Friday, March 01, 2013

LOVE4MUSICAL. ¡Ay,Carmela!. Musical.


Playwright José Sanchis Sinisterra is one of the most recognized, awarded-winning authors and representative of Spanish theatre. Roundly acknowledged researcher and a lecturer at several Spanish universities, this Valencia native is well-known by the public for his play "Ay, Carmela" which left quite an impression in its day; it was even adapted for the big screen under the direction of Carlos Saura. Since then the movie version has been the reference point for the play and only very rarely does the opportunity to see the marvelous and touching theatre version presents itself.


Among the various projects of the author, in 2005 he ventured to write "Misiles melódicos: Las autoridades no advierten de que las armas perjudican seriamente la salud" (Melodic Missiles: The authorities warn that weapons can cause serious damage to your health), a condemnation of the arms trade, which initially was going to be a camera opera but ended being a musical comedy. The music and lyrics were written by Gabriel Sopeña, in what was the first incursion by both of them onto the musical scene. However, what initially promised to be an interesting show, did not work out in the end.


Gabino Diego, Carmen Maura and Andrés Pajares starred in Carlos Saura's film version of Ay Carmela, although the original play was written in 1986 and has been released under different names, "Elegia de una guerra civil en dos actos y un epílogo" (Elegy of a civil war in two acts and an epilogue) or "Carmela y Paulino, variedades a lo fino" (Carmela and Paulino, a fine variety). It premiered in November 1987 in Zaragoza where it was directed by José Luís Gómez, who also played Paulino beside Verónica Forqué as Carmela. Then, in 1990, Carlos Saura directed the screen adaptation of the play, with Carmen Maura and Andrés Pajares in the lead roles and other actors like Gabino Diego and José Sancho. Although the story was basically the same, it was rewritten and several changes were introduced in the original work.


Andrés Lima (Animalario) and Andrés Vicente Gómez ("As Luck Would Have It", "The Consul of Sodom", "The last Horseman"), who produced the movie version, obtained the rights to turn it into a musical. The caveat, however, is that they must maintain the original narrative structure, all of which is based on flashbacks of Paulino's memories and his past experiences with Carmela who appears to him as a ghost because she is dead from the very beginning of the play.

The adaptation of the libretto into a musical is by José Luis García Sánchez ("Los muertos no se tocan, nene", "Belle epoque"). The main roles will be played by Inma Cuesta (Hoy no me puedo levantar) as Carmela and Javi Gutiérrez as Paulino, both known for their participation in the TV series "Águila Roja." (Red Eagle). Marta Ribera will also appear in the musical.

For the author, Sanchís Sinisterra, the most important element in "Ay, Carmela" is "the dead who don't want to disappear and are summoned through Carmela's persistent efforts to stop them from passing on into the second realm of death, which is oblivion."

In terms of music, apart from classical pieces from that period, it seems there will also be original work written by singer-songwriters Victor Manuel, Joaquín Sabina and Pedro Guerra, with Joan Valent as musical director.

The musical will premiere at the Reina Victoria Theater of Madrid, with a cast of six. It will be at the Reina Victoria for a limited engagement, from April 10th through May 26th, 2013. A possible tour to other provinces is being studied and will depend on the response of the public in Madrid.

MUSIC & LYRICS: Victor Manuel, Joaquín Sabina and Pedro Guerra