By Iride Aparicio

Photos Courtesy: Teatro Royal

Her Majesty, Queen Sofia of Spain is greeted by TEATRO REAL'S Orchestra Conductor Juanjo Mena, in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall

New York City, NY-- Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain, honored with her presence "A Celebration of Spanish Music," a one-night-only gala concert held at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage of Carnegie Hall in New York city, the night of September 15.

Sponsored by El Ayuntamiento de Madrid during the Month of La Herencia Hispana, (Hispanic Heritage) the event was the first time that Madrid's Opera House, El Teatro Real, brings its artists, including its orchestra of 100 musicians, pianist Javier Perianis, one of the best in Spain and soprano Sabina Puértolas and a group of Flamenco Dancers which were not part of the one-night concert.

Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain greets the artists who will participate in the concert, from L to R. pianist Javier Perianis, Opera Singer  soprano Sabina Puértolas  y Royal Opera's Orchestra Director Juanjo Mena.

But according to Teatro Real's General Director Ignacio García Belenguer,which Cultural World Bilingual interviewed in a different article, the main reason for this tour, was to celebrate the 40 years "Sisterhood" of the cities of New York and Madrid.

Known in Europe as "Twin Towns," and in the United States as "Twin Cities," these cities, who, at one time decided to become "a sister" to another city in a different place in the world, go under the jurisdiction of Sister Cities International, an organization which is located in Washington, D.C., and whose goal is that as "sisters" the cities continue to promote peace among them through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation, but promote human contact with each other and share their cultural links with their "sister."

The Royal Theatre Orchestra of one hundred musicians

Musically, the Royal Theatre concert. was a majestic display of its full orchestra interpreting the best Spanish Music with its rhythmic sound, as heart beats' vibrating on the auditorium's walls with a mixture of soft String and a loud metallic sound. And we can say that those attending the concert, were given the unique opportunity to hear a combination of classical and semi-Classical pieces which included zarzuelas.

Among the works were: Manuel de Falla (1876-l946) El Sombrero de tres Picos, Suite No.l, Noches de los Jardines the España, and some of his songs such as La vida breve. Isaac Albeniz ( 1860-1909) famous suite Iberia (orchestration by  Gerónimo Gimenez (1854-1923). Manuel Nieto (1844-1915) El Barbero de Sevilla.  Amadeo Vives (l871-l932) "Canción del Ruiseñor, de Doña Framcisquita. Pablo Sorozabal (l897-l988) "En un pais de Fàbula" de La taberna del Puerto y Federico Chueca ( l846-l908) El Bateo: Preludio, to name a few.

The evening was divided in two parts, and during the first part of the program, soprano Puétolas sang classical songs and Opera's arias. and Zarzuelas in the second part, which may be described as the Spanish equivalent of the songs that belong to the Musical Theater, since the Zarzuela, is the musical theatre in Spain.

Soprano Sabina Puértolas, singing, accompanied by the Teatro Royal Orchestra directed by Conductor Juanjo Mena

And as mentioned before, the tour of The Royal Theater also included the tour of Flamenco dancer/singers that New York presented with the name of "Authentic Flamenco". The group, was not part of the Gala Concert, but on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, will be giving 29 different shows in the Parish Harlem, (a Harlem's theatre in Harlem New York) and a total of 50 shows in the United States. The other shows are going to be in Washington D.C, during the month of October and in Dallas, Texas. in November.

Her Majesty Queen Sofia greets the members of the Flamenco group: L to R Bernardo Miranda (Cante) singer, Yolanda Osuna (dancer, coreographer and Director) Amador Rojas (Dancer, Coreographer and Director) and musician Lolo Pantón (Percusión}

Located in the Plaza Oriente, across the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, El Teatro Real,the most prestigious Opera house is Europe, where it was given the title of the Best Opera House in the world in 2121,presents Operas, Dance, Classic Music, Flamenco and once a year a Festival of  10 days of Pop and Rock music. The theatre is run by its President Gregorio Marañon, and its General Director Ignasio García Bellenguer.

The Teatro Real was founded by King Ferdinand VII in Madrid in l8l8, and after thirty-two years of planning, was completed on May of l850 and inaugurated on November of the same year with Donizeti's Opera La Favorita.