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Perrault and Molière go to the opera



PalmaTeatro Real.- The Real opened the new season with La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, with the theater fully dedicated and dedicated to Teresa Berganza. The librettist Jacopo Ferreti and the Pesaro composer were not very original in choosing the plot, but perhaps they thought with good judgment that the operas that had emerged from the story of Cinderella did not weigh them down and had to do them well one. However, they pampered themselves a little in Nicolas Isouard’s Le Cendrillon and also in Agatina or the award-winning virtue of Stefano Pavesi in order to be able to complete his last puppet opera. The story is what it is, with over three hundred versions, and it doesn’t matter to replace the famous crystal shoe with a bracelet. It meant not having to show the protagonists’ legs when trying on shoes. Find out if it’s true or not. There’s also no such thing as a magical gourd that becomes a swimmer, or the fairy godmother or the wonderful tree, but it’s worth noting that the cleaning cart that powers the protagonist while scrubbing the stage of the real is a good tool for shifting. An ingenious and funny find by Stefan Herheim, but not so much as the sensational effect with which the function ends and which is best not to be revealed. With this resolution, he turns the story around and makes us forget about the many unnecessary ingredients that crop up throughout the event. From the excess of choreographic moves that aren’t part of the cast’s qualities to the repetitions that let us know he’s reading a story. Likewise, it must be said that there are many others with great grace, such as the arrival of the prince in search of his princess; the ubiquity of Rossini, writing or directing …

No less true that there is no musical reason not to enjoy the show from head to toe. At most the heart, that between the masks and too much back and forth, clad in ‘Rossinis’, maybe one could say that it was not one of his best achievements and not because of him. On the other hand, the orchestra, led by Riccardo Frizza, bordered on excellence. A nuanced hustle and bustle in the service of the singers, but without losing strength, grace or personality. The bel canto, already in its last sighs, lost neither color nor freshness thanks to the vocal cucaveles required by the composition. Karine Deshayes, common protagonist, went from less to more like everything else, with a meticulous and elegant mood, without doing more acrobatics than necessary and only a small difficulty at the end of his record. The same goes for tenor Dmitriy Korchak, better singer than actor, measured in general, carefully and precisely throughout the performance, and excellent in the treble. Among the secondary ones, the multidisciplinary work of Roberto Tagliavini should be emphasized as well as the funny presence of Florian Sempey in the newspaper of the servant and supposed prince. Renato Girolami, better an actor than a singer, is funny, which is not small, like Don Magnifico or Rossini. The protagonist’s sisters, played by Carol García and Rocío Pérez, compete in a role in which it is easy to fall into cheap plays that sometimes pull your nose.

Secondary school.- One hundred and seventy-five years deserve a great festival too. Those who encounter the Liceu and begin the emblematic season with Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, a composer of contrasts. Hans con Bülow called him Richard III. and we stayed behind without knowing who it was. The first, Wagner, had some influences on Strauss that had nothing to do with famous parentage. Breaking away from this authority was one of the few peaks that it certainly did not reach with the desired roundness, as the presence of the three nymphs of Ariadne on Naxos, direct heirs of the Rhine, proves. His omnitoneal temperament was always his yardstick. I didn’t want to give up anything. It was the past and future of music at the same time, avant-garde and tradition at the same time. He did not want to condition anything, nor was it conventional – Schoenberg said that only Strauss was a revolutionary – perhaps that is why he was persuaded by his chief brettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal to bring an adaptation of the comedy on stage to Molière The Bourgeois Gentleman, combined with the Tragedy of Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus and saved by Baccus. A difficult watermark to execute on all levels. Probably the only thing that makes him no longer present on stage.

