this. The Corrida Goyesca, happening this Sunday May 2nd at 18:30 p.m., includes all the usual trappings of a bullfighting session and adds a little extra flavor and color: bullfighters and staff alike dress in clothing from Goya’s time (late 18th and early 19th century), turning Las Ventas into a colorful sight. Also marking the event a special occasion is the opportunity for the general public to walk down to the sandy ring and listen to music by the city’s municipal band. There will also be an old fashioned carriage procession before the corrida, making this a truly notable cultural event. Tickets range from 6.50 to 150 euros, click here for more information.
Haiti benefit concert at the Auditorio Nacional
Many of Madrid’s accomplished band and symphony musicians have taken advantage of the public event season and organized a charity concert for Haiti. On Tuesday May 4th at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica de Madrid director Jose Miguel Perez Sierra, violoncellist Beate Altenberg, soprano Angel Blue and many others will be revisiting old age tunes for enjoyment and charity. The first part of the concert will feature pieces by classical music composers Albert Ketelbev and Vakthang Kakhidze, while the second section will include pieces from swing legend George Gershwin, musical man Leonard Bernstein and jazz icon Miles Davis. The concert will begin at 19:30 p.m. and tickets range from 20 to 30 euros, click here for tickets and more information.
Film Marathon at Bellas Artes
The great Circulo de Bellas Artes is also joining the Dos de Mayo celebrations with a cinema marathon that will take place this Saturday May 1st and Sunday the 2nd. In the spirit of celebrating independence—in this case independence from Spain—the selection will be of classic Latin American films. This is a great opportunity to see rare and well known classics from different periods and genres, each for only 3 euros! See below for the list of film’s that will be shown.
Saturday May 1st
17:00 h, La perla de Emilio Fernández. México, 1947
18:50 h, La historia oficial de Luis Puenzo. Argentina, 1985
21:00 h, Tierra en trance de Glauber Rocha. Brasil, 1967
23:05 h, La vendedora de rosas de Víctor Gaviria. Colombia, 1998
01:25 h, Nazarín de Luis Buñuel. México, 1958
Sunday May 2nd
17:00 h, El lado oscuro del corazón de Eliseo Subiela. Argentina, 1992
19:30 h, Doña Bárbara de Fernando de Fuentes, México, 1943
La Misa Flamenca is a spectacle that fuses art and religion and so joins two very Spanish traits: Catholicism and flamenco. This event brings a complete flamenco company—guitars, percussion, dancing, palm clapping, singing—to lead the day’s mass. Those with even little knowledge of Flamenco know that it is an art brimming with emotion that often leans, as the singer’s voice makes clear, towards tragedy and lament. To have such a show in a traditional Spanish church—that is, one bursting with iconography—is to adjoin emotion, folklore and culture. The Tito Losada company is behind the organization of this event, which will take place on May 1st and May 4th, further information can be found below.
By Daniel Sznajderman