By bringing together revolutionary Andalusian torero 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, of my depths.” More than an art, bullfighting was for Juan Belmonte a spiritual exercise, elevating emotions into an infinite space, into eternity. A ceaseless research for tragic beauty that is at work in Liebestod, an attempt to communicate directly with the sacred, as much in the work of the bullfighter as on Angélica Liddell’s stage. “I’m always looking for the sublime moment, for transfiguration, for overflowing enthusiasm, for radiance and light, this lyrical transport which takes place when one loves.” Liebestod is therefore much more than an epic of bullfighting; the show becomes an offering, “it’s the work of a woman in love, a mortal woman. It’s also an immolation.”
Juan Belmonte (1892-1962), the "divine stutterer" from the Triana district of Seville, is considered the creator of spiritual toreo. He lived obsessed with the death of Joselito in the bullring. His phrase "We fight as we are" sums up his philosophy. His suicide tells us about the feeling of "no longer being able to live" that Emil Cioran describes in On the Heights of Despair.
The title of the climax of Richard Wagner’s 1865 opera Tristan und Isolde, Liebestod literally means “love death.” The composer wrote the music to his own poetic rewriting of the medieval Celtic legend. The word liebestod refers to the theme of the eroticism of death or of “love till death,” with the idea that the consummation of the couple’s love takes place in death, or even after it.
With Angélica Liddell, Borja López, Gumersindo Puche, Palestina de los Reyes, Patrice Le Rouzic and the participation of extras
Text, direction, stage design, costumes Angélica Liddell Lights Mark Van Denesse Sound Antonio Navarro Costumes Justo Algaba Assistant direction Borja López
Stage management Nicolas Guy, Michel Chevallier Lights management Sander Michiels Stage machinery Eddy De Schepper Set and costumes design Ateliers NTGent Dramaturgy of the project Histoire(s) du théâtreCarmen Hornbostel (NTGent) Production management Greet Prové, Chris Vanneste, Els Jacxsens (NTGent) Communication and press Saité Ye et Génica Montalbano Production direction Atra Bilis, Gumersindo Puche Translation in french for the surtitles Christilla Vasserot Translation in english for the surtitles Snapdragon
Production NTGent, Atra Bilis Co-production Festival d'Avignon, Tandem Scène nationale Arras-Douai, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt) With the support of the Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique