PreprintPDF Available
Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.

Abstract

In this article we will be able to understand firsthand the ins and outs that accompany an operatic production in a large theater such as the Teatro Real in Madrid. The conductor Pablo Heras Casado will tell us how a Wagnerian operatic production is carried out, such as Richard Wagner's Ring Tetralogy and specifically La Walkyria. What is interesting about this article is the particular vision from within the operatic production by the conductor. Normally, the stage director or the producer of an operatic performance is interviewed, but we rarely have the opportunity to know the opinion of the conductor.
The Walkyria from the lectern with Pablo Heras Casado
María Dolores Castellón Pérez
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. España. Escuela Internacional de Doctorado.
Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid. Spain. International Doctoral School.
ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4208-2118
Abstract
In this article we will be able to understand firsthand the ins and outs that accompany an
operatic production in a large theater such as the Teatro Real in Madrid. The conductor Pablo
Heras Casado will tell us how a Wagnerian operatic production is carried out, such as Richard
Wagner's Ring Tetralogy and specifically La Walkyria. What is interesting about this article is
the particular vision from within the operatic production by the conductor. Normally, the stage
director or the producer of an operatic performance is interviewed, but we rarely have the
opportunity to know the opinion of the conductor.
Key words: Richard Wagner, the Walkyria, Conductor, Pablo Heras Casado, opera.
Introduction
Last Monday, February 17, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. The periodic meeting of the Wagnerian Association
of Madrid
1
took place. On this occasion we have the presence of the conductor Pablo Heras
Casado
2
who directs Richard Wagner's Teatralogy of the Ring of the Nibelung for the first time
at the Teatro Real
3
in Madrid. Taking advantage of this occasion, Pablo was invited to the
Wagnerian gathering on Monday at the Hotel Moderno
4
, near Puerta del Sol, where he
submitted to questions from the president and all AWM members. The acclaimed orchestra
director kindly and patiently told us all the ins and outs of a production like the one taking place
at the Teatro Real. In this article we intend to collect only in part what happened there since it
was about two hours of questions and debate with the director and some of the singers of the
first cast of the Valkyrie. Telling everything in detail could be too extensive, so we will focus only
on some questions directed to Pablo Heras Casado.
1
Wagnerian Association of Madrid [Online] https://awm.es/ [Consulta of 02/18/2020]
2
Heras Casado, Pablo. Web. [Online] http://pabloherascasado.com/es/dieneueromantik/ [Consultation
on 02/18/2020]
3
Teatro Real. Web. [Online] https://www.teatroreal.es/es/espectaculo/valquiria [Consulta from
02/18/2020]
4
Hotel Moderno. Web. [Online] https://www.hotel-moderno.com/ [Consultation from 01/05/2020]
Conversation with Pablo Heras Casado
Pablo Heras Casado told us that four years ago he met Joan Matabosch
5
, artistic director of the
Teatro Real, and proposed that he do the Wagner Ring Theatralogy. Then they analyzed the
productions that existed on the ring and finally decided on the production that took place at the
Liceo
6
in 2014.
“This is the well-known production of Robert Carsen, whose work will be seen throughout the
Tetralogy. It is a production well known to fans, since its premiere took place in Cologne almost
20 years ago and could be seen inside the Complete Ring at the Barcelona Liceu in May 2014. ”
(Beckmesser, 2020)
Pablo explained to us that this is not normally the usual production process but that they did it
that way and it worked. After choosing the play to direct for the Royal Theater there was a period
of research and study on the work of Wagner and his person of about four or five years. He
traveled to Bayreuth where he participated in a chamber choir with which he performed
throughout the region and for him it was an opportunity to spend three weeks in Bayreuth. He
documented himself, traveled to Lucerne, Leipzig, and other Wagnerian places to catch up on
everything related to Wagner. He also told us that at the time he studied 20th century music at
the conservatory, it was not seen in depth, so Wagner was a stranger and a great challenge. So
there was no internet in all the houses and he had to go to a phone shop in a working-class
neighborhood of Granada, Zaidín, to get the entire libretto of the Ring printed in that phone
shop. And he obtained the script and a pad of writings about Wagner in a folder that he was
reading little by little in different places in the city of Granada. It was an immersion in Wagner,
he also had the opportunity to see the Ring in that year in the highest part of the Royal Theater,
but for him it was "the best place in the world".
