Baroque music and visual experiments for the end of humanity


The imperial soldier of Pizarro, who has the same face as a miner, is looking for Coltan today instead of searching for gold. Men who swarm like extra popcorn in front of a bloody skull. 16th century sacred music in front of texts created by artificial intelligence. The Teatro de la Abadía in Madrid has created a real stage experiment. One of the fundamental groups of the Spanish modern scene, the Señor Serrano Group, combines Baroque music and its sounds with viola and gamba, theorbo, organ or muto, and the curve corneto. Choral polyphony, introitus liturgies, and chants in front of one of the most innovative and technologically advanced stage languages ​​on the theater stage.

On the one hand, the music of the 17th-century Benedictine monk, Joan Sererol, who revived the Spanish Renaissance, opened it to the first influences of the Baroque. In particular, a mass of two polychloric styles: Combat mass, A musical composition in honor of Philip IV – King of the Planet – after the restoration of Naples from the Republican rebels; And Pro defective mass That the monk wrote three years later, in 1651, and in which he responded to the plague that had ravaged the city of Barcelona in those years. St. Mesa, another pseudo-profane, instrumentally performed by the ensemble Nereidas and vocally by the Teatro Real team. The musical direction is signed by Javier Ulysses Milan.

On the other hand, the Señor Serrano Group, which creates a visual poem on stage that is projected on a ten-meter-long screen. “We have deleted the entire religious part of the service and replaced it with a stage liturgy. This is where our behavior comes in, our cameras, our computers, our Performers, And all the objects and equipment we need to make a movie in real time. Basically, we offer travel. This music manages to put you in a special position, it elevates you, we were looking for the same, ”Alex Serrano explained at the presentation of the project, which took place at Teatro Real.

The dramaturgy offered by Agrupación Señor Serrano contains three beards. The first offers a temporary transfer to the 16th century, exactly on the Eldorado persecution voyage made by Francisco Pizarro via the Amazon. The second tip is the search for the soul in the Renaissance, especially in Baroque scholasticism, which proves after the darkness of the Middle Ages that the inner creature of our body is also a divine creature that awakens the search for the soul in the world. The human body by anatomical study. “They are looking for where the soul is, they are looking for absence, they are looking for something that is missing,” explains Pau Palacios, who co-wrote the show with stage director and playwright Alexis Serrano. “They are drilling in search of a very precious part of the earth’s body: the coltan, which is the material that revives the souls we carry in our pockets today,” explains Serrano, referring to this essential material for cell phones.

Dramaturgy points to the essential question: What will a man have left after his disappearance? An example of this is the editing moment, in which a text created by the new GPT-3 artificial intelligence model of OpenAI, one of the world’s leading companies in text generation, is projected. The story describes the walk between man and artificial intelligence and reads what man is and what will come to him when he no longer exists. Wonderful text, echo Prussians, Which generates real inconvenience at the same time as the attraction to the uncertain future.

The bet is risky. One of the people in charge of this crossroads is Joan Matabo, the artistic director of Teatro Real since 2013, who has been collaborating with other spaces in the capital for more than five years to spread the opera beyond her theater. Thus, it became possible, among other things, the music of Juan Jose Colomer with the dramaturgy of Albert Boadella, the ability of the Galician Martha Pazos in dialogue with Raquel Garcia Thomas’s opera or the work of George Benjamin on stage. Marco Morau’s baton (from the company La Veronal). “This collaboration responds to the desire to stimulate contemporary operatic creativity and restore the Spanish musical heritage beyond the physical walls of Teatro Real, but in its artistic season. It is an opening to a new audience and new perspectives on what stage it is at. “And theatrical.” The cooperation was numerous and increasingly relevant, “Matabos himself explained to the newspaper, which also confirms that in the coming seasons there will be open cooperation with the Madrid spaces of the Teatros del Canal, Abbey or the ships.

On the shoulders of Bill Viola

Throughout the work, we witness the creation of images created by Senior Serrano. Thus, we see on stage close-ups of a Spanish soldier, hand-crafted images of land being sought to remove his treasure, a bishop looking at a cell phone, or Pieta About the Eternal Jesus, who instead of a stream of blood, liquid gold comes out of his wounded arm. Poetic syncretism, which freely combines the search for the soul, the imperial regime that dies, the plunder, usually in human history and the present, in which man seeks to overcome the empty technological world.

Musical performance is excellent, vocals – dazzling. The second piece, Combat mass, The three teams respond to each other, cover each other, dialogue – the team director, Andres Maspero, very graphically explained this sensation and said that walking on the subway was like people, but without the elbow – it is absolute. The space, Sala Juan de la Cruz, the former church of the Sagrada Familia, could not better accommodate the voice. Project Wickers is invincible. The piece sinks though.

The most obvious reason is the use of space. There seems to have been no rigorous cosmic investigation into this assembly, which is surprising in a company that resolves well in these conflicts. The montage chooses frontality, leaving the scene reduced and crowded. The musicians are covered Performers Company in more than one way. In the foreground Señor Serrano members act and capture images that are simultaneously projected on the big screen. It’s a trademark of the house, they are masters at building dramaturgy in which the camera and the stage are in dialogue. But, in this case, it does not work, because it creates a visual verse, a free association, where the images are independent and in most of the work with the stage there is almost no dialogue. Thus, the presence of the creators of this image prevails in space, a spent presence that distracts attention and complicates musical contemplation.

Señor Serrano Group creates a poem with attractive polychrome images of blood, gold and light that have a clear influence on Bill Viola. It is impossible not to remember the creation of this video artist with Peter Sellar in the opera Tristan and Isolt Created in 2005 for the Paris Opera. There, what happened on stage matched the pictures perfectly. On the other hand, the decision to create an image on stage does not achieve this, but rather breaks the proposition to the detriment of the music, which could have been stored in a different layout of the space.

Another issue is the relevance of the images. Sometimes wonderful and sometimes dubious. Suspicious may be the imperial imagery that attempts to raise a topic such as decolonization in a somewhat topical way, though vital, perhaps somewhat coercive, for the imaginative and thematic music of Cererol. And the image can be amazing Angusdei, The lamb of God, which symbolizes sacrificial innocence, was transformed into a food-supplying girl with a well-recognizable yellow backpack. Complete the work with the stage trick included. Invention and Pop Apotheosis. But the taste is bitter. Señor Serrano is one of the most solvent and international companies on the scene. Their proposal is transverse, they have their own language, which they process with great solvency. It is no coincidence that they were awarded the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. In this work, they jump into the pool in search of more free, less rational drama. Something is also appreciated. His ability to generate images is absolute. And his presence on the stage must be much more prevalent than it is today. But in this montage the symbiosis between stage and music unfortunately collides with each other.

Source: El Diario


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