Q&A with El Gran Teatro del Mundo

Julio Caballero, director of El Gran Teatro del Mundo tell us what to expect from their concert: ‘Bach & Telemann: a meeting with friends’ on 26 May

Julio Caballero

Tell us about how the ensemble was formed

It all started in Switzerland, where most of us studied and met. El Gran Teatro del Mundo was born as a creative laboratory in which we could develop artistically and put into practice ideas that were already present back then, and that today still constitute the basis of the Ensemble’s identity.

What can the audience expect from ‘Bach & Telemann: a meeting with friends’?

With two huge figures of Western music like Telemann and Bach, we can expect pure joy mixed with a feeling of amazement. One wonders how someone could compose something so close to perfection and, at the same time so expressive; we often still experience this feeling of wonder, though you would think we would be used to it by now!

Also, our programme mixes the sound of very different instruments in all kinds of combinations, creating a colourful array that underlines the complex musical conversation and the personality of each of us.

Do you have links to Cambridge?

Not directly, although we could say that our musical relationship with the city began in 2019, when we were awarded the Cambridge Early Music Prize. We had our debut in the city two years ago, right where we’ll perform this time, in Downing Place. We hope this will be the second of many more times!

It’s our 30th anniversary this year. If money and time were no object, how would you choose to celebrate with us?

Although we won’t be playing that repertoire this time, we specialise in French baroque and we see that in July there will be a performance of L’Europe Galante by André Campra. It’s a very festive piece and one of the first opéra-ballets, a genre combining all the art forms of the time to create a total show that celebrates the diversity of European peoples. We couldn’t think of a better way of joining your 30th anniversary.