August 3, 2021

Teresa Berganza, the escurialense

Teresa Berganza, the escurialense


It is normal that we all have some artists who, for one reason or another, we carry in our hearts. This column is centered today, go ahead, in one of the three lyric figures –Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo Y Teresa Berganza– to whom I owe special thanks for having made me love opera and for which I feel a special affection, even though the artist-critic relations are not always fluid and, in any case, the three are far above what that a critic can say a day. I met Teresa when I was still wearing shorts and having lunch, I with my parents, in a restaurant in San Lorenzo de El Escorial with four tables where there was no letter and the owner charged us what he wanted by writing an unintelligible account in the paper tablecloth. Teresa and I share many things, including our love for the town of San Lorenzo. That is why it gives me a very special joy that his theater-auditorium bears his name from this week. The efforts of the City Council paid off and the Community of Madrid accepted the suggestion. It is already the second with his name, because the first was Villaviciosa de Odón and, perhaps, soon will have a conservatory. The name of the theater-auditorium of San Lorenzo has history. The building was designed to be Alberto Ruiz Gallardón President of the Community of Madrid. He obeyed an ambitious project that has nothing to do with his current situation. Repsol was going to lead it through a foundation created for that purpose whose patrons would be in charge of convening. An equivalent to Glyndebourne. A couple of circumstances, one of them the change of presidency in the Community, sank that project to the point that the current Minister of Culture seems to have affirmed in private that he would give it to the first to pass. In fact, the Teatro Real has it in its head. When Esperanza Aguirre took possession, on November 21, 2003, as the new president of the Community declared in his speech that the theater that was built in San Lorenzo would bear the name of his predecessor. Ruiz Gallardón always opposed his name being included in public works. That was an outrage and a poisoned gift. It took months for the idea to not take place. The details of those negotiations are worth gold. But Teresa's name in the auditorium inspires a fear that I hope will fade away: that the building ends up closing or even with less content than now. What does not inspire any fear, but a total support is that the City of Madrid the name "Favorite daughter" before November 19, so that it coincides with the end of classes that our artist will teach in the Zarzuela. Teresa loves San Lorenzo, but was born in Madrid and is full-fledged chulapa, more chulapa than others who have the distinction and even more artist. Carmena, what are you waiting for?

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