Katie Mitchell was responsible for this translation and the truth is she hasn’t had the right success on this twisted plot alchemy to work with the fluidity and balance that the composer finds so easily when it comes to effectively creating antagonistic harmonies of universes to oppose. The prologue works with a José Antonio López as Master of Music at his usual level, sonorous, measured and appropriate, both in terms of the singing part and the portrait of the character. At the same time he shone in the role of the composer Samantha Hankey, although it does him no favor, especially in the story, to have to conduct (figuratively) the orchestra that accompanies the second part of the story. A second part, that of Ariadna and Baccus, played by Miina-Lisa Värelä, an unattainable, delicate and powerful voice, and Nikolai Schukoff and Elena Sancho Pereg, all color and elegance, as Zerbinetta, which does not leave you indifferent, because if that Drama hangs on all sides, the music had two extraordinary voices and as evidence there is a realm of the first, anthological, while in the performance of GrossmätiguePrinzessin he did not have the last mezzo. Anyone who didn’t have ups and downs was Josep Pons, with a small orchestra and complex orchestration, following the composer’s instructions, so he raised the trench so that it sounded with all the nuances and exuberance of the score.

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How Catalan Artists Explain Catalanism in the 21st Century




When Pau Casals gave his famous speech to the United Nations 50 years ago, he spoke about what it was like for him to be a Catalan and highlighted two things: Democracy – he recalled that Catalonia had the first democratic parliament long before England had – and pacifism. A lot has happened from October 24, 1971 until today. Including the end of the dictatorship or the turbulent political events of the past four years. Catalan culture, or what it means to be Catalan, can be very different for everyone. How is it lived or explained to the world? Also in 2021 there will be Catalan artists who will travel around the world and who will explain their origins either through their works or when they have to speak in front of an audience. And sometimes it’s not that easy.

A great ignorance of Catalan

Joan Fontcuberta is a creator, photographer and teacher. Also essayist: received the National essay award for Pandora’s Box. The photo after the photo (Ed. Gustavo Gili, 2010). He has traveled the world, teaches and shows his photographs. It often deals with controversial and controversial issues such as: fake news or the work currently on view below Can Framis in which he thinks about corruption and gimmicks. Explica que hi ha un gran desconeixement: “Fa poc va venir una noia mexicana que, com passa sovint, no tenia ni idea de la realitat catalana i es va sorprendre que parléssim un idioma que no fos el castellà. Amb tot va. Candor questions : “Were you taught Catalan from a young age?“Unfortunately, in many cases it is not so much a problem of ignorance about Catalonia, but of ignorance in general, as if knowledge, culture and curiosity are being eroded,” he explains. “The same thing happens to me when it comes to questions. I have to travel a lot and in general I notice a lot of ignorance about Catalonia and its linguistic, cultural and political situation. My language. That means you always have to do a lot of pedagogy. ”

Why do you write in Catalan?

To the writer Maria Barbal, who received this year one of the most prestigious prizes in Catalan literature, the Premi d’Honor, exactly the same thing happens to him. When translated Rubble stone, of which more than 300,000 copies were sold in twelve languages ​​- 100,000 of them in German – Barbal traveled a lot and gave many lectures, especially in Germany. “Vaig haver d’explicar d’on venia perquè em preguntaven com és que escrivia en català. Costava molt que duckuessin que venia d’Espanya però escrivia en una llengua que no era el castellà not from the book,” remembers Barbal.

Conveying where we come from doesn’t just depend on rhetoric, however. “It’s impossible not to convey who you are. My culture is all I have,” he says Alex Ollé, one of the directors of La Fura dels Baus and whom he brought with him last summer Bohemian at high school. “It has enabled us to be part of the most innovative international theater with the La Fura dels Baus shows, which has enabled us to surprise the world with the opening of the Barcelona Olympics and which now enables me to meet everyone” Opera houses around the world. From an early age I felt like an ambassador for my country and my culture everywhere. In many ways, I’ve helped make our cultural reality visible, “he says.

Culture is not just a look into the past

The description of what Catalan culture is is complex: “For me it is what I have lived at home, in the family, the cultural tradition of the country, but also the commitment to my hometown Barcelona Cosmopolitan city that is open to the cultures of the world and innovation If I forget the family tradition, for me the Catalan culture is above all the will and pride of universal culture, humanism, democracy. Pau Casals at the United Nations during the Franco regime “. Ollé believes that above all we have to look ahead and not just live on the past:” You have to remember that culture cannot be conjugated exclusively in the past. “Art, that is the dynamic part of the culture in which I am employed all my professional life, it is almost by definition an overcoming of the past, an attempt to change the present and to look into the future”.

