The Philharmonic Orchestra of Spain will accompany the tenor Plácido Domingo on September 25, at the Roman theater in Mérida, in the closing concert of the VI edition of Stone & Music Festival. This collaboration occurs after the decision of the regional government to separate the Extremadura Orchestra from this performance. This was announced this Sunday by the organization of the contest after the Governing Council rejected on Saturday the performance of the tenor at the Mérida festival.
The team behind the Stone & Music Festival thanked in a statement “the numerous offers received by symphonic groups from different parts of Spain since the resignation of the Extremadura group was made public.” It also highlights that the Philharmonic Orchestra of Spain is a professional project that has more than 50 musicians and is made up of “excellent teachers with extensive experience” in the symphonic, chamber and lyrical fields under the common objective of “supporting everything related to music. Spain and its culture ”, working with artists from all branches.
The Mérida contest also values the “quick response” of the orchestra management to the offer of the direction, considering that it had not been the first option chosen. At the same time, he “deeply” regrets that the Extremadura Orchestra cannot co-star in the closing concert. Carlos Lobo, director of the festival, has highlighted the sentimental component that led to the withdrawal of the Extremadura group. “The decision has been one more setback than many that must be overcome during the organization of a festival, but fundamentally, for us it has a more emotional character because we would have liked it to be our orchestra, the orchestra of all Extremadura, the one that go with Domingo, ”explains Lobo. “We have always boasted of our business mission by supporting and betting on what is ours. 90% of the companies and technical professionals we work with at Stone & Music Festival are from the region and the Extremadura Orchestra has not been an exception ”, he adds.
He emphasizes that “from the first minute” of this project he has opted for quality music that is made from Extremadura for the whole world and has tried to contribute his “little grain of sand” by hiring, assuming the cache and joining the name of the Extremadura Orchestra to number one in national and international music. In this sense, it wishes “that it continues being thus in future occasions”. It also stands out that since the beginning of the festival in 2016, and with the exception of last year for health reasons, the Extremadura Orchestra has always been present giving the musical counterpoint to artists such as Ainhoa Arteta, Il Divo and Raphael.
The Junta de Extremadura, currently dominated by the PSOE, maintains its decision firmly. Juan Antonio González, spokesman for the party in the community, declared this Monday that “this is not a matter of presumption of innocence”, since the tenor “has declared and confessed that he harassed 27 women.” “Here he has been the one who has confessed and therefore I believe that society should make some reflection,” said González.
For his part, the mayor of Mérida, the socialist Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, stated this Monday that the debate on the actions of Plácido Domingo has been tinged with “cynicism and demagoguery” and boosted by “the lack of news”. “We are going to guarantee the survival of something that generates jobs and money for the city, and therefore the debates must be separated. One thing is the determined fight against gender violence of this City Council and another thing is the freedom of a businessman to artistically program whoever he deems appropriate ”, argues the municipal leader.