Carmen Mateu, The Legacy of the Arts
is the exhibition paying tribute to the president of the
Castell de Peralada Festival
The exhibition will be open in the castle library the entire year.
Peralada, June 12, 2018. Today the exhibition entitled Carmen Mateu, The Legacy of the Arts opened in the castle library. An exhibition curated as a tribute to Carmen Mateu Quintana, patron of the arts of this country. Art promotor, collector, driving force for culture. A person deeply enamored with high culture, the classics, contemporary works, and the artistic spirit. And with the Empordà, Peralada, her home, where she showcased her great passions. The Peralada Castle Museum, the natural world of the Park, and the Castell de Peralada International Music Festival are part of her legacy that we all enjoy today.
Isabel Suqué Mateu, her daughter and the president of the Fundación Castillo de Peralada, explains that this Exhibition is a tribute to her, mainly in her facet as a patron of the arts. This year will be a very special edition of the Festival in memory of our mother. The tribute will be channeled into three areas: music, with the opening which will feature Verdi’s Requiem, one of the works that touched her the most deeply, and which will open the festival this year. The second will be the artistic tribute of the Exhibition itself, and the third will be in her memory, with the creation of her prize to benefit talented young artists which we have been working on for over a year: the “Carmen Mateu prize,” which was a surprise we had prepared for her this summer.
The Library of the Castle of Peralada will host an overview of the facet of the president of the Festival Castell Peralada as arts patron. Visitors will have the chance to discover her passion, involvement in, and contributions to the cultural and musical heritage. All of this will be visible through different themes related to the life of Carmen Mateu. The display starts with her childhood and education and continues with prizes, until reaching the Festival de Peralada. Portraits, works of art, sculptures, clothing, jewelry, and documents will also be shown, in addition to photographs dedicated by the artists which she particularly treasured, along with several items that belonged to her in order to capture her personality through small details. This exhibition will be housed in the library for one year.
Oriol Aguilà, the director of the Festival Castell de Peralada, stresses Carmen Mateu’s legacy, which has consolidated a benchmark international opera and dance festival in the Mediterranean region while also maintaining the spirit of family and approachability. It has four areas: voices, new productions, contemporary creation, and opportunities for young artists.
Likewise, Jaime Barrachina, the director of the Museum of the Castle of Peralada, explains that, The exhibition shows different stages in Carmen Mateu’s life through graphic and written documents and features a selection of artworks that she valued the most, many of which come from her former homes. The last works she acquired just a few weeks before her death are also displayed. The library was the place from which she promoted multiple cultural activities like conferences and lectures, which over the years led to what we call “Cultural Experiences.”
About Carmen Mateu
Carmen Mateu was born in Barcelona one February day. She was raised in a family with a history in business and industry. She studied art and decoration, which was her favorite hobby, and from a very young age she showed a fascination with culture and music. Although she was an avid traveler, she never ceased to praise the city where she lived, Barcelona.
She was the heir to a long family line that was passionate about collecting and art, whose most important treasure was the Castle of Peralada, a 14th-century castle, and its historical-artistic complex, the church, convent, and cloister that today house two museums displaying the family’s collections.
She married Artur Suqué and became the mother of one daughter and two sons, Isabel, Javier, and Miquel, who are still at the helm of the family business, Grup Peralada, maintaining the love and passion for music and culture. Carmen Mateu was the president of the Festival Castell de Peralada, which is celebrating its 32nd edition this year and in the past few decades has been a meeting point during the summer months and a space hosting a variety of celebrities. Her passion for opera and dance have meant that she has acted as the leading patron of lyric opera and the performing arts in this country for over 30 years, catapulting the Festival to become an international event that thousands of people anxiously await year after year to go and enjoy both its music and its environs.
In recent years, Carmen Mateu received several awards, such as the Gold Medal from the Cercle del Liceu and St. George’s Cross awarded by the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya; this upcoming February, she was slated to collect her Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts awarded by the Council of Ministers.