Teatr i opera madrycka w połowie XIX wieku

Barbara Obtułowicz


The present study focuses on two important achievements of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Luis José Sartorius, count de San Luis (1847–1851), in the cultural field, i.e. elaborating and introducing a reform of Spanish theaters, and completing the construction of Teatro Real. Owing to the former act, there was an improvement in the functioning of theaters and the work conditions and salaries of artists, composers, and playwrights. Their fate and work conditions ceased to depend on egoistic and arbitrary goals of the concessionaires. Moreover,
the first Spanish drama theater was created, sponsored and owned by the government. The theater was named Teatro Español; count de San Luis is considered to have been its creator. Additionally, giving to the public the only Italian opera theater in Madrid, which brought to the Spanish court and the citizens of the capital the Italian operatic music and the sophisy ticated music of the world, was to result in the future increase in the popularity of this music genre among the inhabitants of Madrid, and in the flourishing of the social and political life.
Both these achievements resulted from the authentic theatrical passion of the Minister and other members of the Cabinet, e.g. general Ramón Narváez, the duke of Valencia, as well
as from the mutual permeation of culture and politics. In the 19th century theater, as never before, was strongly connected with the world of politics and was a tool in the hands of politicians.

Theater witnessed interpersonal struggles between followers of different political options and could become a means of winning or losing the electorate. The level of cultural development of a country shaped its external image. In the discussed period, Spain was one of the countries of secondary importance, and struggled with serious internal problems, which lowered its chances of regaining its place among the leading European countries. Sartorius believed that regaining its political position by Spain was not possible without the renaissance of its own culture. He claimed that in the process of retrievingthe marks of Spanish national identity, culture and politics should support each other.As a Minister of Internal Affairs, he understood that through taking governmental control over public theaters, especially over the choice of repertoire, one could realize far-reaching cultural and political goalsIt must be remembered, however, that the policy of wide-reaching internal reforms,
realized by the governments of moderados (moderate liberals) in the period of the so-called decada moderada (1844–1854) was to a great extent motivated by the intention to divert
public attention from fierce political fight between the factions of this option. Therefore, beside the government’s care to provide the inhabitants of Madrid with cultural entertainment, we must also notice the struggle to create an illusion that „everything is in order and all will be fine”. The fact that both Teatro Español and Teatro Real slipped out of control of the next moderados Cabinets only confirmed the weakness of this party.

Słowa kluczowe

tekatr i opera w Madrycie, kultura hiszpańska

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