SO-LA-NA bets on culture

This week we were able to enjoy a visit to the Regional Assembly, within the calendar that its president, Visitación Martínez, is organizing for associations and groups. During the visit, we learned about the daily work carried out by our regional deputies as well as the architectural and heritage value of the building. of the building. The president said that it is a source of pride for the organization to welcome associations such as the Brotherhood of Knights of Lepanto due to the quality of its members.

The visit was guided by Carmen Martínez, head of protocol for the office of the President of the Assembly, who explained to us, in great detail, the building, the work of architect Braquehais, a unique property of eclectic character that incorporates symbols alluding to the characteristics and history of our Region.

And what better way to end the visit to the regional Parliament than with a good gastronomic day looking at the bay of our city from the Villa y Condado de Santa Lucia, a fishing district where you can eat luxury fish at A babor, located in the seafood restaurant La Marina. There Paco Torres prepared a menu to surprise us and, without a doubt, he succeeded.

We started with a raf tomato prepared with roe and dried tuna drizzled with olive oil, followed by some white prawns from Huelva in salt. Exquisite. Next, in homage to Casa Balbino from Sanlúcar, they served us some shrimp cakes that were just as good. We continued with Andalusian-style squid with chickpea flour, which was highly praised.

We couldn’t miss the boiled prawns from Vinaroz and chilled with ice flakes. Superb. Some very well-broken eggs with crystal prawns gave way to a tasting of La Isla-style rice stew. We finished with a fried sea bass with its tender garlic, good oil and poor man’s potatoes. And all washed down with a Godello recommended by Paco and a three-component dessert with the corresponding Asian ingredients.

After the parliamentary and gastronomic enjoyment, I had a chance meeting in Cabo Palos with the Solana brothers, creators of a large business group with activities in various lines of business. Although to understand what the SO-LA-NA Group is, we have to go back a long way, starting with the patriarch of the family and the grandfather, Perfecto Solana and Aurelio Ayala. They were the ones who taught their children and grandchildren to value passion, creativity and tradition. They instilled in them business values ​​based on excellence and authenticity. All their activities have carried these seals of quality and commitment as a starting point from the beginning.

We cannot forget the eldest of the Solanas, Marcelino. He was a great man from Cartagena, a very great man, who created and founded many companies. He helped and made donations to countless charitable institutions as well as generating real estate, industrial, promotional and engineering activities. In 2011, the first world flamenco tour, Las Minas Flamenco Tour, was born under his guidance, which reached Japan, India and Brussels, among other places. Marce demonstrated that art and business can go hand in hand. That is how SO-LA-NA Flamenco was born.

For all these reasons, and as a great friend of mine, I am launching from here the proposal to create an award that bears his name to reward the work of those who collaborate and work for and with the most needy in society. That’s it. I hope it has an echo and becomes a reality next year.

At the Royal Theatre in Madrid

Now, with more than twelve years of experience, the group is distinguished by creating exclusive artistic concepts combining elegance and uniqueness in their productions. They have toured the five continents and enjoy unparalleled social and business recognition in this genre, both nationally and internationally.

Today, the group’s main asset within flamenco is the shows at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the leading performing arts institution in Spain, which hosts in a unique space, its Ballroom, the sixth season of the Flamenco Real cycle, a production of said theatre with the artistic collaboration of Solana.

Flamenco Real is also becoming Authentic Flamenco outside Spain. Its second international tour – which began in May 2023 in Brussels – will culminate at the end of this year after visiting more than fifty cities in fifteen countries where it has offered more than 500 shows. It has visited many major cities in the United States, India, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Dubai and also the main European capitals.

The group has also created an initiative with Madrid City Council, entitled ‘Against the heat, take refuge with culture in museums’. An activity that will bring flamenco to museums such as El Prado, Reina Sofía, Thyssen and several others, incorporating musical performances during visits.

Following the flamenco world, but since its beginnings, its objective has also been to promote the cultural wealth of Spain in all its forms. As a result, through Amigos de Solana, they are bringing to the world part of fashion, art and gastronomy, which are vital expressions of Spanish identity. This year the Solana brothers have big projects to carry out in Spain, from promoting the launch of new businesses, SO-LA-NA Fashion, Gastro and Art, to other shows such as the concert that the Gipsy Kings will offer at Trips on August 9 or the launch of a show with the Catalan production company La Fura dels Baus, which will surely be much talked about in the coming months.

Permanent headquarters

Within the framework of the local and global collaboration agreement they have with the Cante de las Minas Foundation, which was signed approximately a decade ago and has now been greatly strengthened thanks to Joaquín Zapata and Julio García, they will develop complementary activities during the Cante de las Minas International Festival in La Unión.

They will also launch the opening of the SO-LA-NA Club Flamenco Cartagena. It will be an exciting milestone that will reinforce the commitment to tradition and innovation of our Trimillenary. This club will be the official headquarters of the Festival in our city. Several top-level companies and professionals have joined the project.

It will be a private club for companies that will be able to enjoy the same artists that perform in Madrid at our Trimilenaria, together with the young local promises that have won awards at the Festival. It will be a hospitality like never before seen in our city to share, in addition to flamenco, the rest of the group’s activities and in the very heart of Cartagena. The Solana family hopes to continue celebrating life and sharing the cultural wealth of Spain with the world, as they are truly a source of inspiration and joy for clients, friends and future generations.

I end this first Sunday in July by wishing you a very good holiday and that you enjoy art, gastronomy, family and rest with this reflection that, if we apply it, is a guarantee of success: “Simplicity and humility are the greatest values ​​that make people admirable.” A great majority realize this when it is too late. Happy summer.

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