Lorca in the news

Rosalía is flamenco’s rule-defying renegade.
The Catalan singer writes the next chapter in flamenco’s history on her radical new album, El Mal Querer.

On a blistering summer day in 1922, thousands made their way to the palatial Alhambra fortress in Spain’s Andalusian region of Granada. They took their seats in the expansive Plaza de los Aljibes and, before a sweeping view of the caves of Sacromonte, watched a parade of singers compete in the first-ever Concurso de Cante Jondo—a competition spearheaded by the poet Federico García Lorca and the composer Manuel de Falla. It was an event that cracked expressions of flamenco open, as vocalists from all over the country showcased their rawest and most ardent renditions of the folkloric tradition… [27 November 2018, full article]

rosalia-ap-ba


The 10 best plays and musicals of 2018
6. Yerma. Billie Piper’s blistering performance as a woman who goes mad and destroys her perfect life because she can’t get pregnant dazzled London, then rocked New York City audiences to the core. Performed in a glass box at the Park Avenue Armory, which has become a home for some of New York’s most challenging theater, the harrowing adaptation of a 1934 play by Federico García Lorca leaves audiences speechless. [20 November 2018, full article]

Yerma


Retracing the footsteps of Lorca, Granada’s most celebrated poet, during his centenary year
There’s a reason why Lorca’s name has gone down in history as one of Spain’s best poets. The genius behind great literary classics like La Casa de Bernarda Alba and Bodas de Sangre constructed unforgettably descriptive, avant-garde works that still resonate with readers today. It’s 100 years since Lorca published his first work, Impresiones y Paisajes, his only prose contribution. More than a diary of his travels, the book is a social commentary on politics and aesthetics. This year would also have been the poet’s 120th birthday, which has given the town of Granada two reasons to declare 2018 the Year of Lorca… [19 August 2018, full article]


Overlooked no more: Margarita Xirgu, theater radical who staged Lorca’s plays
When Margarita Xirgu met Federico García Lorca in the summer of 1926 at a bar in Madrid, he was a fledgling playwright and a questionable investment for most producers. But Xirgu, a Catalan actress and director who was also a lesbian and a political radical, was known for her willingness to take risks. She accepted the challenge, and staged Lorca’s “Mariana Pineda” in Barcelona the next year, with costumes by the artist Salvador Dalí. The play was a hit, and it cemented a friendship between Lorca and Xirgu, who became instrumental in staging and exporting his work in the early years of the 20th century. Lorca went on to become one of Spain’s most admired writers… [16 May 2018, full article]


‘I think the Irish are Spaniards who got lost’
Ian Gibson has spent the last four decades living and working in Spain, so it’s rather ironic that as he sits down in a bar in central Madrid with The Irish Times, the icy drizzle outside is more reminiscent of his native Dublin than his adopted home. A few days earlier, the writer had attended an event in the capital which highlighted the cultural ties that bind Spain and Ireland: Loco por Lorca (Crazy about Lorca), a celebration of the 120th anniversary of the birth of poet Federico García Lorca, with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, support from the Irish Embassy and performances by Spanish and Irish musicians. “I think the Irish are Spaniards who got lost,” Gibson told one Spanish newspaper recently and he roars with laughter as he is reminded of the quote, even though he stands by it… [14 May 2018, full article]



Billie Piper is the talk of New York theater with her bruising performance in Yerma
As Her, the beating heart of Simon Stone’s Yerma, now onstage at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, the British actress Billie Piper is slaying critics and audiences with her harrowing portrait of a brash London editor undone by her inability to conceive a child. Piper is giving the performance of the theater season in her New York stage debut, reprising the role that won her a record number of British acting awards when the play was staged in London in 2016. (The New York Times called it “one of those performances that leave you bruised, breathless, and grateful for an experience you wouldn’t have missed for the world.”) When Piper signed on to do Yerma (which means “barren” in Spanish), she assumed it was for Federico García Lorca’s original 1934 tragedy about a farmer’s wife in a rural Spanish village. Instead, Stone had the cast talk about their lives and wrote new pages nightly based on the conversations. “I was secretly pleased when they said that it would be updated and I wouldn’t be singing about the oxen,” quipped Piper… [4 April 2018, full article]



Penquin Books launches 1£ Modern Classics range in diversity push
Penguin Books is launching a new series of “modern classics” featuring authors including Martin Luther King Jr that will cost just £1 each. The publisher, well known for its popular Penguin Classics range, has produced the Modern Classics series to introduce readers to a “diverse range of 20th Century writers who broke the rules, created new means of expression and made their voices heard against the odds”…Other “radical voices” in the Penguin Modern series include the cult literary figure Kathy Acker, who self published the story New York City in 1979, Shirley Jackson, the gothic writer marginalised and undermined by the literary establishment in the mid-20th Century, and Federico García Lorca, who was executed for his political beliefs by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War… [2 February 2018, full article]



