Rafael R. Villalobos: "The opera is much more like football than anything else"

Villalobos (Seville, 1987) is the Spanish director of scene for the opera with the greatest projection of the moment. Among its projects is imminent is the prem

Rafael R. Villalobos:

Villalobos (Seville, 1987) is the Spanish director of scene for the opera with the greatest projection of the moment. Among its projects is imminent is the premiere of Der Diktator (Krenek) at the Teatro de la Maestranza, within a month.

Is 31 years old, an age at which many people still have not seen an opera. When was your first time in a theater?I went for the first time with 10 years to see Turandot, and it was as if I had been given a slap in the face. I understood that what was happening there was nothing that I could see on tv or in the cinema. And that same day I knew that I was going to dedicate to mount operas.How so suddenly? Do with 10 years?What I was very clear, but obviously didn't know where to start. With 10 years, you see... I couldn't understand neither the most basic thing, for example, the difference between set design and stage management. But the opera had trapped me and was the path that I followed. Later I started to study music, languages, I just kept doing mock-ups because it was my hobby, everything that could help me. He studied theatre at the right time, I guess...First I started to study architecture, but at the age of 19 I left because I thought that it was better to study dramatic arts and I went to live to Madrid. When I finished I had a good theatrical training, but I still needed more training in philosophy and aesthetics of music and its relationship with other arts. I made the road by walking, in a way very organic. As it was what I loved the most, I even started to learn to read music and everything. Do you feel ever weird teenager, or misunderstood? This opera among adolescents is not common.Completely, was tucked in the closet, operísticamente talking about. I was experiencing terror that a classmate could look me in the section of classic albums from a store, I was ashamed. I considered myself a marginal total. In school I suffered a lot of bullying, and I thought that if I knew that I liked the opera, that would be the excuse for me to acosaran more. Like it was just a prejudice of mine. Today I do not seem so dramatic, but then... how He was caught once buying classic albums in The English Court?I don't know if I was caught, but I remember hiding once when it appeared someone well-known. By then, the section of classic albums was giant and was inside of a glass: the coming in the stained glass window I knew what that was, and if you were there, it was supposed, were also for the same. It was like entering a puticlub. Seen in perspective and as a 'millennial', that is, what your generation has lived very far away from the opera, or has been a surprise when you realize that he wasn't so alone?There are that contextualize things. For a long time, opera was the musical genre par excellence. Before the arrival of television, the opera was everywhere, on the radio mostly, and the people went to the theaters. But for multiple reasons, the people have been disengaged. My generation is very far removed from the world of opera, but in general of all the performing arts. In Spain we are living through an age of bronze of the playwright, or a second golden age, and there are very good theater, but these arts are displaced with respect to film and television to the letter. It is, therefore, a very limited, and that's why I think that there is a major effort from the public institutions for attempting to bring it closer to young people, because the opera is the european genre par excellence, multidisciplinary, and linking it to new audiences.What is lost a young man who has never been to the opera?You lose one of the shows more visceral that you can see in any part, in addition to the musical heritage and attend to something unique that forges strong links between the people. Today, we are interested in both the multidisciplinary... for this is the mother, the source of all. Anyone who has not been even in the opera what he is missing, in addition, it is an exercise in social. When I say social has nothing to do with the socialite and the be handsome and dress well, but go with people to share the evening, the opera house you moved and be able to comment after, that it is not something that happens when you watch a series from Netflix. Go to the opera is like going to a concert of Beyoncé, it's something you have to do, and who do not're missing out on a unique experience, visceral and transformative. How to encourage the interest of young people in the opera? Any ideas?There are two things that you must take into account: the price of the input will have to democratize, at least the average input, which is the one that can allow for monthly budget dedicated to the culture, a normal citizen. Today there are only the cheap tickets and the very expensive, and you would have a middle term. And then would have to decentralize opera as spectacle analog that is, you have to see in the theater, but it would also have to find a way to bring it to the outlying neighborhoods, or to facilitate people to approach to support public transport. Zoom in the opera is not only something that has to be done from the intellectual, but also from the urban. In addition, I believe that the theaters would have to work as a museum and act as mediators between the artwork and the public, and create spaces for debate where it can break down barriers intellectuals without any complexes. This is something that Gérard Mortier worked a lot when he was artistic director of the Teatro Real. There is a great barrier between the opera and the citizen, economic, intellectual, and prejudices on both sides, and the mediation would be necessary. A few weeks ago, before the opening of the new season, the Gran Teatre del Liceu offered a special function of 'I Puritani' in which you only sold tickets to under 35 years of age, and called the experience Liceu Under 35. Do you think it's a good initiative?I was about to go, but in the end I could not, and could