Saturday, May 25, 2024
Home Culture Núria Espert, awarded the 2024 Max Honor Award: “It has been a long time coming” | Culture

Núria Espert, awarded the 2024 Max Honor Award: “It has been a long time coming” | Culture

by News Room
0 comment

The actress Núria Espert (Hospitalet de Llobregat, 88 years old) has been awarded the Max de Honor 2024, as announced by the General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE), organizer of the main performing arts awards in Spain. The great lady of theater will receive the award at the award ceremony of this edition, which will be held on July 1 in Tenerife. In a meeting with the press prior to this announcement, the performer confessed to being very excited, despite the fact that in her long career she has already achieved the highest recognitions: the Princess of Asturias (2016), the Gold Medal of the Círculo de Bellas Artes ( 2009) or the National Theater (1985). “It is a desired award that has been a long time coming. I really wanted her because it is the reward we give ourselves,” she commented, while announcing that she will also be invested as a doctor. Honorary by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama next week.

With a look that has known how to be fierce and tender, Espert has embodied almost the entire imagination of universal dramaturgy: from Medea from Euripides to Barren from García Lorca, through Shakespeare, Molière, Brecht… “What makes you different from the rest?” they ask him in Catalan. “Theort“, reply. She adds after a few seconds: “I’m also a hard worker.” At the age of 13 he was already part of the children’s company of Romea in Barcelona and what came next is history: a hundred roles in which not a single important national playwright has been missing, tours through dozens of countries on several continents, experience as director and in opera, the founding of a performing company, a theater that bears her name in Fuenlabrada…

Distinctions find her working. The actress is in the final part of the tour The island of aira story about a family of five women directed by Alejandro Palomas, and is preparing to interpret two texts by the Canadian-Lebanese author Wajdi Mouawad, of whom he has already interpreted Fires, another of the great successes of his career. As Fires, They are texts that also deal with family stories and that they tried to release in 2020, but the project was hindered by the pandemic. “I am terrified as always, with fear and insecurity. Afterwards, things calm down,” she says now that she has taken it up again.

Vicky Peña and Nuria Espert, in the play ‘La isla del aire’ in 2023. DAVID RUANO

More than fifty years of experience and he still feels the same anxiety that he felt when he launched himself into stardom with Medea, in 1955, when he was 18 years old. “It marked me a lot. I felt tragic,” he reflects in front of journalists. What other role has left a mark on her career? “I just can’t choose one,” she says, but she mentions Mourning suits Electra well., Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? The good person of Sezuan (embodying two characters: brothers Shen Te and Shui Ta) or The Lear King, in the male role of Lear. He later returns to modesty: “’I can say one thing where I was not good: The Tempest, of Shakespeare. “I didn’t take the thing, I wasn’t up to it.”

But if there is one author with whom Espert feels connected more than any other, it is Federico García Lorca. “We have played 60 gigs together,” she said in an interview with EL PAÍS in 2019. It was precisely with a piece from the Granada native, Barren, in 1971, when his career reached a new turning point: more than 2,000 performances, a four-year tour of the United States, Europe and Latin America, and a work to which he would return for the next 15 years. The international projection that she obtained then culminated in her debut as a director in the second half of the eighties. Her consecration in this facet came with her debut in 1986 at the Liric Theater in London with Bernarda Alba’s house, starring Glenda Jackson. She would visit 48 other countries as director, including Japan. But her true vocation was on stage and not off it: “Directing causes great insecurity,” she would comment in 1987.

Digging into his memories, dark moments and repression of Franco’s regime also appear. The piece The two executionersunder the direction of Víctor García (one of the directors with whom he worked the most, in addition to Lluís Pasqual and Mario Gas, was censored in 1959. Robles Piquer, head of Culture at the time, was furious when he saw that the set was a tank and the accused of subversives. “We had to clench our fists and move forward. Those who continued with open fists and lamenting, disappeared. A bitter memory remains.” However, Vox’s attempts at censorship do not worry him: ” We will not allow them,” she says confidently.

Rosa Maria Sardà (on the left) and Nùria Espert, in a moment of the performance of ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’.David Ruano

Espert was always critical of political interference in art and, in general, of the public entities that manage them. For example, in 1998 he said about the Ministry of Culture: “They think, I believe, that it is about distributing the four bitches that there are, and it seems to me that they should serve to create an environment where cultural people would not have more remedy than to flourish.” In 2017 she reproached “the lack of interest in culture of all political parties and governments, from Mariano Rajoy to Manuela Carmena in Madrid.”

She has also raised her voice in defense of women as the soul of the performing arts. “Feminism existed in theater before it was invented as a word,” she points out. “My profession is one of the most advanced in giving women their place, because if the text says that Rosaura enters, Rosaura has to enter, Pedro or Romeo cannot enter, and if her role is long they cannot discuss her salary as “They did it to my poor mother in the factory.” As part of the campaign to decriminalize abortion in the Franco era, she signed, along with 199 other women related to the world of culture and art, a document in which they confessed to having had a voluntary abortion. “We were shameless. It was a provocation,” she recalls. In 2020 she declared: “May my colleagues forgive me, but I believe that we have better qualities to interpret. We are more moldable, we know how to put ourselves in danger. It is paradoxical: a man is constantly asked to expose himself… for him to expose himself like a woman.”

Leave a Comment