The Horton Epsom is delighted to announce a season of Spanish work, taking place at the new arts centre this July.
A series of classical music and dance concerts pay tribute to the tragic Spanish dance prodigy Felix Garcia who was secretly banished to Horton Asylum in 1919, following a clash with the Russian Ballet.
The concerts will be performed by celebrated artists from Spain on an international tour, with The Horton Epsom hosting the only UK dates. The programme for two concerts Spanish Serenade and Spanish Symphony includes music by Albéniz, Giménez, Bizet and de Falla and other European composers inspired by Spain such as Ravel, performed on piano, violin and voice.
Award-winning dancers and choreographers will be performing in the round, with Cristina Cazorla and Francisco Serrano also sharing their extensive Flamenco and Boléro dance knowledge in two special masterclasses.
The series also includes a relaxed concert for children, free for under 18s, with the stories of Ferdinand The Bull and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf performed on violin with live narration.
The fascinating and little-known story of Felix Garcia captured the imagination of historian and musical director Antonio Hernandez Moreno who put together the programme and international tour following years of research.
His book Thirty Castanets For London (translated from Spanish) explores imagined scenes based on known facts, what he discovered in the archives, and the views expressed by key players in the bohemian world inhabited by the turn of the century artists.
“Researching the story of Felix over the last 20 years has brough me to Surrey many times and Epsom has a special place in my heart. I am so happy to be finally able to perform the musical programme put together in honour of Felix in the former Horton Chapel where I know he will have spent many hours. It will be a special occasion for the artists too who have put so much into using the energy of his memory into their performances.”
Musical director and historian, Antonio Hernandez Moreno
Felix was brought to London in 1918 by Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev to help choreograph and star in the premiere of new ballet The Three-Cornered Hat – an artistic collaboration between The Russian Ballet, composers de Falla and Ravel, and Pablo Picasso.
But after a dramatic falling-out shortly before opening night, the teenage dancer was arrested, certified insane and committed to an Epsom asylum. Declared dead to his family and the outside world, Félix was in fact confined secretly for another 22 years, until he died in 1941. He is buried in an unmarked mass grave at Horton Cemetery.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring such accomplished performers from Spain for this season in tribute to Felix García whose story is part of the unique history of Epsom’s historic hospital cluster.
It is a very special programme that will appeal to people who love Spanish classical culture as well as those who want to discover more.
As well as excellent concerts in The Horton’s stunning Performance Space, the chance to learn Boléro and Flamenco from professionals performing at this level is a rare opportunity. We’re grateful that sponsors have appreciated the unique nature of this season and its importance to our shared heritage.”
Maria Reeves, Centre Manager, The Horton Epsom
The Spanish Season at The Horton is sponsored by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and Fundación Cajamurcia.
Tickets for all events are now on sale