For Pablo it is essential to study the text and the music starting from a very clear initial point and
later to analyze in detail each musical and textual gesture of the work:
“When you have assumed in your body the dramatic rhythm of the play, learning to measure
the tension of the scene and all that comes with the total art that Wagner required for his work
is challenging to bring to the scene. Giving a gesture to the word or when there is no word and
you assign a gesture to the music is complicated but necessary to express what the author wrote.
5
Matabosch, Joan (2020). El País. "Joan Matabosch Grifoll". [Online] https://elpais.com/noticias/joan-
matabosch-grifoll/ [Consultation 05/01/2020]
6
Liceo Theater. [Online] https://liceubarcelona.cat/ [Consultation on 05/01/2020]
You measure all this with experience, with time and with what you have lived. ” (Heras Casado,
Pablo)
Do you adapt the scores to what you feel?
“I don't adapt the score to what I feel. Basically what I'm trying to do is make the score flourish
which is an absolute source of information. It is very impressive the way he has described it in
such a modern and radical way that makes that degree of control of the textures of the density
of the sound, of the tempi, of the dramatic rhythm ... It takes many decades for something
similar to occur. And I can verify it because I have a lot of literature not only operatic but musical.
How a musical or dramatic thought is translated into a score. And Wagner's degree of demand
and detail so radical and perfectionist is unmatched. And when you do what he says and try to
passionate over and over again function after function things happen and things come up that
are in the score. Frankly I don't care what everyone has heard before. Obviously I have also
heard it and admire what other generations and other directors have done. But you can't stay
there, settle for it. It is a particular vision of a given personality, at a given moment, in a situation.
You have to be honest with the composer fiercely with that gesture. And more when he is a
composer like Wagner. Because there are composers who give the interpreter a lot of space,
but he clearly has everything very well controlled. It tells you what it wants and what it doesn't
want, even in the voice too. If you want it to sound sour, when you want it to sound solemn,
light, or you don't want to let the singer expand, or you want time to flow, flow ... It's not a
concert piece, it's a play. It still has to be somewhat dramatic, in the theatrical sense. Or in the
second part when there is a dialogue, it is a dialogue, do not be tempted to make a lyrical concert
piece, it is a dialogue. In the end, each one makes it their own, as you feel it, but the most faithful
to the score. And especially with a composer so radical that he is so clear about what he wants
and that a theater is even built to represent his works.” (Heras Casado, Pablo)
We know that you have worked with Daniel Barenboim, to what extent has a person like him
been able to influence your way of directing?
“It is an important musical influence and at the same time they are great thinkers. They exert an
influence on me but they do not influence me to direct this faster or slower. I consider that the
great artistic personalities are not fundamentalists. I have had very different teachers, almost
antagonistic. And I still consider them important influences. … I remember that he invited me
on one occasion that he was conducting the New Year's Concert in Vienna. And he asked me to
take over the New Years Eve and New Years concert in Berlin. When it was time to make this
Beethoven Novena, I told him that I was going to do it with this wind and this rope. He always
interprets it in the style of the 20th century, with the tendency to make everything sound
mammoth, big, with great sound. I believe that one must approach the sound in which the work
has been composed. He knows what I do and how I do it. Although he has a very strong
personality, there is a space for the interpretation of each one. I don't have to do Beethoven's
Novena how he does it. ” (Heras Casado, Pablo)
Of the three Valkyrie acts, which one do you stick with and which has been most troublesome
for you?
