Sherry On Top

sherry on top

Last night (July 6th) I had the good fortune and privilege to be invited to the first of a new season of music & wine events in Sevilla with the title Sherry on Top. Organised by the Consejo Regulador de los Vinos de Jerez, in conjunction with the Asociación de Hoteles de Sevilla y Provincia‘s #summerHOTELtime initiative, it aims to attract people to some of Sevilla’s best hotel rooftop terraces with a programme of live music, sherry tastings, and exclusive sherry cocktails designed by the hotels’ bartenders.

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Last night’s event was held at the Hotel Inglaterra in Plaza Nueva, one of Seville’s most popular rooftops. Comfortable and elegant, with fabulous views of the Town Hall, El Salvador Church and the Cathedral, it was a pleasant place to spend a balmy evening out of doors, and many of the great and good from the worlds of sherry and hospitality were there, including the newly re-elected head of the Consejo Regulador, Don Beltrán Domecq. As always at such events it was also a good opportunity to renew acquaintance with old friends and make a few new ones.

The tasting was hosted by Carmen Aumesquet and Pepe Ferrer, and featured a Fino, an Oloroso and a sherry Cream cocktail. Live music was provided by Los Quiero, who turned out to be rather good, playing music from the 50s-60s-70s, including some forgotten favourites.

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Altogether a very nice evening, and I hope to attend a few more of these events over the summer, on from now until the end of September. Check the links below for the upcoming venues and performers and be sure to reserve your spot as space is limited. Salud!

Sherry On Top Webiste
Sherry Wines Facebook

A Night at the Opera

I’d been meaning to go to Sevilla de Ópera in the Arenal Market ever since I first heard about it from Claudio, owner of the Adriano Hotel, and was introduced to its organisers, opera baritone Luciano Miotto and producer Paco Oliva. Then last Saturday I was invited to the final show for this season (it starts up again in September).

Sevilla is often advertised as the “city of opera“, and is famous as the setting for operas by Bizet (Carmen), Rossini (The Barber of Seville), and Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni).

Sevilla de Ópera put on a small show (the one we saw featured three singers and a pianist) that aims to make opera more accessible to the public. Their concept is based on a typical tablao de flamenco, a bit like dinner theatre, though you can also just go and have drinks. The difference here is that, although there is some basic scenery, there is no actual stage – or rather, the entire room is the stage – and the performers come and go using various entrances, interacting with the audience. I think it’s a great way for people to get a first taste of opera without feeling intimidated, and the market setting adds to its “everyman” appeal. But the quality of the performances ensures that well-seasoned opera lovers will enjoy it too.

Gianpero Ruggeri, Sachika Ito & Luciano Miotto

I’m not exactly an “opera buff” myself and wasn’t sure what to expect, but the show turned out to be hugely enjoyable, with scenes from the Mozart and Rossini operas and other songs (traditional Spanish and a couple of zarzuelas) performed with skill and gusto. And the encore, Rossini’s Duet for Two Cats, was delightful – a humorous piece with “meow” as the only lyric. Very frustratingly, my attempt to video it for posterity (and for my friend Sledpress) on my iPhone proved unsuccessful but Luciano told me I could find them performing it on YouTube. Enjoy…

Looking forward to the new season in September!

Sevilla de Ópera

Noches en Los Jardines del Real Alcázar

Tickets go on sale today for the 13th edition of night concerts in the gardens of the Alcazar Royal Palace. The concerts begin on Monday June 11th and range from medieval and classical music to flamenco, world folk, jazz and blues.

This year there will be 75 concerts and tickets for each week’s programme can be purchased from the beginning of the previous week at the palace ticket office in Patio de Banderas or online. Ticket prices are 4€ or 5€ if you book by internet, no more than 7 tickets can be purchased by one person (per concert) and children under 8 are not admitted.

The entrance for the concerts is the Puerta Alcoba on the Paseo de Catalina, just off calle San Fernando. They begin at 10.30 but you can go into the gardens from 9 o’clock and enjoy a stroll and a drink at the bar inside. Admittance is not allowed after 10.25.

If you’ve never seen the gardens lit up at night it’s worth the price of admission alone, and the concert setting is truly magical.

Noches en Los Jardines del Real Alcázar
June Programme
July Programme
August Programme

Summer Music & English Camp for Kids

English Music Camp is the brain child of linguist/teacher Ana Galan (360º English) and musician Juan de la Oliva (The Music House) from Sevilla, and is geared for children between 6 – 14 years of age.

The programme focuses on three main areas: English, Music and Nature. All the activities will be in English and everything is done through games and music, in keeping with their slogan “Because Learning Is Fun”.

Cerro Negrillo is located in Constantina, within the Sierra Norte Natural Park, an area of breathtaking natural beauty. The Centre has outstanding facitilites: swimming pool, monkey lines, a rock-climbing wall, meeting rooms, separate bathrooms and shower areas for boys and girls, two covered patios, a huge food hall, a pigeon tower, two football pitches, and a helipad (!).

The entire week, 9th – 15th of July, costs 395€. There is an Early Bird 10% discount if you sign up before the 31st May, and there is a additional 10% discount as if you sign up more than one sibling.

For more information:
English Music Camp

Tunas Galore!

Sevilla has been inundated with Tunas recently, from all over Spain.

It seems there have been a few national competitions going on lately, and so Tuna sightings of late are not just of the usual youthful university students decked out in their strolling minstrel attire, hanging out at bars to make a bit of beer money and attract some attention of the female persuasion.

These days there has not only been an increase in the number of Tunas, but many of them include more mature members (university profs?) and have a much more professional look about them. I ran into one such group having tapas last Saturday while out on Tapeo Extremo II and found out they were from Málaga.

And last night while I was out on a Tapas Tour we came across a rather large group of Tunas taking up at least four tables outside a bar near the cathedral. So of course I had to ask what was going on, as they didn’t seem like the typical Sevilla Tunas – and sure enough, it turned out they were from Granada.

Then this morning I came across a rather swish looking group of Tunas coming down my street and I had to stop them and ask what was going on. They were on their way to the Facultad de Derecho for today’s competition and seemed very excited and I am sorry to say I forgot to ask them for a photo.

But here you can see last night’s group. A bit wobbly in parts as I only had my iPhone on me, but they were lovely guys and you can see how much fun they were having. I love the Tunas.