Monologues on the phone with Àlex Ollé

There Fura dels Baus is a theater group founded in 1979, five years after the death of Francisco Franco, when a general cultural ferment broke out after forty years of fascist rule. Originally “La Fura” and “Els Baus” were two road companies.

La Fura dels Baus is a theater group founded in 1979. Accions

The origin of the company La Fura dels Baus

Their merger resulted in a non-conformist collective who immediately developed their own visual, physical and multidisciplinary code, which they themselves defined as the “Furero language”: their approach aimed to engage the viewer on a visceral level. In fact, the first actions were marked by violent celebrations aimed at causing a certain emotional shock among the public. “The FdB is a criminal organization in the current artistic scene“, Read this Canalla poster published together with the synopsis of Actions, a performance from 1984. From the 1990s, La Fura dels Baus took a path that integrated technology and then developed a particular interest in opera. We talked about it on the phone Alex Ollé (Barcelona, ​​​​1960), one of the artistic directors of the theater collective.

The monologues on the phone with Àlex Ollé

In this context, what approach has the company tried to engage viewers? The strong need for involve the public led to the birth of one completely original and direct languagesometimes aggressive, which united Action theater, industrial music and sets made from scrap metal, always looking for abandoned factories where he could experiment with a synergy of languages ​​from the sixties. Who ran the company? Ollé speaks of a special formation that has worked together in a group since its beginnings and strives for a simultaneity of interests that converge on different fronts. AND Marcel-Lí Antunez Roca? He was one of the founders, along with Quico Palomar, Carlus Padrissa And Tantinya pears, all originally from Moià, a small town in the province of Barcelona. Ollé talks about his initial involvement and the impact that led him in other directions. But the success of the company, which gradually moves closer to opera, is largely due to this Multidisciplinarity of all who are and were its members.

Madame Butterfly.  Ph Fabrizio Sansoni, Opera di Roma
Madame Butterfly. Ph Fabrizio Sansoni, Opera di Roma

La Fura dels Baus, the relationship with Italy and opera

How did relations with Italy begin? The artist reports on the numerous experiences he has already had former Officine Ansaldo, the historic disused electromechanical factory in Milan, where over the years a stage space for the Teatro alla Scala’s director rehearsals and the rehearsal rooms for the choir were set up. In fact, the collective had found there the ideal place to experiment with the first performances before they became the laboratories where most of the craft work on the sets is carried out today. From Naples to Rome to Milan, the company presented numerous titles in Italy. In fact, the artist underlines his connection to Italy and the city Rome particularly where La Fura has performed five operas at the Opera House over the years. Madame ButterflyIt is the most recent, presented last June.

Madame Butterfly.  Ph Fabrizio Sansoni, Opera di Roma
Madame Butterfly. Ph Fabrizio Sansoni, Opera di Roma

Madama Butterfly to La Fura dels Baus

What solutions has the company implemented to reinterpret the orientalist drama while remaining faithful to the text? Ollé says that his aim has always been to introduce young audiences to opera through the use of music current languages. The play – he says – has always been performed outdoors, using means linked to contemporary life, such as the sudden arrival of a taxi. However, at the same time, a careful scenography was used on the stage, recreating on the one hand a paradisiacal naturalistic environment and, on the other hand, in the background a large projection showing a scenario populated by eco-monsters, symbol of the city’s decay, construction speculation and poor administration.
For over fifteen years, the company has been offering interactive and virtual experiences enabled by new technologies. The elders had their first experiences Simultaneous theater which took place in various cities in a digital theater context. Today the use ofartificial intelligence supports creative work through controlled use of tools. Future projects? On October 28, 2023, the collective will present at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan The love of the three kings From Italo Montemezzi. But Ollé is also a guest artist at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, ​​​​where he is carrying out a project with young artists from different fields to renew the work and rescue it from oblivion.

Donatella Giordano

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