The Poet-Historian
Federico García Lorca has often been criticized for exoticizing marginalized groups, but this translation finds new depth in his handling of race. In Poet in Spain, a new volume of translations of Federico García Lorca’s poetry by Sarah Arvio, we see a wide-ranging exhibition of Lorca’s curiosity about marginalized groups—from his fascination with 14th-century Persian poetry in The Tamarit Divan to his idealization of Andalusia’s Romani history in Gypsy Ballads. “I think that being from Granada inclines me toward a sympathetic understanding of persecuted peoples. Of gypsies, of blacks, of Jews, …of Moors, which we all carry inside,” he said in an interview in 1931. [29 November 2017, full article]



Remembering Leonard Cohen: Biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal’s Beloved Poet
…On the moment Cohen became a musician: “He was walking down the street one day and there was a bookshop with a rack outside of used books. He found the collected works of the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca, and opened it at a passage (which he later recited to me by heart). What he said happened is that he heard music — the little hairs stood up on his arms and neck as he heard the music of the synagogue. And I asked him, ‘Did you mean that this was a spiritual experience, a religious experience?’ He said ‘It was just music.’ This very dignified, beautiful minor key music would come to his mind. It was almost like the Big Bang of Leonard because he was 15 years old when this happened and that was the same year he bought his first acoustic guitar…[12 November 2017, full article]



The University of Granada launches MOOC on the work of Federico García Lorca
The UGR is set to launch its MOOC on the life and work of the Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca on 13 November 2017. This free, open online course is available in English and Spanish and will be delivered by the University of Granada. The UGR is offering a comprehensive, direct learning experience to all those interested in the work of García Lorca. It has been devised to provide all the rigour and depth one would expect from a university course, with all modules designed and structured by a team comprising lecturers from the Department of Spanish Literature at the UGR, together with renowned international experts on Lorca. The content covers his output as both poet and playwright, set in the general context of the literary and cultural period in which he produced his work…[11 November 2017, full article]



‘Poet in Spain’ Offers New Translations of Lorca’s Soulful Work
The poet and playwright Federico García Lorca is, after Cervantes, the most commanding figure in Spain’s literature. He died young, executed at 38 by nationalist forces at the start of the Spanish Civil War. This early death has rendered him a permanent political and cultural object of desire…The poet and translator Sarah Arvio is here now with “Poet in Spain,” a new translation of Lorca’s poems into English. It is the first major undertaking of its kind since “Collected Poems: A Bilingual Edition” (1991), the work of several translators and edited by Christopher Maurer… [30 October 2017, full article]



Chasing the Spirit of a Fractured Spain through García Lorca
To search for García Lorca’s Andalusia is to chase fragments of poetry and loss. He was silenced more than 81 years ago at 38 — murdered in the summer of 1936 by a paramilitary death squad at the outset of the Spanish Civil War for his anti-fascist sentiments and homosexuality. His burial site in an anonymous mass grave somewhere in fields outside Granada remains a mystery. But his powerful voice is still one that binds this nation as it struggles with tensions between the Catalan independence movement and the Spanish state, which threatened to remove the region’s separatist government and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid… [24 October 2017, full article]



Faculty films “Bones of Contention” and “Thy Father’s Chair” premiere in NYC
“Bones of Contention,” a documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Andrea Weiss, premieres Saturday, Oct. 21 at Cinépolis Chelsea. This is one of latest releases by faculty in The City College of New York’s Department of Media and Communication Arts. The film focuses on the brutal Franco dictatorship, during whose reign up to 120,000 opponents of fascism were buried in unmarked graves all over Spain. A 2014 Fulbright Scholars award funded Weiss’ research. Legendary poet and playwright Federico Garcia-Lorca came to symbolize those that disappeared, and is called “the first LGBT victim of the Franco regime.” Weiss examines the men and women who recall Spain’s homophobic past and seek to exhume it by finding these remains.  It opens theatrically in Spain on Nov. 10, and is playing in festivals in St. Petersburg and Moscow in mid-November… [20 October 2017, full article]



Trump’s War on Knowledge
…In front of numerous dignitaries and emboldened by a mob of nationalist youth and legionnaires, Franco’s friend and mentor General José Millán Astray desecrated that temple of learning with six words: ¡Abajo la inteligencia! ¡Viva la muerte! (“Down with intelligence! Long live death!”) That phrase—so paradoxical, so absurd, so idiotic—would have been laughable had it not occurred in a Europe where Nazis were burning libraries and, along with their Italian allies, pushing innumerable artists, scientists, and writers into exile. In Spain, those words resonated no less ominously. Only weeks earlier, Federico García Lorca, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language, a poet and playwright who had deployed the many angels of intelligence, had been executed in Granada by a nationalist death squad. Many more intellectuals were assassinated in the years that followed, along with peasants, workers, and students who had learned under the Republic to think and speak for themselves… [12 October 2017, full article]



