Located in the region of Beira-Baixa, in the east of Portugal, Belgais is originally a “granja”, which is portuguese for a vast rural property. Blessed with a very rich flora and great natural beauty, this sparsely populated region offers a preserved place away from metropolis and major tourist routes.
Discovering this place and its ruins, Maria João Pires deliberately made the choice of isolation: a challenging and difficult choice, which seemed to be necessary for the full implementation of her musical and humanistic conceptions. We do go to Belgais with some expectations, but we find, generally, something else and especially much more than we were looking for. Restored, embellished, beautifully furnished, enlarged over the years, the vast house reveals the beauty of its traditional architecture, offering nowadays an ideal place for the realization of multiple artistic and cultural projects.
Belgais is a story: dozens of workshops, since the beginning of the 2000s, but also conferences, concerts, performances, and even an opera, “Dido and Aeneas”, produced in complete autonomy.
Belgais is a state of mind: gathering, listening, sharing and the desire to progress in joining the musical work as a reflection on oneself, sometimes unsettling, but necessary to the pursue of new paths.
Belgais is a laboratory: the rehearsal space of performances given elsewhere in the world and the deep interdisciplinary vision of the artistic relationship, mixing music, literature, therapeutic approaches and ecology.
Belgais is a future: a constantly moving stage, in permanent reinvention, ready to welcome musicians and visitors to offer moments of exceptional human and artistic density.