only be in Barcelona for the official premiere. It seems to Me a very interesting initiative, because it is a smart way to attract an audience that would not normally go to the theatre. What's interesting here is to get young people to come, they are given facilities, because once you've seen your first opera, you usually hook up with. It is also interesting that the tickets are cheap, because a young man could never afford a seat in the orchestra, without a pricing policy appropriate this is not achieved. During a season there are many discounts for some functions, but as I said before, here it is important to the social aspect: you can come in a group, with your colleagues, and being able to comment on the move then. When you're with people there is less fear, the situation you intimacy least.People need to realize that going to the opera is a very normal thing. It seems a lot more football than anything else. In addition, in the tail of the teatro Real (royal Theatre for youth league a lot. There is a lot salseo when you're waiting to get in. What you have linked in the opera?Clear that I linked to. And more things that not tell. To see, the opera is very funny, and many things that surround it also. People should know how fun that is the Instagram of Anna Netrebko, for example, it is assumed that this is the great diva of our time and is actually a freak with a sense of humor that you will die. Please, follow it. Can you work on this if there is no passion and obsession?I started by passion, I was obsessed, but I have come up here by intuition. My family background had nothing to do with either culture or the arts. If I look back, I seems crazy to me raised that I wanted to be stage director, and a feat to have arrived. How is studying opera specifically? In dramatic art there is not a specialty as such, if I am not mistaken.When I finished my studies in Madrid I came to Barcelona to do a master's degree more focused on this topic, and above all I studied the figure of Peter Sellars. My master's paper focuses on it (I can prove that I did, by the way). I noticed especially in the first years of Sellars, when he worked on his early projects, self-initiated, in the circuit off of New York. For example, the first work which he rode was a Ring of the Nibelung... it for puppets! Now Sellars is in Madrid, has just opened the mounting of 'Only the Sound Remains', the last opera of the Finnish Kaija Saariaho.Peter Sellars has been my great regards for their relationship with the visual arts and how it has driven his career. Hence the idea of doing my first mount, a off lyric that we made in 2012 in the Moritz Factory in Barcelona, when do these things were not yet fashionable. What opera he chose?Dido and Aeneas, Purcell, in a montage inspired by Lana del Rey and her album Born to Die. Born to Die is like the syndrome of someone who has been born for drama. In the assembly they spoke of the limits of gender, of masculine and feminine, of what agénero... Only had a interpreter on the scene, that made all the papers. On the 30th of November, it will premiere in Seville, his new production, 'Der Diktator', an opera of the TWENTIETH century.Yes, it is an opera of Ernst Krenek, inspired by the figure of Mussolini [The double programme at the Teatro de la Maestranza is complete with The emperor of Atlantis of Víktor Ullmann, composed in the concentration camp of Terezin]. When we think of dictators over everything you think about Hitler, and if you think Hitler moved to art, you think of Chaplin, and that's why I'm interested in Der Diktator, because it is another approach. Also I am interested in the figure of Trump, who has been democratically elected, but with a large dose of spectacle. The installation revolves around the idea of a leader chosen democratically, which, in turn, is a showman that uses the media in their favor. It speaks of how the fascism is still latent.What upcoming projects you have in hands?In January, at the teatro Villamarta of Jerez,, after six years of work, I will make the Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck, with a montage that is very inspired by the film Love by Michael Haneke, who is one of my big references next to Sellars, García Lorca, Pinter, and Almodóvar. Haneke interests me because it delves into the nooks and crannies uncomfortable of human being. As a playwright, or stage director I am very interested in those dark places of the soul, and the discomfort that wakes up among the audience when you're horrified by certain things, also, can empathize. I was fascinated by the Love of Haneke because it is that type of discomfort, consists in accepting the old age, the decrepitude of your partner, and think that only one of the two can help each other in the final moment. For many seasons did a version of 'Dido and Aeneas' at the Royal Theatre designed for teens. Do you plan to continue that line?I have written a work with a composer, Nuria Núñez Hierro, who is also an opera for teens, very interesting because it speaks of the limits of territoriality and borders. Speaking of a boat and small that comes to a big boat, also speaks of immigration, and is at once inspired by The flying dutchman of Wagner, and The island, Adam Fisher. We shall premiere it at a festival of Valencia. I am very interested in adolescence as a target, and I believe in the opera as a social tool to talk to the individual and the society. Teenagers are a good audience because at that age they are forming their critical thinking and that involves a lot of responsibility. I am interested in sow the seed of debate, as does Sellars, and people ask questions. Do you work abroad or in Spain?Right now there is a tie. In Spain it costs to start a career in opera, at best in countries like Germany there are less and less afraid to take risks with young artists and are given more opportunities for a rookie to start. In Spain they ask for more guarantees: here the question is "can you teach Me what have you done?", while in Germany it is "What you want to do?". And to do something, someone must give you an opportunity. Every time I have more of a presence in Spain, I find it very comfortable, much