From July 1 to August 24, the city hosted the 2008 edition of the Veranos de la Villa. The voice of Diana Krall kicked off a festival with a star-studded lineup, in which Mario Vargas Llosa and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón dazzled us with their version of The Arabian Nights.
Once again, Madrid ushered in the summer season with music, theater, dance and magnificent performances. The 23rd edition of Veranos de la Villa began on July 1 with a concert by what many consider to be the best jazz voice of this newly-dawned 21st century: the Canadian vocalist and pianist Diana Krall, who performed in the central courtyard of the Conde Duque. The same venue later echoed with the sounds of the great diva Gloria Gaynor, Crowded House, the Vienna Boys Choir, and an icon of American pop music, Paul Anka. These are just some of the stars who lit up this emblematic space, where audiences also swayed to the old-time tunes of María Dolores Paradera and Los Sabandeños, the melodious songs of Mariza and the "lyrics with a message" of Pablo Milanés. Gypsy magic was conjured up by Dulce Pontes and Estrella Morente, two grand dames of song.
The Conde Duque also staged the first performance of La Boîte à Rêves, a company founded by Jérôme Savary, which presented Don Quijote contra el Ángel Azul(Don Quixote vs. The Blue Angel), based on the respective works by Cervantes and Sternberg. Dance was represented by Roland Petit's Duke Ellington Ballet with Lucía Lacarra, and by Joaquín de Luz and soloists from the New York City Ballet.
The Arabian Nightswas a peculiar version of the famous Arabic-Persian work performed by Mario Vargas Llosa and a very special Scheherazade, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, in the privileged setting of the Sabatini Gardens. The following nights in the gardens, with the Royal Palace in the background, were purely flamenco, with recitals and performances by the greatest masters of this genre such as the singers Enrique Morente and Lole Montoya or the dancer Antonio Canales...
The Sabatini Gardens also served as the incomparable stage for three zarzuelas: El año pasado por agua, by Federico Chueca and Joaquín Valverde, La Revoltosa, by Ruperto Chapí, and The Zarzuela of Madrid… from Romantic Madrid to 1950s Madrid.
The Valkyrie, whose first act was performed by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.