lunes, 4 de marzo de 2013

Barcelona Liceu Opera House U.S. Foundation


On Thursday February 28, the Barcelona Liceu Opera House U.S. Foundation was presented at the Saló dels Miralls of the Gran Teatre del LiceuThe CEO of the Liceu, Joan Francesc Marco, the Secretary of the Culture Department, Pilar Pifarré and the CEO of Levante Capital Partners, Antoni Renom, presented this foundation, which in its first year of operation aspire to get $ 100,000.

El Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona's Opera House

Carolina Masjuan

Spanish version

As explained by Mr. Marco, the objective of the Barcelona Liceu Opera House U.S. Foundation is to get funding and to increase cultural relationship between the Liceu and American institutions and artists, following the same model of other opera houses and festivals in Europe as the Paris National Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Salzburg Festival or the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg. There are many synergies with artists there, like many artists from here are known and admired in the USA. “We also intend to help Barcelona to position itself as a destination for cultural tourism into the United States” declared Mr. Marco.

The aforementioned theaters and festivals, which have been for years with such projects, get annually, from $ 600,000 of the Salzburg Festival and the Mariinsky to 500,000 of the Paris Opera and the 200,000 of Covent Garden.

Ángel Corella with Caroline Kennedy

In the U.S., unlike Spain, donations to nonprofit entities get a tax relief up to 100%, while in Spain the patronage law only allows a 25% tax relief for individuals and 35% for companies. Thus Pilar Pifarré has defended the American model of philanthropy and has come to claim the Spanish government a new Patronage Law. She commented that public funds are very limited, indicating that the ideal for institutions such as the Liceu, is that funding are provided by a third from public money, a third by its own revenues, box office, venue rental, etc ... and the last third from contributions by sponsorship and patrons.

For the legal process, the Foundation has the advice of Baker & McKenzie, a company specialized in internationalization processes which also is the first sponsor, providing its services from its offices in Barcelona and New York. All donations will be made following the American law of patronage and will be transferred to the Liceu later on.

The Barcelona Liceu Opera House U.S. Foundation will begin its activity during the second half of 2013. They are still looking for an office that will be located in Manhattan and its executive director is the journalist Marc Busquets who was responsible for the U.S. premiere of Xavier Montsalvatge’s piece “El Gato con Botas”.
Ángel Corella with Bill Clinton

Indeed, that funding Ms. Pifarré is now proposing for the Liceu is exactly the same that Angel Corella has always stood for his company. Asked Mr. Marco if they had thought about Ángel Corella when looking for artists that have synergies with the USA and if we could dream that Corella’s Barcelona Ballet would be now linked in any way with el Liceu to take advantage of the pull our great dancer has in the American city where he has such great contacts at the very high level, as we saw during the recent tribute gala to Ms. Natalia Makarova, he replayed that no way! The Liceu will not have a ballet company, neither titular not associated in any way.

They do not care about the incredible opportunity they have with this artist being in Barcelona leading the Barcelona Ballet. They do not care about the half an hour applause he got at the MET on the occasion of his farewell as principal with the ABT. They do not care about the contracts he got in the City Center for his company and what it means to have such a free advertising for  the city of Barcelona with the fact that a huge sign announcing the Barcelona Ballet is exposed for several weeks in downtown Manhattan. They do not care at all and the answer keeps on being “no”. 

Mr. Marco says that the Liceu has never foreseen to have a ballet company. Well, it had one in the past leaded by the great Catalan dancer Joan Magriñá and the Liceu had also held a very steady dance season that attracted many local and foreign ballet lovers. It is somewhat surprising when all those theaters that are used as example to start this project: Covent Garden, Garnier, Mariinsky, do have a ballet company. All European cities host ballet companies in their theaters, there is a cultural balletomane tourism that can not be ignored. Russian, Japanese, Europeans,  Americans,  all  know who Angel Corella is, he is a lure and his company in the Liceu would attract them as also would attract patrons as it happened in the past when they have supported their beloved artist by nearly twenty years he has been dancing as a star with the American Ballet Theater.
Swan Lake by Ángel Corella's Barcelona Ballet
at el Gran Teatre del Liceu


Angel Corella dances in May the Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda -so fond memories we have of back in 2005 at the Liceu-  in the Paris Opera Theater and his performance will be broadcasted worldwide.

