Shakespeare’s legacy alive in Buenos Aires
Organizers present fourth edition of Bard of Avon’s festival, which kicks off tomorrow
This year marks the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. Lots of special events are planned the world over throughout the year to celebrate the Bard of Avon’s legacy. Buenos Aires opens its own series of celebrations with the IV Shakespeare Festival, which stars tomorrow and runs through February 22.
The event, sponsored by Buenos Aires City, the British Council and the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, was presented yesterday at the British Embassy. Actors dressed in Medieval clothes welcomed guests and the band Beltaine played Renaissance and Medieval music at the venue’s gardens.
Shakespeare Festival director Patricio Orozco explained that the Festival has three main goals: getting together to exchange ideas about the poet’s works, to take Shakespeare’s material to many more people and areas, and to create a bridge between nations and people. “This is a reunion between two nations which share lots of comings and goings.”
The current edition of the Shakespeare Festival is aimed at boosting educational activities related to the historical context where Shakespeare developed his work. Apart from the classical venues — Centro Cultural Recoleta, Centro Cultural de la Cooperación, Plaza República de Chile and Fundación Beethoven — a new venue has been added: Ciudad Oculta in Villa Lugano.
British Ambassador to Argentina John Freeman told the Herald that the Shakespeare Festival is a matter of pride for the embassy. “Shakespeare is so loved throughout the world and it shows and proves that Shakespeare is far more than England. He is a man of the world. I am very proud to see the enjoyment, the seriousness and the pleasure that people take in the Shakespearean history.”
The Ambassador stated that, from what he had seen, people can expect to see a good deal of innovation. creativity and excitement in all the activities. Regarding his preferences, he looks forward to enjoying some of the shows, which he may be attending on Sunday.
“There are plenty of things to see. I may say that I take particular pleasure in the fact that Stanley Wells is coming here. He is probably the finest Shakespeare scholar in the world,” Freeman said.
Attendees at the presentation included Buenos Aires City Culture Minister Hernán Lombardi, Buenos Aires City PRO senator Gabriela Michetti, journalist Cristina Pérez (who starred in different Shakespeare plays directed by Orozco and is the festival’s patroness), actors Cristian Sancho (who starred in a recent version of Anthony and Cleopatra), Eduardo Blanco, Juan Vitali, Ana María Casó, Mónica Maffia, director James Murray and former Teatro San Martín director Kive Staiff, among others.
So, those interested in learning more about Shakespeare or just enjoying the different productions and activities on offer, there’s plenty to do during this week: plays, workshops, films, conferences, video conferences, a Medieval village, themed bike rides and walks, among others. All the activities have free admission, but most are limited to capacity. To participate, sign in for the different activities and book your tickets at www.festivalshakespeare.com.ar.