appreciated by the artistic directors, and I am confident in developing projects here. The foreigner is interesting because it's an enriching experience, where things are done differently. What has been your latest project out?I did Hansel & Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck, in Budapest. I'm interested in politics, and I adapted the work to his ideas spinning about fascism, communism, and the work, and it made me very horny to make such a proposal in a country that Orban wants to control through the Ministry of Culture. Did you have problems to differ the power in Hungary in an environment so delicate to them?I was put in jail, but I received hundreds of messages by email and Facebook from audience that he was delighted with the proposal, and also of another that looked horrible that I did a reflection of social and political with a children's opera. But is that Hansel & Gretel is not a children's opera... What are your idols?Benjamin Britten would be one of the first. Peter Sellars, as I have already said. Maria Callas, Monteverdi, Richard Croft, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau... Fischer-Dieskau is very important, because any thing that she recorded the you have to take as a basis of comparison with everything that he sang before and has been sung after. Also Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannstahl. And Mariella Devia, a singer who is not liked by everyone, but I love it, even though it is so rare. Singing this Sunday in Madrid and I don't I lose. What do you like about it?It is not a great actress, but I'm excited that relentless pursuit of the truth that she moves to the score. Always strives for perfection, and connects me with the 10 year old boy I was. By a lot to teach the language and I put tattoos and piercings, I will always be a choirboy in seville, and I'm obsessed with serving a dish and have the room tidy. Devia me connects with the innermost self and I start to cry when I see what you are trying to do.Speaking of tattoos, you it has been tattooed to Benjamin Britten. It is not a tattoo as usual.The music of Britten is amazing, although it is not the music that came more naturally. It requires an intellectual base to be able to appreciate it in all its magnitude, but it is a brilliant composer. For example, the premiere of Gloriana for the coronation of Elizabeth II... instead of creating an opera about a queen, powerful in his heyday, he is interested in the part of decadent queen: that final speech, in which Elizabeth I was headed to Elizabeth II in the audience, and tells him to think about death, that is art history, there have to be some fucking huge to do something like that. My relationship with Britten is also personal, because in adolescence was not related to homosexual. There comes a moment in which I realize that I like men, and the relationship of Britten with Peter Pears, he becomes my first reference to love between men. Until that time, what you know of love in art was thanks to the poetry of Garcilaso... I Read his biography, correspondence... Britten and Pears became the dudes fags that I never had. Who would you like to work? Do you have a dream?I would love to do La Boheme with Mariella Devia in the role of Musetta, and work with Kaija Saariaho, and the premiere at the Salzburg festival. I don't know how it arrives there, someone I count. Another dream that I can not already fulfill is to be able to work with Harnoncourt. If I could, I would like to break the limits of theatre and take the opera outside, and do an installation in the Guggenheim in the line of the cycle, Cremaster, Matthew Barney. And what opera would never do?Tristan and Isolde, because although it is my favorite opera, is unrepresentable. It is not an opera, but a genre in itself. I've had this conversation for a long time with a colleague, Charlie Edwards. He thought as I, because it is also their favorite title. The was to do to Portugal, and in the end I gave the reason: not found solutions to bring it properly to the theatre. It is very hard for a director to collide against a wall when you mount your work favorite. However, a director does not know the play well until they don't make it, and that's why I always tell Charlie that I envy because he, trying and failing, has gotten to know Tristan and Isolde better than I do. Many directors have dared and he has not been bad at all. Are you sure you not attempt it?Imagine a production and make a production do not have anything to do with it. When you have in front the singers, the music, the theatre... everything changes. If there is a connection with the singers or the musical director, they can fail many things. And it gives me a lot of fear take me to a disappointment with my favorite opera. When Sellars rode his Tristan at the Teatro Real, with projections by Bill Viola video, I went to see it without having slept the night before and I found it a strange experience. But he made an approach to the Tristan that was a genre in itself, blending performance and visual art. I have a memory fuzzy, but then it seemed like the best option. We do this interview the day who has passed away, Montserrat Caballé. What does it represent to you?Before coming I went to leave a flower on the plaque on the house where he was born. At the beginning we talked about how to bring opera to young people and citizens. Montserrat Caballé represents, on the one hand, respect for the heritage operatic and artistic, which is super important, and it reached absolute excellence. On the other hand, is the tenacity and effort, but to me one thing that I love is that you also got the true democratization of the opera coming to a multitude of audiences, achieving a transfer from other music, such as his collaboration with Freddy Mercury, without losing the references without falling into the caricature. Caballé is the last great lady of the song by the purity of his technique. I wonder if the Spanish arrive to understand how important it has been for the history of music and art.

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Date Of Update: 02 November 2018, 19:01

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