“I keep everything. They cannot be separated. And I can't stay with just one. Each one has a
different problem and each one its challenges. The third act is a big challenge, but the second is
very complex. The second act is very long, very dense, it has five scenes that are each very
important. It has hardly any concessions. It is very complicated, that there is a coherence, a
continuity. (Heras Casado, Pablo)
Later, the members of the Wagnerian Association of Madrid were encouraged to ask the director
about specific and controversial aspects such as who is more in command if the stage director
or the conductor? among other curiosities. An interesting and passionate dialogue took place by
the defenders of the orchestra director in the face of current stage innovations that sometimes
compromise the singers, costumes or set design, transforming the work into something
unknown and strange.
Conclusions
In short, it was an intense and interesting afternoon, just like Ricard Wagner's operas. But the
event could not end without more ... As a gift to all attendees, after an hour and a half of
questions to the director we had the opportunity to chat in several languages with some of the
singers who are part of the first cast of La Valkiria at the Theater Real. There were Stuart Skelton
7
(Siegmund), René Pape
8
(Hunding), Julie Davies
9
(Gerhilde), Samantha Crawford
10
(Ortilinde),
Daniela Köhler
11
(Helmwige). Although some composers such as Julio Robles García
12
, and other
7
Skelton, Stuart. Web. [Online] http://www.stuartskelton.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
8
Pape, Rene. Web. [Online] https://renepape.com/de/biography/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
9
Davies, Julie. Web. [Online] http://julie-davies.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
10
Crawford, Samantha. Web. [Online] http://www.samanthacrawford.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
11
Köhler, Daniela. Web. [Online] http://daniela-koehler-soprano.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
12
Robles García, Julio. Blog. [Online] https://julioroblesmusico.blogspot.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
conductors and choirs such as Tadeo García, and of course Mª Dolores Castellón Pérez
13
, also
attended as audience and partners.
Bibliography
Beckmesser.com [Online] https://www.beckmesser.com/comentarios-previos-valquiria-teatro-
real/ [Consulta del 18/02/2020]
Castellón Pérez, María Dolores. Blog. [Online] https://wagnerenmadrid.blogspot.com/
[Consultation on 02/18/2020]
Crawford, Samantha. Web. [Online] http://www.samanthacrawford.com/ [Consultation
02/18/2020]
Davies, Julie. Web. [Online] http://julie-davies.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Heras Casado, Pablo. Photography [Online] https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.QHWhaoy7E-
PF4RS6eYfxdAAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=334&h=162 [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Heras Casado, Pablo. Web. [Online] http://pabloherascasado.com/es/dieneueromantik/
[Consultation on 02/18/2020]
Hotel Moderno. Web. [Online] https://www.hotel-moderno.com/ [Consultation from
01/05/2020]
Köhler, Daniela. Web. [Online] http://daniela-koehler-soprano.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Liceo Theater. [Online] https://liceubarcelona.cat/ [Consultation on 05/01/2020]
Matabosch, Joan (2020). El País. "Joan Matabosch Grifoll". [Online]
https://elpais.com/noticias/joan-matabosch-grifoll/ [Consultation 05/01/2020]
Pape, Rene. Web. [Online] https://renepape.com/de/biography/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Robles García, Julio. Blog. [Online] https://julioroblesmusico.blogspot.com/ [Consultation
02/18/2020]
13
Castellón Pérez, María Dolores. Blog. [Online] https://wagnerenmadrid.blogspot.com/ [Consultation
on 02/18/2020]
Royal Theatre. El Imparcial. The Valkyrie. Photography. [Online]
https://www.elimparcial.es/fotos/editor/209958/lavalquiria2.jpg [Consultation on
02/18/2020]
Royal Theatre. Web. The Valkyrie. Photography. [Online]
https://www.teatroreal.es/sites/default/files/styles/1200x750/public/2019-