Chef Ferran Adrià shares the opinion that culture is not just a past, but a transforming tool: “Although I devote myself to avant-garde cuisine, my cooking feelings are linked to Catalonia; this is where I was born, I learned and I do did my job and I try to make this as universal as possible. “

Culture as a beginning, as part of who we are but not as an end point, is also defended by one of the most international Catalan artists with works that are spread around the world, Jaume Plensa. The artist, who has received all of the country’s major artistic awards – including the Pau Casals Prize – was inaugurated this week monumental head in New Jersey, a 300-ton plant in Michigan and an exhibition in New York: “I’ve defended the Mediterranean many times, I think we are very deeply rooted there,” he explains. “My mother spoke Catalan to me when I was born. something that is a part of me, my origins are immovable, but I think it’s interesting to use origins as a starting point and not as quality. “Origins that, according to Plensa, made it possible for him, with people from all over the world to get into conversation and “exchange information”.

Photojournalist Samuel Aranda is someone who has spoken a lot to journalists from all over the world. With his camera always on, he traveled to the most conflicting places in the world to open our eyes to very different realities. Awarded the World Press Photo 2012, he is regularly featured in renowned international headlines such as the New York Times. Now he is in Greece and is doing a project on torture victims: “I grew up in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, I am the son of immigrants from Cordova. Instead of listening to Pau Casals, they put Los Chichos at home,” he says. He discovered Pau Casals in his youth and in the Congolese jungle, where he met the journalist of the New York Times Adam Nossiter, to cover the Ebola virus outbreak. “The first thing Adam did was make coffee and that Song of the birds in full swing and so on for three months, ”he explains.

Welcoming and “revolutionary” Catalonia

Since the events of October 2017, Aranda has felt more identified with independence, but his origins primarily serve to create empathy. Before picking up the phone to answer ARA’s questions, he had spoken to a boy from the Congo who had been tortured and, to make him feel more comfortable, he had told him about Barcelona and Catalonia. “When I talk about where I come from, I mainly mean a place of reception, because for me Catalonia is above all that. It is very important that initiatives like Open Arms come from here,” he says. Aranda is particularly proud of the “revolutionary” spirit of the Catalans: “I am very proud to belong to a country where there are practically no right-wing extremists and to be the only place in the world where a group is against Cerberus, an American investment group that shook many lives, ”says Aranda.

Casals continues to be the inspiration for the great Catalan musicians of today in many ways. Somehow he still lives from the music. He explains it Jordi Savall, one of the others awarded the Pau Casals Prize: “The example of Pau Casals’ musical mastery and the coherence of his socio-political position have inspired many of us,” he explains. Savall remembers seeing him rehearse and play in Prades in 1956, when the Catalan musician was already 80 years old. “It was an unforgettable and deeply inspiring experience for me,” he explains. “He made the discovery in 1890 at the age of 14 when he was 6 Suites for cello alone by JS Bach and his presentation in front of the world (1900) make him one of the first great interpreters after 10 years of study (after Mendelssohn, who the Passion according to Matthew von Bach in 1829) to regain forgotten works of the Baroque “.

Pau Casals is also an example for Fontcuberta, who believes that much more should be done to bring Catalan culture into the world: “The example of Casals as an ambassador for Catalan culture is a reference field and can have an international impact contribute their grain of sand: “The spread of Catalonia happens spontaneously through civil society. Not enough or good enough is done by public authorities,” he says.

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“We have expropriated the resources of the countries of the south, but we are annoyed that they are emigrating”




PalmaBelén Matesanz is a nurse and regional coordinator for the NGO Doctors of the World, which in the Balearic Islands works primarily with the most vulnerable groups such as migration and prostitution. Matesanz highlights the impact of the pandemic on these populations and warns that public administration must continue to work to end these inequalities, since only “in an ideal world” could the third sector disappear.

What impact has the humanitarian aid suffered from the pandemic?

– I think the pandemic has heavily focused humanitarian aid on the Covid problem. But the big battle is to keep the focus on vaccination. In Spain we reach a large number of vaccinated populations, while in some southern and impoverished countries the vaccination has not yet arrived. We’re talking about giving third doses if they’re still trying to give the first. We live in a global world where it doesn’t make sense that we don’t all try to reach this minimum.

