The Almagro Festival, “natural reserve of the Golden Age”



Madrid, Jun 26 (EFE) .- The Almagro International Classical Theater Festival is “the natural reserve of the Golden Age”, a space of protection and freedom that provides “scenic biodiversity”, its director assures Efe in an interview, Ignacio García, convinced that we must bet on “new languages ​​and the presence of women.”

“Thanks to Almagro, Sor Juana Inés or Ana Caro de Mallén are known, not very well known authors,” explains Ignacio García, who emphasizes the importance of the cultural heritage of the Golden Age, “not only is Tirso, Lope or Calderón, also she is María de Zayas Alarcón, Sister Ana de la Trinidad and so many authors forgotten in time “.

Of course “La Vida es Sueño”, by Calderón de la Barca, and “El perro del Hortelano”, by Lope de Vega are “the best” of the Golden Age, “but they do not have to eliminate and reduce diversity”.

Almagro lets the creators risk, “that they bet on the new languages”, assures Ignacio García (Madrid, 1977) who recalls that the exponential growth of the festival has taken place among many social agents, one of them the Women’s Institute that ” he has fought for the presence of the women of the Golden Age. ”

The 44th edition, which opens on July 1, wants to “give a firm boost to Iberian nature” of the creations of the 16th and 17th centuries, says García, while recalling that the festival recovers its international character with Portugal as a country guest, “who has opted to show the best of Portuguese talent”.

He acknowledges that the most difficult thing about this edition “has been learning to resign, in addition to valuing the common good above desires, desires”, but he is happy to reconquer cultural life. “The public wants to regain a sense of cultural and spiritual life.”

In this new edition, with more days of exhibition, four weeks – last year there were only two due to the pandemic – 84 functions of 38 companies from eleven Spanish autonomies and Portugal have been scheduled.

The main course comes with Julieta Serrano, who will be presented in a ceremony on the opening day of the XXI Corral de Comedias Award of the Almagro Festival.

Later, “Antonio y Cleopatra”, by William Shakespeare, will be premiered in Vicente Molina Foix’s version, with which the National Classical Theater Company (CNTC) will inaugurate the festival under the direction of José Carlos Plaza and with Ana Belén and Lluís Homar as protagonists.

“The presence of women who speak of empowered women in the seventeenth century is fundamental,” adds García that “it is necessary to open the festival to other sensibilities.”

Among the objectives of García for this new edition is “to consolidate Almagro as a reference center of the Golden Age” both in quantity, quality and variety.

He also wants to expand the canon of the Golden Age, “what is studied in the school of Lope, Tirso and Calderón is a bit restrictive”, says García, who explains that if we think of them “they were three white men, Castilians and priests, What about those who weren’t like that, didn’t they have the right to be in the Golden Age? ”

“Where were the women, where were those with a different spiritual vision?” Garcia wonders, while answering: “The presence of women in the Golden Age is an important part of the backbone, it comes to stay.”

Among the premieres are “The Dead Queen”, a sound fiction about Inés de Castro and Blanca de Navarra directed by Benigno Moreno.

“Inés embodies feminist values ​​that revolutionize the Portuguese court, a woman with such great dignity that she would rather die than renounce values.”

CNTC will also bring Almagro “Castelvines y Monteses”, by Lope de Vega; “The constant prince”, by Calderón de la Barca; “The comedy of wonders”, by Ramón de la Cruz and Lluïsa Cunillé, and the children’s show “Lope on wheels”, by Lope de Vega, “inaugurated with the CNTC is a highlight”.

“The dog in the manger”, versioned and directed by Paco Mir, and “Life is a dream”, under the version and direction of Pablo Viar are other works that can be seen safely.

“We are going to maintain 50 percent capacity, and in the largest and most ventilated spaces, 66 percent will be occupied, but it will not reach 75, a limit set by the authorities,” explains García, who believes that the most important thing “is the serenity of the public and the safe culture “.

Since his arrival as director of the festival in 2018, García takes stock: “It has been a difficult time in which we have had to learn to resist; and resist in winning.”

He is proud that Almagro is a reference of the Golden Age in the world and that this festival is a benchmark “space for inclusive culture”, without barriers for people with disabilities.

Carmen Martin

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