The cobble-stoned streets of Colonia del Sacramento will be walked by some illustrious names next weekend, when emerging and established artists head to the southwestern Uruguayan city for a new arts festival.
The inaugural edition of the Festival Internacional de Colonia runs from November 8 to 10 in the charming town, famed for its historic quarter, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Curated under the direction of acclaimed Uruguayan-born pianist Enrique Graf, it will become the only festival in Uruguay to unite tango, jazz, classical music, theatre, film documentary and visual arts.
Events begin Thursday, November 8, with a free open-air concert in the gardens of the Bastion del Carmen, featuring a chamber ensemble of the SODRE Youth Orchestra, the Orfeo Choir and other soloists.
Serving as venue throughout the festival, those lush gardens – as well as other local venues such as the Stella Cinema and the AFE Cultural Centre – will host names both new and old from Argentina, Brazil, the United States and Uruguay.
"Recognised internationally for its breathtaking natural beauty, its preserved historic architecture and the number of delightful recreational venues, Colonia offers an unrivaled setting for audience members and guest artists alike," the event's organisers said.
Notable performers include Uruguayan soprano singer María Antúnez, young Brazilian jazz pianist Hércules Gomes, and Uruguayan tango quintet La Mufa. Renowned leading actress Estela Medina will also give a one-woman performance on home soil, ranging from Gabriel Calderón to Baudelaire.
An exhibition of Uruguayan visual artists curated by an international panel will be displayed, while AutoClub of Yesterday will show a collection of vintage cars.
The festival will also be screening Messenger on a White Horse, a film covering the life of former Buenos Aires Herald editor and Times columnist, Robert Cox.
The documentary shows Cox’s unswerving defiance of Argentina’s last military dictatorship. At a time when most local media chose to turn a blind eye to the reports of torture and forced disappearances, the English-born editor and his fellow journalists at the newspaper found the courage to speak out.
The documentary, directed by Australian journalist and former Herald staffer Jayson MacNamara, includes archive footage from the BBC, the public TV stations of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland, most of which had never been shown before in Argentina, in addition to images of the Trial of the Juntas.
After the film, Cox will be present for a talk and to take questions.
The Festival Internacional de Colonia (FIC) is a non-for profit organisation and relies on the sponsorship of local companies, as well as corporate organisations, to fund its activities.