A reference in Lisbon in the world of rock/pop, fado and jazz, the Braço de Prata Factory opens its doors to contemporary erudite music tonight. “The American Sound” is the first of three programmes that the Metropolitana presents until June in that improbable Lisbon cultural centre.
The cultural wealth of North America is far from being exhausted in mass consumption. The American Sound, which on the evening of Saturday, the Metropolitan Soloists bring to the Braço de Prata Factory, is proof of the cultural diversity of the Americas.
The seven pieces that will be played on this programme demonstrate well this vitality, particularly well represented by composers such as Joseph Turrin, Richard Lane and John Stevens. In a spectrum that stretches from the virtuosic exuberance of Caprice to the melancholic mood of Autumn, there is much to explore in this repertoire that we rarely get the chance to hear. At the end, we can also revisit Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, a short piece originally composed for trumpet, English horn and string orchestra.
Carla Pereira’s oboe, Sérgio Charrinho and João Moreira’s trumpets and Savka Konjikusic’s piano take us on this journey of the Metropolitan Soloists through multicultural America, in a free entrance concert that starts at 9 p.m. This is the first of three concerts scheduled for this season at Fábrica Braço de Prata, which presents itself as “the most unlikely cultural centre in the city of Lisbon”, and which has existed since 2007. “It’s a happy coincidence,” acknowledges Nuno Nabais, the Fábrica’s founder and director since its creation.
“Metropolitana is celebrating 30 years of life, in the year that Fábrica reaches 15 years old. We know the difficulties that such fragile institutions as these have to overcome every day. Each new day, each new year is a triumph,” says the head of the space. “We are extremely proud to celebrate this partnership with Metropolitana in this year when we are half its age, as a way to show the debt we owe to such an inspiring example of independence and rigour”, he adds.
Nuno Nabais underlines that the Factory, which was born “in a half-abandoned building, a vestige of the administration place of the old war material factory”, “has been above all a reference in Jazz, in Fado and in pop/rock music”.
“This partnership seeks to open up the classical music front. We believe that new hybridisms can thus be produced and broaden the horizons of reception of contemporary music,” he says.
Tonight’s concert marks the start of the partnership. For May 20, a Percussion programme is scheduled, at 10 p.m., and for June 25, a concert with final-year students of ANSO, at 5 p.m.
“The management of the Metropolitana had the happy idea of starting these concerts at the Factory with three very different records in three concerts over the next few weeks. I hope that this will show the Fábrica’s public the richness and originality of contemporary erudite music”, believes the director of the venue.
The Fábrica Braço de Prata, located at Rua da Fábrica de Material de Guerra, number 1 – 1950-128 Lisbon, has 20 multipurpose rooms, which can be concert halls as well as art galleries, cinema halls, plastic arts workshops, second-hand clothes shops or bookshops.