And how has it specifically affected doctors in the world?

– We received it with an increase in the group of people at risk. This population group is much more severely affected than other groups because they have no income or access to social services or basic basic services. This has made those who already were more vulnerable.

Which area of ​​your offering did you see the most angry?

– One pot for everything. But homeless people in particular have gone through a very difficult process with the pandemic. When you don’t have a home, it is very difficult to adhere to safety, hygiene, or even food regulations. The vulnerability increased sharply in 2020 and 2021. We had to set up a board in Ibiza, help on both islands or handle social assistance. And now we are gradually normalizing the fact that we are receiving help from standardized social services. We try to focus on registration and the health card in order to have access to public administration.

Because one of the problems of the people you care for is that they are not registered.

– Yes sir. And they also have a major barrier, namely that all processes are digitized, they run via telephone and cell phone. And not everyone has access to it, let alone the internet. This makes it difficult to access resources.

This also applies to people who travel to the islands by boat. How should this situation be dealt with?

– The protocol will be clear once you arrive in the Balearic Islands, which are responsible for the Spanish government delegation and the Red Cross. But we think it is important that there are aftercare mechanisms for people who do not want to flee to asylum or a political refugee situation. As for the conditions under which they are looked after, we did not have the capacity in the summer and that is why we saw migrants who spent the night in the parking lots of the National Police. It should be noted that the migration will not stop. We still do not provide the agreed funds for development cooperation projects. We have expropriated the resources of the countries of the south, but we are annoyed that they then emigrate. We need to be aware that humanity is migrating, we all have.

However, there is talk of migration in the sense of “invasion”.

– The latest numbers for migrant arrivals by boat this year are around 2,000 people. That’s not even the equivalent of four planes arriving loaded with tourists every morning. Talking about invasion is outrageous. We receive many more passengers by plane than those who came by ship. And the people who come this way are because they see no alternative to survival and throw themselves into the sea. They are people who are desperate in their home situation and have no life expectancy. The focus must be on creating development projects to strengthen the capacities of the southern countries and that there is no need to migrate because they have managed to reach the same level that they could be here. After all, most of the resources come from the south.

With the hiatus in the return of migrants, almost all of the weight has fallen on humanitarian aid, particularly the Red Cross. How do you rate it?

– The public administration is responsible for looking after vulnerable groups. In an ideal world, the third sector could disappear so that the state can meet all needs. But we are aware that this is very difficult. It must be remembered that the state has an obligation to provide all means so that people can lead a decent life. Public administration is doing something, but it must continue this line of welfare to support the most vulnerable to bridge the gap of inequality between rich and poor.

In fact, the latest EAPN report shows that poverty has generally increased in the Balearic Islands.

– The most affected groups were those who suffered from the ERTO (Temporary Employment Regulation File), that is, people with precarious jobs on fixed-term contracts, who are normally vulnerable groups with low savings capacity. Every wage cut has resulted in the fact that you cannot pay rent, water or the internet. Now the families at risk of marginalization from the pandemic have become vulnerable at this level.

And the rising light didn’t help.

– It has been a brutal increase, meaning lower income families have had to adjust and cut those expenses sharply. But that light also includes computers: we still have to learn and do activities that are done on the Internet. And the rise made it difficult for the families, because the first thing they do is delete these theoretical luxury goods such as telephones, internet or electricity, which are actually essential for life.

What do you think was the tourist season for workers from a social point of view?

– It was a better season compared to last year. But I think we have to continue this economic model change. We cannot live from tourism alone, as this naturally means a greater vulnerability of the population. We need to have the ability to transform and innovate and have the ability to have jobs all year round rather than just certain times of the year. Mass tourism only exists for three months and that does not give the 12 months of the year to live.

One of the most vulnerable and affected groups is the prostitution that you are dealing with. How did the pandemic go?

– People in a situation of prostitution apparently found themselves in a very precarious situation in their initial detention as they do not have access to resources, social networks or at home as they live in the same places where they practice prostitution.

What situation are you in now?

