Opera and Gastronomy: Castell Classics Mallorca 2019

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Castell Son Claret

Agapanthus – the flower of love – at Castell Son Claret

Mallorca’s 5-star Castell Son Claret hotel, in picturesque countryside near Es Capdellà, re-opens today for the 2019 season. If you’ve been to Mallorca but not visited this beautiful property, I would urge you to do so on your next visit. You don’t have to be staying overnight to enjoy the warm, professional service, stunning setting, and sheer tranquillity of the place (although once you’ve stayed, you’ll probably want to return). You can also bowl up, park your car, stroll through the gardens up to the impressive hotel building, and have a signature cocktail in the bar, lunch on the Olivera restaurant terrace, or splurge on a tasting menu in the 2-Michelin-star Zaranda.

Love opera? Gourmet cuisine? Combine the two at one of the cultural highlights of the summer in Mallorca. The annual Castell Classics operatic concerts, accompanied by a gourmet dinner under the evening sky, are the result of a close collaboration with the finest European opera houses and festivals. The three concerts each year bring young operatic singers with star potential to Mallorca to perform at Castell Son Claret.

Castell Classics 2019

June 6th        The most talented soloists from the Accademia Teatro Alla Scala in Milan.

July 4th          Young Singers of the Salzburg Festival – graduate soloists from the Young Singers Project.

August 17th    Soloists from the Zurich Opera House (NEW for 2019): soprano Olga Kulchynska and baritone Konstantin Shushakov.

Each of these al fresco events starts at 7.30pm with a welcome cocktail and includes a gala dinner menu, wines, and the concert, at a cost of 205€ per person. Book, or obtain more details about the Castell Classics 2019, by emailing events@castellsonclaret.com.

Our experience of Castell Classics 2018

It was still daylight when we arrived at the 5-star Castell Son Claret, in the southwest of Mallorca, for the second in the sixth season of  opera nights known as Castell Classics.

We declined the offer of an electric-buggy ride from the car park up to the hotel entrance so that we could walk (I, in high heels, tottered) through the landscaped gardens – with their water feature and beautiful agapanthus flowers wafting in a gentle breeze.  The flowers and greenery used in the hotel’s displays come from these exquisite gardens.

Although we arrived exactly at the event start time of 7.30pm, plenty of people had arrived before us and were already enjoying drinks and appetizers on the lawns. Many of the 150 guests who attended were German – in my experience, almost always punctual!

From Salzburg to Mallorca

We were there to see the Young Singers of the Salzburg Festival – eight talented young singers of different nationalities – who would perform highlights from this year’s Salzburg Festival.

After drinks and nibbles in the hotel garden, we moved up to the hotel’s large terrace, where we were all seated at round tables. It didn’t take long before we were chatting to the other people at our table – some Mallorcans, some Russians. These evenings are an opportunity to meet new people with a shared interest in opera and gastronomy.

Works by Mozart, Bizet, Gounod, Puccini, Chapí, Tchaikovsky, and Bernstein made for a varied programme of largely familiar pieces – including a couple of my personal favourites. Hearing such exquisite voices on a pleasantly warm evening under a darkening sky was nothing short of magical.

Gastronomic treats

The gala dinner, as one would expect from a hotel boasting two restaurants (one with two Michelin stars), was superb. Chefs Fernando P Arellano (Zaranda) and Pep Forteza (Olivera) and their brigades created a wonderful dinner once again. On the menu: a snappy wafer-thin ‘coca’ of confit tomatoes, Sóller prawns, and basil; medallion of spring lamb with stuffed onion and mint-scented pea purée, and the eagerly awaited ‘Selection of fine desserts’. How good were they! (Castell Son Claret has its own in-hotel bakery).

We drank La Cuvée 2014 Reserva from Bodega Gramona, and wines from Bodegas Valduero on the Peninsula.

The Castell Classics series is a cultural highlight of the Mallorcan summer and a personally recommended experience for anyone who appreciates opera, good food and wine, and memorable experiences.

©Jan Edwards 2019

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