Meet the 2019 Cante de las Minas winners
The 59th Festival del Cante de las Minas de La Unión was celebrated earlier this month, awarding four major prizes to contestants.
As well as gala performances and other events, the festival is the setting for the semifinals of its prestigious flamenco competition, which awards prizes across various categories.
There are four main prizes, the major singing prize being the Lámpara Minera, which was this year awarded to the singer from Barcelona, ‘El Mati’ Matías López Expósito, performing here.
The Bordón Minero prize for guitar was awarded to José Fermín Fernández. Watch his interpretation here.
The Desplante trophy awarded for flamenco dance was awarded to Olga Aznar García (known as Olga Llorente) in the female category, with no prize awarded in the male category. You can watch her dancing Tarantos in the competition here.
The Filón prize for instrumentalists went to Alejandro Solano playing the marimba.
Contestants compete in the lead-up to the festival for a place in the three public semifinals held during the festival itself. In addition to the competition, the festival hosts gala performances focusing on flamenco styles originating from the region (think Tarantos, Tarantas, Minera…)
The contest, which started in 1961, is held annually in the town of La Unión in Murcia. While it started as a singing competition, scope was later widened to include guitar in the 1980s and again in the 90s to incorporate dancing. The category for flamenco instrumentalists has been included since 2009.