Summer nights were made for outdoor events – at least on the island of Mallorca. I do remember The Boss and I once going to a concert on the lawns of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire. We could barely hear the music for the sound of our teeth chattering – it was a really cold evening. However, the picnic basket for each concertgoer, prepared by the hotel’s famous French chef/patron Raymond Blanc, more than made up for the less-than-summery weather.
During the summer, Mallorca is the perfect place to enjoy al fresco cultural events – many of which start after the heat of the day has dissipated. Two of the island’s most luxurious 5-star hotels are well known for hosting such occasions.
Drama in Deià
A few weeks ago we attended one of two magical performances of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the island’s Morgana Theatre Production Company in the beautiful garden of Belmond La Residencia in Deià. These two theatrical evenings were open to the public and free of charge. The hotel has strong artistic links and broadened its cultural offering this year to include literature. As well as the outdoor theatre performances, the hotel has created a Poets’ Walk within the grounds, which can be accessed at any time.
Belmond La Residencia is in the heart of the picturesque mountain village of Deià and welcomes members of the public to musical events and art exhibitions throughout the season. They have quite a programme for 2017 and events are scheduled into October.
Like and follow the Facebook page Belmond La Residencia to keep up to date with what’s happening.
Last Saturday evening we returned to Castell Son Claret – an independent country house hotel in a renovated 19th-century castle at the foot of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Castell Son Claret also has strong cultural links and every summer, since it opened in 2013, it has offered a series of outdoor concerts under the banner of ‘Castell Classics’, in which the cream of today’s young operatic singers perform.
Saturday’s ‘Young Singers of the Salzburg Festival’ concert was the third and final one for this summer and featured six talented performers (plus pianist Adrian Kelly – mustn’t forget him!). The programme included classical opera, operetta, and some surprise pieces, from composers including Rossini, Mozart, Puccini, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, and Lehar. A highlight for me was a memorable rendition of ‘I bought me a cat’ (Aaron Copland) sung by tenor Jamez McCorkle. I’m smiling now, just thinking about it!
The evening began with a drinks reception in the garden (accompanied by a variety of tasty snacks) and a three-course gala dinner with wines, on the spacious terrace where the stage had been set. It was an evening we’ll look back on during the coming winter months as a highlight of this summer.
Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano’s gala dinner
Although the hotel is set back from the road and behind large iron gates, its bar and two excellent restaurants – Olivera and the two-Michelin-starred Zaranda – are open to the public. Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano of Zaranda created the menu for this concert’s superb gala dinner. Diners were seated at large round tables so it was an opportunity to meet new people; our table included two British couples who had timed their holiday on the island to include this concert.
Like and follow their Facebook page Castell Son Claret to keep up to date with what’s happening.
©Jan Edwards 2017