Bringing together the figure of the revolutionary Andalusian bullfighter Juan Belmonte and the music of Richard Wagner, Angélica Liddell gives voice to the origins of her theatre, to what she calls ”a history of theatre which is the history of my roots and the ”story of my depths”. More than an art, bullfighting was for Juan Belmonte a spiritual exercise, carrying emotions into an infinite space, into an eternity.
At work in Liebestod is a ceaseless search for tragic beauty, an attempt to communicate directly with the sacred, both in the practice of the bullfighter and on Angélica Liddell’s set. “I seek the sublime moment, the transfiguration, the overflowing enthusiasm, the brilliance and the light, this lyrical transport which takes place when one loves”. Liebestod thus tells much more than an epic of bullfighting, the show becomes an offering, “it is the work of a woman in love, and mortal. It is also an immolation.”
Juan Belmonte (1892-1962), the “divine stutterer” from the Triana district of Seville, is considered the creator of the spiritual toreo. He lives obsessed with Joselito’s death at the bullring. His phrase “We fight bulls as we are” sums up his philosophy. His suicide speaks to us of this “No longer being able to live” that Emil Cioran describes in Sur les cimes du désespoir (‘On the peaks of despair’).
Liebestod – title of the finale of the opera Tristan und Isolde created in 1865 by Richard Wagner – literally means ”death of love”. The composer sets to music his own poetic rewriting of medieval Celtic legend. The word liebestod refers to the theme of the eroticism of death or ”love unto death”, invoking the idea that the consummation of the couple’s love takes place in death or even after it.
Corealisation Kaaitheater, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles
Warning: Some scenes may offend the sensibilities of the spectators. The show contains explicit depictions of auto aggressive violence.
es, surtitrage fr, en, nl
Palestina de los Reyes
Patrice Le Rouzic
and the participation of extras
Text and scenography
Mark Van Denesse
Head of Production
Atra Bilis, NTGent
Festival d’Avignon, Tandem-Scène nationale Arras-Douai, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Francfort)
Angélica Liddell est artiste associée au CDN d’Orléans