Musicals: money is made in Madrid

Between 1986 and 2000, the self-produced musical lived its golden age in Barcelona.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
24 November 2022 Thursday 19:45
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Musicals: money is made in Madrid

Between 1986 and 2000, the self-produced musical lived its golden age in Barcelona. It had the favor of the public and enough prestige for the TNC, the National Drama Center (Teatre Romea), the Company of Josep Maria Flotats in the Poliorama or the Teatre Lliure to not hesitate to include this genre in their seasons. All thanks to the efforts of figures like Ricard Reguant and companies like Dagoll Dagom, who a few years earlier had laid the groundwork for the Sea and Sky phenomenon to finally explode in 1988. The happy discovery that the literary epic of Les misérables could be replicated here with a text by Guimerà.

The mirage is then drawn on the horizon that a Catalan industry dedicated to producing great musicals is possible without resorting to franchising. The fatamorgana continues in 1992 with Flor de nit and rises gloriously in 1995 with the premieres of Sweeney Todd, Cegada de amor and Germans de sang. Then the illusion begins to falter despite notable productions such as Company, Guys  or El temps de Planck. Gaudí's economic crash in 2002 at the Barcelona Teatre Musical – Focus's attempt to manage a stage for great musicals and capacity – explodes this illusion.

In reality, in all this time of blind confidence in success, the necessary economic-artistic environment had not been created to establish a theater industry sufficient to keep the genre alive when the bad times came. The general public –essential to maintain the expensive machinery for the production of these shows– never considered Barcelona as a capital of theatrical entertainment, and the spectators-tourists of the great regional arc drawn by Pasqual Maragall were not challenged to feed this industry that could boast of to have an alternative, in quality and quantity, in Catalan. With the failure came the withdrawal from the public stages and the care of the private ones. At the slightest disaffection projects as exciting as Onyric were undermined. A void occupied by itinerant clone productions that visit Barcelona as a place of passage. The money is made in Madrid.

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