If you’re wondering what’s new this year at the National Theater, here’s a quick summary: 120 concerts, 25 dance recitals, 10 theatrical productions, and at least five presentations that defy any category. Visitors will also find a renovated stage (in March), gallery shows in the café and two solid weeks of performances during April’s International Arts Festival.
General Director Adriana Collado-Chaves managed to summarize 10 months of programming in about 15 minutes, at a press conference hosted by the National Theater on Thursday. Journalists and supporters of the fine arts gathered in the theater’s lavish second-floor ballroom to hear about the 2014 season. Collado said the program was selected after a thorough assessment of various proposals.
“We also sought to offer a variety of genres based on available dates,” Collado said.
Standouts include a second revival of William Shakespeare’s “Rey Lear” by the National Theater Company (May), Verdi’s epic opera “Nabucco” by the National Lyric Company (August) and December’s robust holiday roundup.
Opened in 1897, the National Theater is a cultural pillar of Costa Rica, and the place has always been busy; the National Symphony Orchestra alone performs almost constantly. After years of planning, the administration must now juggle at least 120 artistic presentations with heavy construction. While the main stage has been indisposed, the building’s theater has hosted more intimate productions, including Juan Carlos Rubio’s play “100 Square Meters.”
Culture Minister Manuel Obregón also spoke, reiterating that he will soon retire from his position and thanking his colleagues and supporters. He then played a jazzy etude on the theater’s baby grand piano, accompanied by a flautist. The performance had an air of happy finality.
2014 Season Highlights:
International Arts Festival – April 1-13
“Rey Lear” (“King Lear”) – May 2-4
“Virus de Ana Istarú” (theater) – July 10 – Aug. 31
“Nabucco” (opera) – Various dates throughout August
Choreograph Festival XXXI – Sept. 4-7
International Guitar Festival XX – Sept. 24-28
The Nutcracker – Dec. 4-7, 9-14