Saraevo, BIH

Youth Cultural Centre 20.00 pm

Saraevo War Theatre
Season 1998/1999

Jose Sanchis Sinisterra

Ay, Carmela
(1st Performance in BiH)

Translation: Filip Fruk
Director: Robert Raponja Cast: Carmela - Selma Alipahic Paulino - Dragan Jovicic Gustavet - Meida Supuk Dramatist: Dubravka Zrncic - Kulenovic
Composer: Davor Rocco
Choreography: Antun Marinic
Costumes: Vanja Popovic
Set design: Samra Mujezinovic

Premiere on 19 March 1999 Amfitheatre RAGUSA - Saraevo, Ferhadija 10

Coproducert: XV International Festival Saraevo, Saraevo Winter 99/ XV

Special thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain in BiH for the support

Note on the director
Despite death

Ay, Carmela, "an elegy about a civil war", is a sentimental, emotional and intimate chronicle about the Spanish civil war and sincere …about the artistic honour and dignity, the humanness and moral quality of the collective antifascist conscience. Ay, Carmela is a political play which in a Brechtian way presents the complex position of the artist who in certain situations, dictated by war and politics, is prepared for heroism, as well as for baseness. When there is no freedom, there is not and there cannot be art. Demanding from the artists to put their creativity at service of some regime, as the Fascists do of Carmela and Paulino, in fact means, that they should give up art and life, because for the true artist his art is his life. The stage for Ay, Carmela is an empty and devastated theatre, but that space, with theatrical skills and inventiveness, as well as political engagement of the dramatist Sinisterra, will turn into a magical and extraordinary space where through the story of the comic and romantic couple Carmela and Paulino the spectator will be emotionally and intellectually exposed to a new meeting with memory of "a civil war." In the ……meeting of the murdered Carmela, who visits her partner in acting and life, the tortured and distressed Paulino, there is a constant change of contradictory thoughts and feelings: vulgarity and dignity, gentleness and brutality, sharp humour and moving tragedy, intelligent irony and subtle sensitivity… In this unusually structured play, where nothing has only one meaning or one dimension, the theatre becomes an ambiance where fiction outgrows reality. Everything is possible here, even for the dead to walk and eat apples, sing, dance and act despite death. Death has brought oblivion to the dead Carmela, but returning to the dark and empty stage, where she would dance her last dance and sing her favourite song, and where she left her beheaded and more dead than alice partner Paulino, memories come back. The empty space starts filling, it becomes a space full with memories, and everythhing is once again in front of us: the murdered, the shot, the baffled, the degreded are waiting in line to be classified in death, and the old dead start to pale…Life and death are so similar for Sinisterra, that war attacks not only the living, but the dead as well. Yet, oblivion kills most forcefully. Carmela refuses to die a second time, she rejects oblivion in a charming and simple way, she is here to remind us of the ethical contradictions of artists' survival in war circumstances without moralization and preaching. First she refused to spit on the flag of libertinism, for which she is murdered, and now she refuses to be erased from the memories, she wants to live, even in a song only.

Robert Raponja

Note on the author
Jose Sanchis Sinisterra

Jose Sanchis Sinisterra was born in 1940. In his native Valencia, as a student, he founded Teatar El Aula, and in 1977 Teatar Fronterizo, where he directed Legend of Gilgamesh. With his dramatic and literary work he is one of the most respected contemporary Spanish dramatists. His dramatic work reflects the contrastive variation of theatricality and narration, humour and emotion, epic and scenic. In his plays Sinisterra, apart from contemporary, almost obsessively treats historic themes. Ay, Carmela is his most famous work from his as well as from all contemporaru Spanish dramatic literature. After the premiere at Teatar Principal in Zaragoza in 1987, Ay, Carmela has been presented at numerous Spanish, European and South American theatres, and an exceptionally successful and popular film is based on it. At the moment he lives and works in Madrid.