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Extensive cultural programme
Seville enjoys an intense cultural life, with the celebration of numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year such as the Festival de Música Antigua (Ancient Music Festival), celebrated in March, which includes the most varied musical styles; the Jazz Festival, at the Teatro de la Maestranza; the Festival de Ópera al Aire Libre (Open Air Opera Festival), in September; the season of classical music, and the season of opera at the Teatro de la Maestranza; and the emblematic Flamenco Biennial, that features the most acclaimed artists in this genre.
To have an entertaining evening, it is strongly recommended to go to one of the numerous tablaos flamencos of Seville, the stages for flamenco dancing. Some of the best known are Los Gallos, located in the touristic district of Santa Cruz; Patio Sevillano (Sevillian Courtyard), that hosts performances that combine flamenco, classical Spanish dance, Spanish song, and regional dances; and El Arenal, with flamenco performances of great artistic and professional value.
The most important theatre of the city, the Teatro Lope de Vega, stages the performances of the most important theatre companies of the country. The Teatro Imperial includes in its programme works by Spanish playwrights, as well as Spanish song recitals; independent companies perform in the Teatro Municipal Alameda. During the summer, the Festival de Verano (Summer Fest) brings important performers to the Teatro de la Maestranza.
Those who prefer sporting events can head to the Club Pineda de Sevilla, where international equestrian competitions are organised. Horse racing season runs from January to March, although steeplechases, as well as harnessing and taming contests are held all year round.
Andalusia experiences its fiestas with great passion and enthusiasm, and Seville, being the capital, is the home to some of the most important fiestas in the region.
The celebration of Seville's Semana Santa (Holy Week), declared to be of National Tourist Interest, dates back to the 14th century. It begins on Palm Sunday, ends on Easter Sunday, and in the processions more than 57 brotherhoods participate. The most emblematic images that are carried in the processions are the Jesús del Gran Poder, La Esperanza de Triana, La Macarena and El Cristo del Cachorro.
|April Fair |
The other great festivity, the April Fair or Feria de Abril, dates back to the mid 19th century, when it was a farming and cattle-raising fair. Gradually, it became a celebration of the Andalusian countryside, even though it takes place inside the urban area. It takes months of work to build a city of canvas stalls, lights, and lanterns inside the fairgrounds, to which Sevillians go dressed in traditional costumes.