04/lavalquiria.jpg?itok=O__GZMyi [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Royal Theatre. El Imparcial. The Valkyries. Photography. [Online]
https://www.elimparcial.es/fotos/1/71388__MG_0605_1_.jpg [Consultation on 02/18/2020]
Skelton, Stuart. Web. [Online] http://www.stuartskelton.com/ [Consultation 02/18/2020]
Teatro Real. Web. [Online] https://www.teatroreal.es/es/espectaculo/valquiria [Consulta from
02/18/2020]
Wagnerian Association of Madrid. Web. [Online] https://awm.es/ [Consulta of 02/18/2020]
Thesis
Full-text available
A lo largo de este trabajo vamos a realizar un recorrido por la biografía, catalogación y el análisis de la obra del compositor español Julio Robles García. Partiremos de la hipótesis que nos ha movido a indagar en la figura y la obra de este compositor español contemporáneo, a saber, las influencias de la música rusa en sus composiciones. Para lograrlo, nos hemos propuesto una serie de objetivos, que serán los que nos proporcionen el enfoque a seguir durante esta investigación. Consultaremos fuentes bibliográficas y explicaremos nuestra metodología a para conseguir nuestros objetivos, metodología que se ha basado tanto en aspectos cualitativos, en su mayoría, como cuantitativos. De estos últimos, trasladamos a gráficos de elaboración propia el resultado de los datos medibles. Tras poner negro sobre blanco qué estructura hemos decidido darle a este trabajo, nos adentraremos en el estado de la cuestión tomando como pilares los diferentes elementos implicados en esta investigación. Después, nos centraremos en el marco teórico que encuadra nuestra investigación sobre la música contemporánea y el proceso de enseñanza – aprendizaje de la música clásica en España. También veremos cómo es la recepción de la música clásica contemporánea en nuestro país. Posteriormente focalizraremos la atención en escribir la biografía, inédita, del compositor objeto de estudio. Para ello, realizaremos una línea del tiempo en la que podremos ver de forma gráfica cuáles han sido las etapas de su vida personal y profesional a grandes rasgos. Con posterioridad, nos detendremos en su vida personal y en su vida profesional por separado, aportando gran cantidad de documentos y fotografías que apoyarán nuestro relato. Toda esta documentación: fotografías, certificados, nóminas, cartas, diplomas, carnets, etc., quedará recogida en los anexos de este trabajo. Para la elaboración de dicha biografía hemos realizado una serie de entrevistas a amigos, familiares y conocidos del compositor que quedan transcritas en nuestra tesis doctoral. A continuación, veremos la catalogación de la obra del compositor, tanto las obras publicadas como las obras inéditas. La relevancia de las obras inéditas, en espacial una de ellas de gran formato, original en su inspiración y creación, y el haber podido sacarlas a la luz es uno de los aspectos más destacados, a nuestro juicio, de nuestra tesis doctoral. Después, dentro del marco contextual para el estudio de la obra de Julio Robles García, podremos encontrar las influencias de otros compositores en la música de Julio Robles, así como, el análisis musical de cuatro de sus obras más representativas: Un poco de C…, Evocación, Impresiones y Variaciones coreográficas sobre un tema de Rachmaninov. Un aspecto relevante del que asimismo tratamos en nuestro trabajo es el de los conciertos, en los que se han interpretado obras de Julio Robles García. En este apartado hablamos de cómo ha sido su organización, la búsqueda de los músicos, el marketing y la publicidad utilizada en ellos. Y por supuesto, no debemos olvidar hablar de la creación de nuevos públicos para que la música contemporánea subsista. Y de cómo la emisión en directo, las grabaciones y los vídeos ayudan a la difusión de la obra de un compositor emergente como el que nos ocupa en este trabajo. Por último, tratamos en nuestro trabajo de la producción discográfica, el mecenazgo y la creación de la Asociación Cultural Julio Robles (ACJR) para nuevos talentos sin límite de edad, y sus proyectos. Para finalizar, aportamos las conclusiones a las que nos ha conducido la investigación, la bibliografía consultada y los anexos.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.