– You are still in a precarious situation. In a process that already took place in decentralization: They work in apartments instead of going to clubs, and that makes their work more hidden. The pandemic has greatly exacerbated this, making it more difficult to reach women, especially those who are in a more vulnerable situation, to do home services that will take them to where the power is. This increases the vulnerability and risks. Without other options than prostitution. Women don’t work because they want to: immigrants’ law makes it difficult for immigrants to find work, and without a job it is difficult for them to find alternatives.

How do you rate the recent statements by the PSOE on the abolition of prostitution?

– Obviously, Doctors of the World has positioned itself very clearly in favor of abolition, but to achieve this a global view is required, very large. And we have to start offering alternatives and creating socio-professional and educational projects that take into account the mental health of these women: 64% have symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The law on aliens needs to be changed to make it easier for them to gain access to and complete citizenship, as well as to carry out processes of integration into the world of work, and powers need to be at the fore. There is no supply without demand. We are concerned that they continued to complain during the pandemic. We must continue to do social work with young adults to change this view of prostitution.

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“The age of migration has only just begun”




PalmaJorge Dezcallar’s first novel (Palma, 1945), Accidental Spy (The Sphere of Books), is set in Syria and the war that destroyed the country. The diplomat confesses, who wrote a fictional story about realities that he has learned from his experience as Director of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Spanish Ambassador to Morocco, before the Holy See and in the United States, and above all for eight years as Director General for Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Did you write Accidental Spy to focus on endless conflicts, the one in Syria and the Middle East, with all the interests converging there?

– What I did is make up a completely fictional story of CNI spies, but on this very real panorama of the confrontation between Israel and Iran in the country of Syria. The war continues, there are 6 million expatriates, 6 million internally displaced people, half a million dead. It is terrible. I want to help explain the background of what is happening in Syria, why they are fighting, why this is not over yet, what are the values ​​and beliefs of the people as they see us. And I want to help people understand why so many people are willing to plant a bomb on a mosque and sacrifice themselves.

It puts you in an area that is an intersection of foreign and domestic interests in every country. How do you get out of there

– Syria is a destroyed country. It has lost 90% of GDP, there is nothing to leave. It is estimated that if the reconstruction of Iraq were $ 180 billion, that of Syria will exceed $ 250 billion, a barbarism. Therefore, after the withdrawal of the Americans, there are now countries that want to be part of it, especially the Russians, who are very interested in not making peace against their interests and in participating in reconstruction. In Syria, also because of the internal division, there are more than enough reasons to be a saucepan in which the Americans (less and less), the Russians, the Iranians, the Turks, everyone, stick their spoons. If they weren’t there, the Syrians would likely be exhausted. There would be no more war.

I insist: what do you think can be done?

– An arms embargo should be imposed on all of Syria and it is not being done. The presence of foreign troops is to be prevented. Leaving the Syrians alone and helping them achieve peace is possible and will not be done. There have been attempts to meet in Geneva, in Alma-Ata, some sponsored by the Americans, others by the UN, others by the Russians, but nothing is achieved.

In the novel, the US has little strength in Syria. You put the spoon in the area less and less, deis.

– If I left Americans in the background, it’s because they are there. They wanted to withdraw from the Middle East because they had already done four things that they wanted: guarantee oil in affordable quantities and prices – they are now self-sufficient with Shell; to prevent the entry of the Soviets – they no longer exist and the Russians do not have the same global influence; guarantee the security of Israel – with the 39 billion Obama gave them for ten years, they will defend themselves, and even more so with the Abrahamic Accords; and they wanted to insure themselves against terrorism – there have been no Islamist attacks on American territory since 2014. They had to leave Afghanistan, the American people demanded, but the execution was catastrophic.

What are the consequences of this withdrawal?

– It was done so badly that it will have ramifications for both Joe Biden’s presidency and the image of Americans. Undoubtedly also for the image of democracy. Democracy in the world is on the decline. There are fewer and fewer countries that are completely democratic and authoritarian.

It is often said that the world changed after September 11th 20 years ago. You had started as director of the CSID (later CNI) two months earlier. In your opinion, what is the most important thing that has changed on the international stage with the attacks on that day?

