Abdicating Queen goes fundraising for opera

Abdicating Queen goes fundraising for opera


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2014

Queen Sofia of Spain was out on the town in New York last night, launching a US foundation for the ever-troubled Liceu theatre of Barcelona.

It’s like to be one of her last official acts.




  • Micaela says:

    The abdication of King’s Spain and Maestro RFB retiring the same week are no coincidence, IMHO. Bravo, Norman, for spotting that immediately.

    These are 2 men of about the same age (King: born 1938, RFB: 1933) who’ve lived thru exactly the same turbulent chapters of Spanish history 1st hand. Both were key figures
    in Spain’s transition from a dictatorship under Franco to democracy in 1978.

    RFB was Music Director of Spain’s Orquesta Nacional in Madrid from 1962-1978. Franco died in 1975 and King Juan Carlos was named King the same year. The Spanish monarchy is also based in Madrid.

    The King’s wife, Queen Sofia, is a devoted classical music lover and a regular attendee of concerts of the Orquesta Nacional. She became a strong supporter and personal friend of the Maestro during his years in Madrid. Thus, one can see that there has been a historical
    connection between the Spanish royals and the Maestro.

    It makes sense, therefore that when the King, plagued with health issues, chose to abdicate, that most influential Spanish music director of his generation, who had lived thru the same monumental era politically in Spain and is also suffering from poor health, would lay down his baton just a few days later.