Focusing on the performing arts, the Festival de Tenerife is back at the island’s cultural scene. They are offering 26 national shows in addition to different Canarian events. Cabildo de Tenerife president, Carlos Alonso, the Culture and Education Director, José Luis Rivero, and the mayors of the cities of Santa Cruz and La Laguna, José Manuel Bermúdez and José Alberto Díaz, respectively, presented the details of the festival at a press conference which included the participation of dancer Daniel Morales and actors Marta Viera and María de Vigo. With the motto Al caer las hojas, levantamos el telón [As leaves fall we raise the curtain], the festival has scheduled 41 circus, theatre, dance and opera shows plus several workshops and masterclasses from 4 October to 15 December.

Shows will be held at theatres and in the streets, including premieres in the Canary Islands of national projects, in-house productions, and a series of great literary classics. The festival venues include Auditorio de Tenerife, Teatro Guimerá, Teatro Leal and Paraninfo at Universidad de La Laguna. This year the focus is also on the streets so there will be open-air events in both cities.

Carlos Alonso explained the seasonal character of the Festival, “which is stronger this year and includes the streets of Santa Cruz and La Laguna in the programme”. The president talked about the aim of the project to become a leading national event. “It is not just a cultural proposal but it also includes elements of economic activity such as the development of professions or hiring staff, which grow within the Tenerife 2030 strategy so that the people who live here have a better Island”.

José Manuel Bermúdez explained that “the Festival de Tenerife involves plenty of activity and is an added value”. The mayor of Santa Cruz talked about the two venues in the city: “we provide the oldest theatre in the Canary Islands, Teatro Guimerá, and Auditorio, which has been a leading venue throughout its ten years of existence”.

José Alberto Díaz recalled the cultural activity in La Laguna where its “streets, museums and artistic spaces are proof of citizens’ commitment to culture”. “This festival will have great economic impact on the city thanks to the activity it will generate”, La Laguna mayor stated.

On his part, José Luis Rivero revealed that the programme “will include a wide range of performing arts forms: theatre, circus, dance, opera and the streets”. The island director trusts that in the autumn “we’ll have perfect weather and the public will respond to our first-rate programme”.

Rivero highlighted that “80% of the programme includes events to be seen for the first time in the Canary Islands, including the premiere of five shows, while relying on the creativity, productivity and talent available on the islands to generate business too, so that more Canarian productions can take on international shows”.


The 2nd Festival de Tenerife opens in La Laguna on 4 October with a street show, Luz de farol, an in-house Festival production made up of dance pieces by local dancers around the city’s streetlamps. Luz de farol will then go on to Santa Cruz on 9 November with different pieces.

A highlight in the programme is the first performance in the Canaries of The Umbilical Brothers, one of the best current clown groups, who blend vocal and physical abilities with theatre, clown and comedy.  They are sure to amaze everyone with their improvisations at Teatro Guimerá on 19 October with Best of the worst of the best of The Umbilical Brothers.

As for theatre, one of the strong points in the programme is He nacido para verte sonreír, by Teatro de La Abadía on 2 and 3 November. This present-day melodrama is directed by Pablo Messiez and was written by Santiago Loza, a key figure in today’s playwriting in Latin America. The main characters are mother and son, performed by Isabel Ordaz and Fernando Delgado-Hierro.

With Lucia di Lammermoor of the Ópera de Tenerife 2018/2019 season, Tenerife tenor Celso Albelo and Russian soprano Irina Lungo will be on stage at Auditorio de Tenerife to play the part of Sir Edgardo and Lucia in this drama by Donizetti. The premiere of this coproduction of Ópera de Tenerife with Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and Fundación Ópera de Oviedo will take place on 20 November.

On 2 December the recently established company Lava is giving their first performance. This Auditorio de Tenerife resident group is made up of six dancers under the artistic direction of Daniel Abreu, the Tenerife-born Premio Nacional de Danza [National Dance Award] who won three prizes at the last Max Awards.

The festival closes at Teatro Guimerá on 7 and 8 December with Moby Dick, starring Josep María Pou. The Catalan actor will play Captain Ahab, one of the greatest literary characters who represents unreasonable human obsession, capable of overriding free will and removing good-nature from the soul.

Three of the companies coming to Tenerife for the Festival will bring to the island more than their productions. The Teatro Clásico de Sevilla company is giving an additional performance for school children of their piece Luces de bohemia. This play by Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, which led to the emergence of esperpento as a theatre genre, is about Max Estrella, the blind visionary poet whose misfortune goes with him till his last breath.

TeatroLab Madrid is also coming to Festival de Tenerife. The project is an open space for theatrical creation including the participation of all its members. Through specific training it puts into practice the View-point techniques, to answer intuitively to what is happening on the stage; and Suzuki, a strict theatrical discipline which draws on ballet, Japanese and Greek traditional theatre, martial arts and flamenco. There will be a masterclass for professionals about these techniques during the Festival. They are also staging an Audience Creation Lab for the general public. The final event is the show Cuatro corazones con freno y marcha atrás at Teatro Leal on 16 November.

Lastly, a section of the Festival will seek the collaboration of women who are over 70 years old for the dance workshop the Mariantònia Oliver company is bringing. It will end with the staging of Las muchas at Sala Castillo in Auditorio de Tenerife on 23 November.

The Cabildo, with the Tenerife 2030 strategy as a guideline, along with the town councils of Santa Cruz and La Laguna are committed to the festival with the aim to encourage the cultural programme in both cities as well as the exhibition of Canarian productions, where the talent of local creators will be displayed. The event offers an opportunity to commercialize and distribute their work.