Obanos hosts a new edition of the National Choral Competition for Medieval and Renaissance Music

Three choirs will take part in the fifth edition of the national competition organised by the Fundación Misterio de Obanos.

Three choirs will take part next Saturday, 6th April, in the Arnotegui Medieval and Renaissance music competition organised for the fifth year by the Fundación Misterio de Obanos in the parish church of Obanos. Specifically, they will be the MaioraCanemus Choir from Vitoria, EskifaiaAbesbatza from Hondarribia and the women’s choral group Enchiriadis, from Zaragoza.

The Obanos festival is a first-class musical event, where a careful selection of choirs take part and will be evaluated by a jury of renowned prestige. This was made clear at the presentation of the competition, which took place this morning at the Teatro Gayarre, by Arantxa Hernández, Mayoress of the town and acting president of the Fundación Misterio de Obanos; Julio Ayerra, secretary of the organisation and Javier del Cura, director of the theatrical performance.

The competition, now in its fifth edition and a national benchmark, will also include the participation of a gospel choir that will perform at different times during the performance.


Julio Ayerra, secretary of the Foundation, emphasised the high level of the participating choirs and also the jury that will decide the prizes: “a cast of musicians of enormous prestige in the world of choral singing, such as the conductor Nicole Corti, known as the Grand Dame of choral singing in France; the Portuguese singer and conductor Pedro Teixeira and Albert Alcaraz, Spanish-French composer and performer”. The three musicians will be accompanied by David Gálvez, conductor of the Pamplona Chamber Choir, as secretary of the jury. Gálvez has also been responsible for the selection of the choirs that will take part in the competition.

Each ensemble will perform a varied repertoire of a cappella songs from the 14th to 16th centuries, and all three will have to sing the piece Ad mortem festinamus, from the 14th century “Libre Vermell de Montserrat”. In total, the repertoire should not exceed 15 minutes.

The event, which will take place next Saturday, April 6th, in the church of San Juan Bautista de Obanos, is free of charge and will start at 19:00.


No public funding for the Mystery of Obanos

During the presentation of the choral competition, the disappointment of the Fundación Misterio de Obanos was made clear after not seeing included in the budget of Navarre the funds requested from the Government to put on this year’s performance of the work, which has a new libretto and music “as well as a new staging that incorporates emerging technologies”, acknowledged Javier del Cura, who directed the last performance in 2008.

“In recent years we have been working on all these aspects, thanks to grants from the Government of Navarre, as well as on the cataloguing and digitalisation of the costumes, a valuable collection of more than 1,000 pieces. The lack of funding this year forces us to paralyse the last phase of the costume project, and also prevents us from staging the play, which has been completely designed”, she complained.

The mayoress of the town, Arantxa Hernández, also appealed to the Government of Navarre to provide financial support for an event “that not only highlights the cultural heritage of Obanos but of Navarre in general, bearing in mind that the Mystery of Obanos has been recognised as a Festival of National Tourist Interest since 2001”. For his part, the secretary of the Foundation, Julio Ayerra, estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 euros would be needed to put on this theatrical performance, “for which public funding of a third of the budget is considered essential; the rest is expected to be raised thanks to private contributions and ticket sales”.
Finally, at the press conference, a tribute was paid to Juan Manuel Rubio, president of the Misterio de Obanos Foundation, who passed away just two months ago, the “alma mater” of both the performance and the choral competition. “He has been the main driving force behind the Misterio in recent years and has fought in all directions to get support,” they stressed. The Foundation has suffered a hard blow with his loss but will continue to work in his memory to consolidate the Obanos Mystery in successive years.

Javier del Cura, theatrical director of the Misterio de Obanos; Arantxa Hernández, mayoress of the town and acting president of the Misterio de Obanos Foundation and Julio Ayerra, secretary of the organisation, at the presentation to the media held this morning at the Teatro Gayarre.