Largest classical music festival in Chile already selling out

Nightly performances at the Frutillar Festival near Puerto Montt will be held in the newly completed main stage space at the Teatro del Lago, the largest performance space built in Chile in the last 60 years.

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On the shores of Lake Llanquihue, in clear view of Osorno Volcano’s perfect, snow-capped cone, the newly-inaugurated Teatro del Lago in the town of Frutillar will host the 43rd installment of the town’s beloved Semanas Musicales, or Musical Weeks. Running for 10 days from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7, this year’s program includes more than 40 concerts in and around Frutillar, featuring performers from seven different countries.

The program’s mid-day chamber concerts will be held in the 272-seat Lake Llanquihue Amphitheater at noon daily and cost CP$6,000 (US$12). In front of the town’s magnificent natural backdrop, visible through the theater’s large glass wall, Chilean guitarists, flautists, and harpists will be joined by musicians from Argentina, the United States and Israel performing works by composers as diverse as Bach, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff and Albéniz.

Teatro del Lago’s main stage space, Nestlé Hall, will host the Semanas Musicales recitals and symphonic performances for the first time this year after its November 2010 inauguration, fully 12 years after the first stone was laid for the theater. With 1,200 seats, the main stage at the state-of-the-art theater is roughly the same size as Santiago’s historic Municipal Theater, making it the largest single performance space built in Chile in 60 years.

As one of the event’s co-organizers, the Air Force will inaugurate the main stage events with two performances form the Air Force band on the first two nights of the festival.

In the week that follows, evening concerts on the main stage begin nightly at 8:15 pm, with ticket prices ranging from CP$8-10,000 (US$16-20) depending on the concert, or CP$3,000 (US$6) for students. Events will include a performance of Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony by the Symphony Orchestra of Chile on Feb. 3, selected works by Wagner and Tchaikovsky by the Chilean Youth Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 30, and a recital of lieder by Schubert and Schumann by German Baritone Cristopher Jung and Polish Pianist Piotr Ozckowski.

As the largest classical music festival in Chile, the Semanas Musicales always draw large crowds, but this year’s event has generated added excitement thanks to the completion of Nestlé Hall. Nicola Scheiss, president of the Teatro del Lago Cultural Corporation, told Chilean daily El Mercurio, “the demand for tickets began a month earlier than usual and some concerts are already full.” According to El Mercurio, five of the ten evening concerts and three of the afternoon concerts have already reached capacity.

In addition to events in Frutillar, this year’s Semanas Musicales include 18 additional concerts in other cities of the region, including Puerto Montt, Valdivia and Puerto Varas amongst others.

For more information on the Semanas Musicales, visit www.semanasmusicales.cl. To purchase tickets, call +56 (65) 421 888.