– In 2001 the USA was the only hegemonic power in the world. Of the three great ideologies of the twentieth century, fascism was destroyed in 1945, communism disappeared in 1991 because of its economic inefficiency, and liberalism remained. Our ideology proved to be prevalent everywhere. We awoke from this dream abruptly with the attacks of September 11th. Americans found they were vulnerable, and so did the world.

Talk about the weight of the USA. What is europe

– Here Europe has a drama: what happens in the Middle East affects Europe but cannot influence it except in economic terms. Refugees, terrorism, instability are coming to us from the Middle East, and there is nothing we can do about it. We have no capacity because we do not have a common foreign or defense policy, we have no capacity for military projection outside our borders and they do not take us seriously. As has always been said, we are the economic giant and the political dwarf.

Does the power of Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban show this weight loss for Western forces in the region?

– What it shows is the impossibility of exporting Western models to societies that are not ready to take them up. They are societies with traditions that are alien to our values. It would be impossible now to pass the Universal Declaration of Human Rights unanimously, as it did in 1948. Now there would be no unanimity. The world is more plural and therefore more complex. If you talk to a Chinese person, he will say, “And why is democracy above authority?” “Confucius doesn’t say that.” And if you talk to an Arab … I did it with the rector of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most important in the Arab world, and he told me, “Why should religion be and should be restricted to private space not in public space? ”You ask what gender equality means.” The Koran says that women inherit half as much as men. “” Declaration of human rights? And our way of understanding them? “

What do you mean that nothing should be done about it?

– I mean, the West can no longer impose the rules of the game on the world. We got used to enforcing our values ​​and now they are no longer imposed, other countries do not accept them. This is happening in Afghanistan: we want to bring a democracy – a centralized and capable country – into a feudal world of warlords and tribes. I am appalled by what is happening to women in Afghanistan, but if Afghan soldiers do not defend their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters, why should Americans go there to defend them?

I don’t know what to say.

– I mean, the world is more complex, more diverse, richer, but much more complicated. We may wonder how far tolerance towards those who think differently should go. If you take gender equality, how far should we go? When I say that I want to impose my beliefs and values ​​on one of these countries, they are telling me that we are a racist, a white racist. We will have to come to negotiations, because China is now also offering an alternative model of government to what has ruled the world since 1945, namely liberalism, democracy and a market economy. The Chinese offer an authoritarian model of state capitalism. We will have to come to an agreement.

Can we talk about education at this point?

– We think we should educate them about this, and they should educate us too. For example, you might ask: Why on earth should the individual not be sacrificed for the group? Or why doesn’t everyone think that the Confucian principle of meritocracy and authority should dominate over that of free choice? In the past, Europeans have exploited all of Africa and all of the Middle East, almost all of the world. We carry our values ​​there, and when they no longer accept them, it’s because we don’t command. Queen Victoria’s England had 70% of the world’s GDP and was able to prevail. Now we cannot impose ourselves. 65% of world GDP is in Indo-Pacific Asia. We no longer have the capacity to implement our ideas. And if you try to enforce them in favor of human rights, they will tell you that you are a disgusting imperialist.

You who know Africa well, hundreds of people arrived in boats in the Balearic Islands last weekend. How do you analyze it?

– It’s terrible, but the reality is that we are experiencing a demographic revolution. At the time of Christ there were 200 million people in the world; In 1800, at the time of Napoleon, there were 1 billion. It had multiplied fivefold in 1,800 years. In 1945 it was 2.5 billion. This year we are 7.6 billion. The people we are now 75 have tripled the world’s population. It will grow by another 2 billion by 2050; then it looks like stabilization is about to begin. And of those 2 billion, 1.3 billion will be in Africa. I mean, the age of migration has only just begun because Africa will not be able to provide food and work for 1.3 billion more people. No matter how much it develops, it is very difficult to create jobs for 1.3 billion more people in 30 years.

I am pessimistic.

– There is another problem: global warming will particularly affect parts of Africa and produce green migrants. They are relatively few now, but will increase as living conditions there become more complicated. We are pessimistic: Africa is a continent with many possibilities, with high development potential, but population growth cannot be sustained, at least in the short term.

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