Monteverdi Método Bélico

22, 24, 25, 26 Mei/Mai/May 20:30
27 Mei/Mai/May 15:00
Simultaneous translation: Nl & Fr

Buenos Aires-based theatre group El Periférico de Objetos performs drama where people become manipulated dolls. This group of actors, who also have careers as painters and writers, has already staged Müller's Máquina Hamlet for the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts in 1998. In Brussels at the same Festival they created ZOOedipus, adapted from Sophocles, a fascinating nightmare inhabited by Kafka. Now El Periférico de Objetos is putting on its first piece of musical theatre. The Argentine baroque conductor, Gabriel Garrido, will conduct Monteverdi's Madrigali amorosi e guerrieri (madrigals of war and love). Singers and actors, the manipulated and the manipulators, will act out a war machine, escaping from a corridor of death thronging with people. In its production, the Argentinian group takes a radical look at the butchery that takes life and the infinite beauty of the murderers' song. It moves grippingly between love and war.


Claudio Monteverdi, Madrigali: Sinfonia, Altri Canti d'Amor, Vattene pur, crudel, Poi ch'ella in se torno, Hor Che'l Ciel e la Terra, La tra'l sangue, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Lamento di Tancredi) Ma dove oh lasso me
D'India, Madrigali: Forsenata Gridava, La tra'l sangue e le morti
Muzikale leiding/Direction musicale/Musical direction: Gabriel Garrido
Zangers/Chanteurs/Singers: Barbara Kusa (Soprano I), Alicia Borges (Soprano II), Pablo Pollitzer (Tenor), Fabián Schofrin (Contratenor), Furio Zanasi (Barytone), Alejandro Meerapfel (Bass)
Orkest/Orchestre/Orchestra: Ensemble Elyma
Roberto Falcone (Violino I), Olivia Centurioni (Violino II), Andrea Fossa (Cello baroque), Andrea De Carlo (Violone), Mariko Abe (Viola da gamba/Viola da braccio), Diana Fazzini (Viola da Gamba), Eduardo Eguez (Chitarrone I), Francisco Gato (Chitarrone II), Leonardo García Alarcón (Clavicembalo)

Regie/Mise en scène/Direction: Daniel Veronese, Ana Alvarado, Emilio García Wehbi

Regieassistent/Assistant à la mise en scène/Assistant to the director: Javier Swedzky
Dramaturgie/Dramaturge: Dieter Welke
Literair raadgever/Conseiller en littérature/Litterature consultant: Daniel Dujovney
Acteurs/Actors: Ana Alvarado, Emilio García Wehbi, Felicitas Luna, Jorge Sanchez, JulietaVallina, Guillermo Arengo
Creatie en realisatie poppen/Création et réalisation poupées/Design and realization puppets: Daniel Baldó
Assistenten realisatie/Realization assistants/assistants à la réalisation: Walter Lamas, Gustavo Fiorilli, Cristian Pastrian, Cristian Pastrian
Elektromechanische animatie poppen/Animation électroméchanique/Electromechanical animation:
Decor/Décor/Set: El Periférico de Objetos
Kostuums/Costumes: Rosana Bárcena
Realisatie kostuums/Réalisation costumes/Costumes realisation: Alejandro Bologna
Licht/Eclairage/Lighting: Alejandro Le Roux
Video: Guillermo Arengo

Projectleiding/Directeur de projet/Project manager: Rita Cosentino

Productie/Production: El Periférico de Objetos (Buenos Aires), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Coproductie/Coproduction: Hebbel-Theater (Berlin), e.a.
In samenwerking met/En collaboration avec/In collaboration with: Bruxelles/Brussel 2000
Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Dank aan/Remerciements à/Thanks to: Warner Brothers voor het gebruik van een fragment uit/pour l'utilisation d'un extrait de/for use of an excerpt from Marx Brother's A Night at the Opera
en/and/et: Instituto Goethe, Buenos Aires, Teatro San Martín de Buenos Aires
Ensemble Elyma geniet de steun van/bénéficie du soutien de/is supported by: Fondation Paribas, Cancilleria Argentina

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El Periférico de Objetos (Buenos Aires) performed in Belgium for the first time during the 1998 KunstenFESTIVALdesArts with their production of Heiner Müller's Máquina Hamlet and their creation in Brussels of ZOOedipus, adapted from Sophocles' classic. They are a rigorous and forceful group of actors, writers and visual artists who offer a theatre of objects and dolls where manipulation in the full figurative sense of the word is to be seen - a manipulation that is philosophical, existential and political. A retrospective was dedicated to them at the Festival d'Avignon in July 1999. Following Trisha Brown (L'Orfeo, 1998) and William Kentridge (Il Ritorno d'Ulisse, 1998), it is now the turn of this group from Argentina to derive inspiration from the music of Monteverdi. Working closely with compatriot Gabriel Garrido, founder of the Ensemble Elyma, El Periférico has created a suite of seven madrigals for the Festival, of which Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda forms the keystone. A connoisseur of the Monteverdi repertoire, the Argentinian conductor has breathed into it a new dynamic that is vivid, dazzling and lively. His recent recordings, including the double CD of Gerusalemme liberata, have already gone down as landmark interpretations. Now, with Garrido, El Periférico is embarking on its first musical piece.

