Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Performance venue: Palácio Foz, Lisbon.

The magnificent Palácio Foz, in Lisbon, will be host the final concert of the 2014 Occidental College Glee Club Performance Tour to Spain and Portugal, on Friday 17th January, at 6 pm.

The neo-classical Palácio Foz, originally called Palácio Castelo Melhor, was designed by the Italian architect Francesco Saviero (or Francisco Xavier) Fabri, and built shortly after the great earthquake in 1755, for the Marquês de Castelo Melhor. 

Mirror Hall for concerts
It was purchased by the Marquês de Foz in 1886 when it received the first of many facelifts.

It is magnificently decorated internally and the ballroom features outstanding paintings by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, (1857-1929), one of the leading painters of his generation and a master of realism in Portugal. 

It now houses 11 different institutional offices, and a very rich Cultural Program at the concert hall Sala dos Espelhos (Mirror Hall). Among the institutions there is an Art and Cinema Museum, a Lisbon’s Tourist Information centre and important cultural gobernment and private entities.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Performance venue: San Jerónimo Church, Madrid.

The Occidental College Glee Club, under the direction of Désirée La Vertu, will sing Main Mass at the Royal Monastery of San Jerónimo el Real Church, in Madrid, on Sunday January 12, at 1pm.

The Iglesia Parroquial de San Jerónimo el Real  belongs to the Royal Monastery of St Jerome, founded in Madrid in 1503 during the time of Queen Isabella I, and popularly known as "Los Jerónimos.". 

During 300 years, San Jeronimo was the official Royal Church of the Spanish Crown. From 1528 to 1833 the monastery was the site of the investiture of the Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne. 
The impressive stairway leading to the entrance was constructed in 1906 for the wedding of King Alfonso XIII, and the present King of Spain, Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King in the church in 1975.
The church itself is an impressive sight next to the Prado Museum. It also contains its share of art treasures, including works by Benlliure, Carducho and José Méndez and Juan de Mena's Cristo de la Buena Muerte.

This temple has undergone many alterations and refurbishments over the years, from the original Isabelline gothic and soon reached reinassance, to the most contemporary tendences on the 21st century.

The renaissance-style cloister, originally built in the 16th century, was replaced a century later by one in Baroque style, by Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolás. This is the cloister which survived sufficiently to be included in the recent extension to the Museo del Prado
The cloister was dismantled and removed stone by stone to be incorporated into the Prado museum's new extension, leaded by the famous architect Rafael Moneo. A total of 2,820 stones were removed and carefully documented and catalogued before being taken for restoration in studios in Alcalá de Henares. 
The stones of the cloister were then replaced in almost exactly their original position and enclosed with a concrete skin, to make it an integral part of the Prado extension.