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N e w s l e t t e r

August 2022

Ensemble Mediterrain

© Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo

A special project in the anniversary year: an opera by Ravel and a ballet by de Falla in Lisbon

L'heure espagnole by Maurice Ravel and El sobrero de tres picos by Manuel de Falla, both as chamber versions, will be performed at Lisbon's Centro de Cultural de Belém next November by the Ensemble Mediterrain, a production directed by Jorge Balça and conducted by Bruno Borralhinho which will include some of the most outstanding contemporary Portuguese singers as well as the prestigious Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo.

The comic opera L'heure espagnole was premiered in 1911 and is, along with L'enfant et les sortilèges, a very rare example of Maurice Ravel's forays into the operatic universe. After two failed attempts, the French composer found the ideal ingredients for his first opera in a 1904 libretto by Franc-Nohain: Spain, somewhere in the 18th century, loves and dislikes, truths and lies, jealousy and intrigue, loyalty and betrayal. Coincidence or perhaps not, it was precisely these common elements with a Pedro Antonio de Alarcón's 1874 novel that the composer Manuel de Falla worked on for several years with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes until the world premiere of the famous ballet El sombrero de tres picos had its premiere in 1919.

Contrasts and analogies in a unique, youthful and colorful night where opera and ballet perform hand in hand.


A look back at the anniversary concert - 20 years Ensemble Mediterrain!

Ravel: Introduction et Allegro
Albéniz: Poèmes d'amour
Debussy (Sachs): Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Tinoco: Das Murmeln der Zeit (World premiere)
Berio: Folk Songs (1964)

For twenty years, the concerts of the Ensemble Mediterrain have been part of the chamber music life of the music city of Dresden and far beyond. The musicians, who belong to several renowned orchestras, celebrated their jubilee with works from southern climes, of course. Because the name already reveals it: the Ensemble Mediterrain loves the music of the Mediterranean countries, from the 18th century to contemporary works.
Conducted by Bruno Borralhinho and featuring soprano Sarah Maria Sun as soloist, the concert also included a world premiere of a work by the Portuguese composer Luís Tinoco dedicated to the Ensemble Mediterrain.
The concert was recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and is available to be listen to in full at ›


Upcoming concert dedicated to Debussy and Franck

On August 28, the musicians of the Ensemble Mediterrain will play in Dresden's Webermuseum, the former home of the composer Carl Maria von Weber. The program includes Debussy's Piano Trio in G major (1880), a notable early work by the 18-year-old composer, as well as the 1917 Sonata for Violin and Piano, Debussy's last major completed work. The program is supplemented by César Franck's Sonata in A major (1886) in a version for cello and piano. Under the title "Santé!", the Ensemble Mediterrain commemorates at once Franck's 200th and Debussy's 160th birthdays.
› Read more

Ensemble Mediterrain

Webermuseum © imago / Volker Preußer


CD Release in 2009:
Classic and rare

On the 100th Anniversary of his death in 2009, the Ensemble Mediterrain dedicated to the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz the world premiere of his famous Suite Española op.47 in a version for septet by Bruno Borralhinho. The CD also includes the "classical" Septet op.20 by Ludwig van Beethoven. › Buy in iTunes-Store

Ensemble Mediterrain


Portuguese conductor and cellist Bruno Borralhinho has led the Ensemble Mediterrain since it was founded in 2007. He is a member of the Dresden Philharmonic, has had a varied artistic career as a conductor, soloist and chamber musician and is considered by international critics to be an "ambassador of Portuguese music". Bruno Borralhinho recorded for the labels Naxos, Ars and DreyerGaido and published on Kunzelmann and Editions AVA. In 2004 he was awarded the artistic diploma "with distinction" at the Berlin University of the Arts, in 2011 he obtained a Master degree in Culture Management at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona and in 2020 he received his Doctorate in Humanities from the Carlos III University in Madrid.

Ensemble Mediterrain

© Bruno Simão / TNSC

EM: Chamber music: why and what for?
BB: Because of the fantastic repertoire and because it is probably the most ideal situation to communicate and interact with other musicians.

EM: A few sentences about your collaboration with the Ensemble Mediterrain.
BB: The Ensemble Mediterrain is a part of my life, like my child. Seeing it thrive and expand is one of the greatest joys of my career and it's certainly one of the things I'm most passionate about. Mainly because it's possible to make music at the highest level, with friends and people who are very close to my heart.

EM: What is your favourite chamber work?
BB: The list is too long to fit in these lines and honestly I can't really decide between Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and so many others. A realistic and conclusive answer would be: the next work to be carried out. Also because I normally choose and build the programs of the Ensemble Mediterrain myself and would never plan a work that I don't like.

EM: Chamber musician, University professor and what else?
BB: Father of the two most wonderful children in the world.

EM: Music and what else?
BB: Family. And if there's still some time left, I'll try to get some sleep.

EM: What kind of music (CD, recording, etc.) would you necessarily want to take to a desert island?
BB: I would surely take classical music with me and Bach would certainly be on the playlist.

EM: And what about music scores?
BB: So that I can already hope for my salvation: the score of the next work I am supposed to conduct or play.

EM: Which composer would you like to drink coffee with? Why?
BB: Beethoven and Shostakovich would be next, but no doubt I would start by inviting Mahler: I would get along and argue with him like with nobody else!

EM: And with which one would you not like at all to have a coffee with? Why?
BB: With the one or those who don't want to have coffee with me. Coffee and time are too precious to waste.

EM: In the big sports events... are you for Portugal or for Germany?
BB: For Portugal. Germany wins far too often. :)

EM: Pastel de Nata or Eierschecke?
BB: Pastel de nata... but it's still a pitty that neither contains chocolate.

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