Miguel Borges Coelho
Piano recital
Alcobaça Monastery · D. Dinis Cloister
July 24, 2020
The measurements

Social distancing, masks, respiratory etiquette and disinfection of hands and surfaces. These are the rules for fighting the pandemic. In other words, these are the measures that matter to us and have mattered to us. One metre and a half, two metres. A little more here or a little more there. Sketches with more or less architectural mastery. Circulation routes, square areas, length times the width divided by so gives X number of people.

These were some of the calculations we made of life. We calculated and measured life.

And that's what the festival team perpetuated here did while preparing the first Cistermúsica show in "pandemic times": they stretched Ariadne's thread, deconstructed the problem, found possible solutions to set up the mise-en-scène and built the "bubble" so we could live the abnormality safely.

Tranquillity within the whirlwind. And the constantly changing modifications were built in the middle of the immutable built heritage that has been unchanged for centuries. The ancient in contrast with modernity and immateriality set against the necessary fluidity. And certainty within doubt. So the motto for a "Festival in Pandemic Times" has been set.

Watch a clip of the show

Miguel Borges Coelho, who is one of today's most outstanding Portuguese pianists, celebrated Beethoven's great Classical tradition in the year that marked the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Sonata Op. 2, n.º 3
Six Bagatelles Op. 126
Sonata Op. 110

“…we analysed all the rules and verified the possibility of adapting the programme so that the festival could become a reality, giving preference, namely, to national artists or artists residing in national territory. Having evaluated the risks and benefits, aware of the inherent difficulties but also that it was important to dynamise the cultural activity and that this would bring a positive impact both for the social environment and for those involved (artists and technical teams, who were mostly in labour difficulties), we took on the effort of adjustment and got to work.”

Susana Martins
Alcobaça Music Festival Production Manager

“It was a winning bet! Despite all the challenges that this decision brought us, the ability to adjust the Cistermúsica operations in an adverse environment brought us many added values and promoted new learning that I believe will benefit us in future editions of the festival, even without a pandemic.”

Susana Martins
Alcobaça Music Festival Production Manager