Mallorca’s Answer to Glyndebourne – Formentor Sunset Classics

Barceló Formentor, overlooking the Bay of Pollenca on the Formentor peninsula, holds an annual open-air music festival; Formentor Sunset Classics.

In 2014 one of the most famous sopranos of all time, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, worked her magic under the stars of the Mallorcan night sky and last year Thomas Hampson, a celebrated American lyric baritone, took to the stage.

I (Antie) have been lucky enough to go for the last two years and it really is an incredible evening to remember. Just before the concert began we were handed glasses of champagne and led down a dramatic red carpet lit by atmospheric fairy lights to a beautiful natural stage directly in front of the sea.

On the red carpet!

It is an idyllic setting for the artistry and beauty of some of the world’s greatest and most loved voices.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was accompanied by the Balearic Symphonic Orchestra directed by Robin Stapleton, the programme included a combination of classical and modern opera, from Mozart, Fauré, Bizet and Puccini, to Gershwin’s Summertime and  – bringing the evening to a unforgettable finale  – I Believe, by Ervin Drake and Irvin Graham.

Sunset Classics performance
Such a beautiful setting…

Thomas Hampson, also accompanied by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Felipe Aguirre, sang accessible and entertaining pieces included works by Mozart, Verdi, Massenet, Lehár and Bernstein, along with some extracts from Cole Porter’s musicals.

Barceló Formentor was the dream of Adan Diehl, an Argentinian millionaire who fell in love with the area and turned it into a haven for artists who came to enjoy cultural events and parties in this luxurious seaside spot. Sunset Classics is a relatively new project, launched in 2013, to re-live the cultural heydays of the 1920s that Diehl had envisaged.

Formentor's beautiful gardens
The beautiful gardens

Thomas Hampson and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa can now be added to the list of famous and inspirational guests who have stayed at the hotel including Agatha Christie, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, the Dalai Lama and Winston Churchill.

This year’s Sunset Classics line-up has been just as amazing with the award-winning young pianist Juan Pérez Floristán, followed by internationally renowned string quartet Cuarteto Quiroga. Three time Grammy winning violinist Hilary Hahn performed in September, and acclaimed soprano Ainhoa Arteta is brining the season to a close this evening (Friday 7 October).

Looking forward to seeing what next year brings!


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