The members of the aptly named theatre group like to approach their work from the outside, exploring the periphery to determine what fuels and sustains the core. What was it in the Baroque period that inspired its abandonment to intuition, its profusion of inventiveness, its freedom from ornament, its fascination with chiaroscuro, its taste for brightness? "After the Renaissance - when man, handsome and Apollonian, was able to shine, ruling over a world shaped to suit him - all certainties were shattered. Cosmology disproved ancient theories, and having been deposed by the sun, the earth lost its central position in the galaxy, relegated to the same rank as the planets from where its inhabitants thought gravity derived. Concerned, the church unleashed its Counter-Reformation and extended the Inquisition. The adulated ethical values of yore lost their lustre. Artists reacted to this metaphysical void with profusion - they had to dazzle and distract by masking or ornamenting the enormous anxieties that had arisen. There are similarities with the twentieth century that saw great utopias smashed and replaced by omnipotent liberalism. When we prepare our theatrical work we bear in mind this notion that the cult of beauty is a masquerade for emptiness."

This group of Argentinians are certainly radical. Their country knows nothing of a Belgian-style compromise. Violence there has flesh to it, a name, faces. Death was not remotely abstract. Cruelty, power, the state of siege - these are not empty words in Argentina. However, the members of El Periférico do not wave the bloody history of Argentina about like a banner - it is in them, and it is from their expressions as artists that the horrifying face of human conflict is drawn. With Monteverdi's madrigals, they immerse themselves in the extremes of love and war - this War, adored in literature like a lover; this Love, a latent battle of the sexes. Il Combattimento, based on Torquato Tasso's work, depicts how Tancred, a knight in the Crusades, unwittingly kills Clorinda, the woman he loves and fails to recognise in the armour of a Muslim warrior that she is wearing. It is not about the Crusades or Jerusalem. There is a giant and divine eye observing the stage, coming from the crowd amassed at the theatre door from which the singers emerge to tell of the two lovers' dual - like Caravaggio perhaps, a contemporary of Monteverdi whose sublime painting found its models in the cities' poorer districts. Before and after this musical centrepiece, Sinfonia, Altri Canti d'Amor, Là tra'l sangue (D'India), Hor che'l ciel e la terra (Petrarch/Monteverdi), Vattene pur, crudel exult the warrior's pride or spit out the song of vengeance of those defeated by love. Tancred's lamentations on Clorinda's tomb - Giunto alla Tomba (D'India) - change nothing.

"At Gabriel Garrido's suggestion, the choice of madrigals was made to balance out the musical development and the theatrical development so that they act in a dynamic of opposition, in the Baroque manner, enriching the ensemble according to the principle of complementarity." The Periféricos are used to fuelling their creation with a variety of sources that always end up converging on the essence of the subject that concerns them. Here they are working with dolls of different sizes and mannequins. The soloists travelled to Buenos Aires to learn about their manipulation and to submit to a superior force that will manipulate their singing. It is a war of opposites. The dummies have a human form - they are martyrs, impaled in the neck, streaked with blood, a youth hanging or a child with a rope around its feet, its body stretched and stained. They are intense figures with a plebeian resonance, a modelling of murdered bodies, immortalised in the grimace of their death that bleeds still. And never far away is Caravaggio, in whose work daily existence is distinguished from ostentatious glory. With the Periféricos, there is another side to heroes of war and that is the unknown people who have been sacrificed. The war, that of love, embellishes itself in echoes - mechanised copulators, without any hint of a soul, without passion, merely consumers of sad sex.

See again the Periféricos' child dolls with their skulls cut open, the brain exposed to all kinds of manipulations. These dolls are jointed and this time are either the size of humans or inordinately large (4 metres high). "Monteverdi's magnificent music creates an enormous dramatic space. We have to inhabit this space whilst extending in it the presence of our dolls." Implicit in this, their theatrical language enters into dialogue with two of the greatest innovators of the Baroque period - composer and painter. They have often been compared for their chiaroscuro effects, the sensual and distinct harshness that distances them from mannerists, their obsession with staying as close as possible to the quivers and shivers of human beings. With their dolls, the Periféricos have always inhabited the theatre of humanity. "They are inanimate objects. Their body is already death. When movement comes they keep this jointed status of figures without a soul. Even when animated, they never attain the freedom of being sensitive objects with the heart extinguished, automatons of a masquerade that has already annihilated them. They contain within them the enactment, full of pathos, of absence from oneself, of unconsciousness."

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