All times the Barcelona Ballet performed at the Liceu, only two in its five years of existence -although Mr. Marco says it is a constant collaboration- both with large repertory ballets, they always have sold out tickets in each performance, something that has not happened with other companies much more expensive. Mr. Marco says that the cost to have a ballet company would be too high. How much did cost to bring the ABT, Alvin Ayley, Prague Ballet and the Ballet of the Rhin this season? Surely more than to establish a collaboration with the Barcelona Ballet!, which would not mean that they couldn’t invite foreign companies of course not! But as in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Munich, Stuttgart, Toulouse, Bordeaux, ... the weight of the dance program would be ensured by the titular company. Lots of letters sent by balletomanes have been published over the recent years in the newspapers, supporting this proposal, but although Liceu ‘s motto is "The Liceu of all" the true is that the audience is not listened and ballet one much more less.

Mr. Marco says, to justify that there is no ballet company at the Liceu that they aim to show the variety of dance and that Barcelona already has the Mercat de les Flors. Variety is what is completely guaranteed by Corella as the Barcelona Ballet repertoire has been created in the image and likeness of the one of the great companies in which he has performed as a member or as a guest artist throughout his prolific career. Thanks to him we have had access to the work of the great choreographer Twyla Tarp - as Anna Maleras (Liceu dance consultant) told me "for that reason alone Corella deserves the eternal gratitude of the Spanish dance audience" - Christopher Wheeldon, of whom they have five works in its repertoire, Balanchine, Stanton Welch, Clark Tippet, ... without forgetting Corella's own creations and some of his dancers-choreographers’. 
Ángel Corella with Dustin Hoffman and Lenny Kravitz
The Mercat is dedicated to the contemporary style, nothing to compare, proposals are completely different but complementary to show the wide range of dance styles. Or is it that in Paris, London and St. Petersburg there only are the ONP, the Royal Ballet and the Mariinsky? I don't think so, isn’t it? So, that's it. We want the Liceu to offer us a stable dance season and we need Angel Corella's Barcelona Ballet to be its parent company assuring us a regular ballet program that will lead our theater to resemble those ones it is comparing itself to and should aim to look like if it wants to gain support abroad. 

The Barcelona Ballet has a diverse and attractive program, when they stage the great classics they do this with rigor and knowledge, also inviting international artists as guests. The Liceu brings the ABT and we realize that our company has nothing to envy and we are delighted we already know many of its stars, Sarah Lane, Paloma Herrera, Gillian Murphy for having seen them at the Liceu or at the Real in Madrid, invited by Corella. Synergies between artists are what is sought? Well then there is a very good example here, rather difficult to exceed.

Next Monday March 4 the next season is announced. Will the Barcelona Ballet be scheduled? I'm afraid not, as it has not been this year despite they proposed a Nutcracker but the Liceu preferred to hire the one of the Prague Ballet. Incredible but true. 
The Barcelona Ballet after its performance of Pálpito
by Rojas y Rodríguez, in Sant Cugat, November last year.


Asked Ms. Pifarré whether she was aware that probably, being as it is the Barcelona Ballet on the tightrope, we will miss this opportunity again because for sure Mr. Corella will accept one of the many offers he has out of our country and so that he will dissolve the company, close the ballet school and cancel the project of the integrated arts center in Figueres, she merely commented that she had nothing to add to what was said by Mr. Marco. 
It seems incredible that they do not can/want recognize how much it would bring to establish some form of collaboration between Angel Corella's Barcelona Ballet and the Liceu. Especially now when they are looking to the USA. Aren't they really unable to realize that? So, gentlemen, forgive me, but you have, unfortunately I should say “we” have, a serious problem. We do have a lack of artistic criteria and a lack of sense of opportunity. And outside nobody understands this and in New York less. 
Ángel Corella with Naomi Watts at the
Kennedy Center Gala in Washington


So there we are missing a golden opportunity we have from an exceptional artist who loves Barcelona, ​​who bets because his company is the representative dance company of the city, which brings the name of Barcelona to all corners of the planet, exciting public everywhere. But we will have to announce to our dismay, that our cultural representatives aren't able to realize its value and thus it is condemned to disappear. This will not help much to the prestige of the Liceu neither will not benefit the Barcelona Liceu Opera House U.S. Foundation project, I'm afraid.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario en la entrada