An Evening at Voltaire's

An Evening at Voltaire's

Mr. Floats has arrived. We haven't seen him act Josep Maria Flautas In our house ever since To be or not to be (to end the Jewish question), a production that premiered in 2015 at the Teatre Lliure de Gràcia which then toured Catalonia. Now he will be there for six weeks Romea TheaterWhere he appeared for the first time in 1959 with You and the hypocrite, written by María Aurelia Capmani, and directed by Ricard Salvat with Agrupació Dramatà de Barcelona. The living history of Catalan theatre. Floats is eighty-five years old and fresh as a rose. Accompany him on stage Pep Planasthe actor who made his debut with the legendary Cyrano de Bergerac From 1985. Flautas and Planas now interpret Voltaire and Rousseau a Fighting. An evening of philosophical and Francophile theatrics. Cozy pool from the 18th century.

Josep Maria Floats plays Voltaire in La disputa. © David Ruano

It's been a long time since we've seen the stage curtain. We live in an age of stripped-down theater boxes, of immodest theaters whose interiors are all revealed as soon as we enter the theater. The secret of the red velvet, although somewhat innocent and naive, is part of the magic of the evening. When the curtain rises, we discover a wonderful pastoral tapestry (or pastoral) which gently depicts a palace surrounded by a forest: nature, culture, wild purity and refined civilization. 18th century furniture has just completed printing. Voltaire Rousseau. Conflict It is one of those quintessentially French texts: drawing-room work, conversational, civilized and cultured. The songs of small birds and the barking of a dog in the background announce the visit my lord Rousseau. Arnau Puig Mute: We especially remember the function To be or not At the modern Del Prat Theater: A Buttablava actor was playing the house, and the people of Prat were more excited to see Puig than the Flautas. Jean-François Brevand he wrote Fighting In 1991: I could have included the butler character, that way I would have given the work to a young actor and the two leads wouldn't have to go in and out of the scene so much.

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The work can be easily summarized: Voltaire and Rousseau symbolize two different ways of understanding the world, civilization and man, i.e. humanity. Rousseau visits Voltaire with the aim of discovering who wrote Citizens' feelings, an anonymous pamphlet that leaves him green, with the strong suspicion that Voltaire himself is hiding behind it. The contrast between the two characters is apparent at first glance: Voltaire is pure Enlightenment (coat, waistcoat, stockings), and Rousseau appears wearing a strange Armenian caftan and (very clean) walking shoes (costume Renato Bianchi). The duel we will witness will be intellectual and philosophical, but it will also include a magnificent barrage of arrows that Voltaire will elegantly throw against Rousseau. “Today everyone writes anything”, “Dear pseudo-philosopher” or “Doctor of Sciences” are some of the pearls he bestows on his polemical opponent, with the effective Catalan translation of Salvador Oliva.

Pep Planas and Josep Maria Flautas are Rousseau and Voltaire in
Pep Planas and Josep Maria Flautas are Rousseau and Voltaire in “No Dispute”. © David Ruano

In addition to being a showpiece for Flotats, which it is, Fighting It stands as a wholly European and urban evening of theatre. Discussions about religion, culture, or the intrinsic goodness of man will be filled with touches of humor starring syphilis and brothels, or dramatic moments with abandoned creatures in a nursing home. “Dear philosopher, you have no shortage of enemies”: Flautas defends with talent, creating a character that fits him like a ring on his finger, and gives us a thoughtful interpretation, both vocal and physical. It is in enviable good condition, showing that the theater is its natural habitat. Pep Planas answers him generously and in excellent style, explaining all of Rousseau's contradictions without making value judgments. When Flotats escapes, in some sentence, from his conventional song, we almost want him not to stop: like a Lizaran or a Sardà, the actor who has his own melody is already a genre in itself.

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Voltaire Rousseau. Conflict It is a theatrical evening that fans will like the Well made piece And the theater is without noise. “There is no Vivaldi among hippopotamuses,” says Voltaire in his fierce defense of culture and civility. “Before we are guilty or innocent, we are all responsible,” or culture understood as the memory of humanity. Sonnet from Francisco de Quevedo He concludes the evening: “Retired in the peace of these deserts, / With few books, but learned together, / I live in conversation with the dead, / And listen with my eyes to the dead.” The Teatro Rumia will host one of the few Catalan-language shows that can be seen there this season until April 1: go there if you want to hear two skilled actors say the text wonderfully. The French “o” and “u” of Flotats, as well as the two whistled “s”, are the intangible heritage of Catalan theatre.

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