Detail of the organ case in Granada's stunning Renaissance cathedral (image by Daniel Villafruela from Wikimedia Commons)

Detail of the organ case in Granada's stunning Renaissance cathedral (image by Daniel Villafruela from Wikimedia Commons)

1–4 March 2012

THE SCRATCH® GRANADA GALA

Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada, Spain

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There are some amazing things to see and do on this trip, and some of the best are included in the standard price!  The city tour will take us to visit the beautiful Renaissance Cathedral (see the detail of the organ case, right), and to the exquisite Royal Chapel, built to house the remains of their Catholic Majesties King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

Round the corner from the Royal Chapel is the Hotel AC Palacio, whose rather run-of-the-mill exterior hides an historical jewel of an interior—a former 16th-century convent much of the structure of which has been carefully preserved including its cool arcaded courtyard.  Leading off this courtyard is the old chapel is where we will hold our first rehearsal.

A genuine local flamenco group will perform for us at the beginning of our musical feast.  These performers are serious about their art and will appreciate being watched and listened too rather than being regarded as background entertainment. Flamenco is an art-form incorporating many different styles, and this one is special to Granada.

No-one visits Granada without seeing the Alhambra, and our tour is scheduled for Saturday morning.  This incredible palace, built by Granada’s Moorish rulers in the mid-14th century, was was disregarded for several hundred years and allowed to fall into disrepair until being rediscovered in the 19th century.  A steady programme of restoration followed (not all of it in the best of tastes!) and the area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Within walking distance is the Auditorio Manuel de Falla where we will give our concert; in the grounds is the house of the composer himself, who departed on a trip to South America never to return to his home.  It remains a perpetual memorial to him, preserved exactly as he left it, even with his pyjamas folded under the pillow!  The house is not officially open at the time of our visit, but we are negotiating to have it open specially for us (if we succeed there will be an entry fee).

The charity which will benefit from our concert is the Banco de Alimentos. Unusually they request donations in kind: gifts of non-perishable foodstuffs which can be used in the provision of hot meals for the homeless and destitute in Granada.  Spanish people are quite used to coming to concerts armed with packets of pasta and rice, but if you don’t fancy a trip to the supermarket in your spare time, there will be a place to make cash donations.

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