Under the sign of Reunion

The 55th Sintra Festival, under the sign of “Reunion”, gains a special symbolism and meaning.

Not only because of the context in which we live, which has made our certainties and what we took for granted waver, forcing us to confront, eye to eye, the immensity of our smallness and the gigantism of our vulnerabilities.

Not only because it also represents an invitation to an essential reconciliation with the fundamental cultural and artistic values and the importance of taking them in in-person, in a spontaneous way, without filters and with space for interaction, lived in communion with others and with our heritage.

This situation largely justifies the fact that the Sintra City Council, aware of the importance of cultural values as catalysts of social, economic and spiritual renewal, presents one of the most significant editions of the Festival, of great quality and artistic heterogeneity under the excellent and superior coordination of Gabriela Canavilhas.

The Sintra Festival opens its doors to a Reunion with Art and with those who make it. It is presented in special settings part of the magnificent heritage of Sintra and whose recognition by UNESCO we celebrate its 25th anniversary. A heritage whose worth lies in the space itself and in the way it is used, with the opportunity to be the stage for aesthetic dialogues with other artistic expressions inviting to renewed looks.

The title of this edition of the Sintra Festival 2021 - The Reunion - Music, Ballet and Heritage is a clear belief message in a new era, of believing in culture as a factor of human reconstruction and union between people. 

There is a Reunion that acquires a special relevance, represented by the return of ballet to Seteais 20 years later, that natural and unique stage where performances were held that were a true ex-libris to Sintra’s cultural vocation, but also for those who danced there, and for all who could enjoy these major expressions of Art.

This edition’s programme exalts, once again, Culture’s high standards and the generosity of those who bring them to us, as their true ambassadors. Now, it is our responsibility to contribute to its enjoyment as comprehensively as possible, which explains the recurrent decentralizations, taking the concerts to other Municipal geographies and seeking to ensure the involvement of different communities. At the same time, we invest in art education, with the programme ‘Opera in schools’ and ballet sessions for the young ones are a good testimony of this essential purpose to raise the cultural level and to train audiences.

To be many, to be more, to want and to be able to enjoy this Festival of ours.

Because life is made of Meetings and Reunions. And this is the time to reunite ourselves with our essence, with what is ours, with Music, Ballet and Heritage.

This is, above all, the time to find ourselves and each other again.

May the joy, emotion and creativity of this 55th edition of the Sintra Festival contribute to our reunion with normality.



Basílio Horta

Mayor of Sintra

Because Art celebrates life

Fernando Pessoa wrote: “... there is art, because life is not enough...”. This sentence, widely used by the Brazilian poet Ferreira Gullar, is even more meaningful now with all the restrictions on  conviviality and socialisation. Online art, music, creativity, humour and imagination have allowed millions of people to handle the 2019-2021 pandemic since one cannot survive without expressing one’s thoughts through aesthetic and symbolic constructions.

However, culture is nourished by the direct contact, the live fruition and the tactile sonority of people’s experiences. Therefore, and despite the unstable circumstances due to the world  health crisis, the fact that  the 2021 Sintra Festival is going to take place symbolises the value of culture as a way of integrating the community and as a statement of belonging to a cultural federation. It is also a powerful means of sharing and widening humanist values which are so important nowadays.

 The Sintra Festival will once again contribute to the cultural advancement of Portugal in comparison with European cultural patterns and its programme will deal with the value of life, the resistance of art and the communion between spirit and Sintra’s heritage, 25 years after being considered a UNESCO world heritage site.

Because music, dancing and performing arts restore communication among people.

Because art increases happiness.