The Secret to Stopping Facism
“Fascism is the future refusing to be born,” British politician and social justice warrior Aneurin Bevan once said. Kryptonite for fascism may just be the committed artist — particularly the one who performs in front of a live audience and who does so with a sense of humor…Federico García Lorca was an artist particularly hated by fascists for his brilliant poetry and plays. He hated them back: “Politics is the ugliest, most disagreeable thing I know,” Lorca told a group of students in 1932, years before he would have to choose sides in the Spanish Civil War. Lorca was no politician: “I am an anarchist, communist, libertarian, Catholic, traditionalist, and a monarchist,” he said cheekily, trying to stay a moving target, yet able to laugh at an unsmiling foe for trying to force him in a box… [20 September 2017, full article]



Exploring the World Federico García Lorca Left Behind
Desde mi cuarto /oigo el surtidor
From my room /I hear the fountain
·······
I always thought that Federico Garcia Lorca wrote these lines at his Granada home, the family’s summer house at the city’s edge. One reason why I thought so is the poem’s title: Granada y 1850 (Granada and 1850). The sense of heavy foreboding that hangs over this short, haiku-like poem is the other, more important reason…Today, one does not hear the fountain from the Huerta de San Vicente (Garden of Saint Vincent), as the house has always been called. [2 September 2017, full article]



Arts Season Preview Spotlight: Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca, one of Spain’s most revered writers, lived a life that was steeped in tragedy and ended in mystery. He was born 1898, near Granada, and in the Roaring ’20s he palled around with the likes of Salvador Dalí. A poet and playwright, his fame spread as he wrote his greatest works: “Blood Wedding,” “Yerma” and “The House of Bernarda Alba.” García Lorca’s plays challenged the role of women in Spanish culture, criticized the country’s class system and generally rebelled against society’s constraints…Central Florida theatergoers will have the chance to see his most famous work interpreted twice this season. “The House of Bernarda Alba” is a look at love and honor. In the story, a domineering mother controls the fortunes of her five daughters after the death of her husband. García Lorca uses his all-female play to examine the consequences of isolation, conformity and repression. [2 September 2017, full article]



Will Spain’s ‘disappeared’ find justice in Argentina?
It was a moonless night in the countryside outside Granada, Spain in 1936. A coded execution order came down: “Give him coffee, lots of coffee!” Antonio Benavides, part of an irregular volunteer firing squad, obliged. “I gave that fat-head a shot in the head,” he reportedly boasted later. This is one account of the death of the famed Spanish poet and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. There are many others. After all these years, the circumstances surrounding Lorca’s death and the whereabouts of his remains continue to be one of the great mysteries of Spain’s recent history. But after 81 long years can – will – the truth finally emerge? In response to a request by the Spanish Association for the Recuperation of Historical Memory (ARHM), an Argentinian judge, Maria Servini de Cubria, agreed to investigate the death of Lorca in August 2016. [30 August 2017, full article]



36 hours in Granada, Spain
Like Agra, India, and the Taj Mahal, the Andalusian city of Granada in southern Spain is so well known for a single monument — the Alhambra, a walled fortress housing magnificent 13th- to 15th-century Moorish palaces and gardens — that the city itself is sometimes overlooked. With more than two million visitors descending on the Alhambra, a Unesco World Heritage site, every year, the city’s tourism industry had settled into a somewhat formulaic routine of shuttling visitors in and out of the city in about 24 hours. But recently some other ancient structures have been restored, and the region’s distinctive gastronomy has come into its own. The city that was home to the poet Federico García Lorca, the painter José Guerrero and the composer Manuel de Falla has deep cultural roots, but now a new crop of small foundations and independent exhibition spaces has revived its arty buzz. Let the Alhambra wait a bit while getting seduced by the city that has grown up around it. [10 August 2017, full article]

 



Can poetry stop a highway? Wielding words in the battle over Roe 8
Can poetry stop a highway? On the face of it you wouldn’t think so. But this idea is being put to the test in Perth’s southern suburbs in the protest movement that has sprung up suddenly and forcefully against Roe 8…[James] Quinton’s poem Hope Road pastiches Federico García Lorca’s famous surrealist poem City that Does not Sleep (Ciudad sin sueño) written in 1930, Garcia Lorca’s poem takes the form of an incantatory warning — “Be careful! Be careful! Be careful!” —that repeatedly insists that no one ever sleeps, and someone always watches…The conceit in García Lorca’s poem that links the “open eyes” with “bitter wounds” is taken up in Quinton’s poem. Here it is the “wounds” to the land created by the bulldozers, linked to the eyes of the protesters determined to witness an event that the road builders would prefer to have kept hidden. [10 January 2017, full article]


 

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