Nuria Espert, actress
“On stage everything personal is left aside,” says the interpreter, who these days recites Vivaldi along with The Tempest
She does not like to be referred to with expressions such as ‘the great lady of the theatre’. But the truth is that it is inevitable to use these phrases to talk about the actress Núria Espert (Hospitalet de Llobregat, 1935). The talent of the great Catalan interpreter can be admired these days in a different facet: as a reciter in ‘Vivaldi Natura: The Four Seasons’, in which she gives voice to the sonnets of the Italian composer supported by the musicians of La Tempestad.
– Is it very different to recite than to give life to a character?
–It’s something completely different, but I enjoy it because I’m accompanied by that wonderful orchestra, made up of all stars. The verses and music raise the tone of the recitation. It becomes a very special event, a little gem.
-Interestingly, as a child I recited poems. Is this a closing circle?
–(Laughs). Maybe yes. It’s very possible, but I hadn’t realized it… My parents were very fond of the theater. They were two workers, but they met doing theater for amateurs. And that was passed on to me.
–However, before being an actress, she wanted to be a dancer.
-Yes Yes. But what luck: she had no faculty for it. Nothing nothing. She was completely inadequate. She was passionate, but she was missing her talent.
-Obviously, the talent was elsewhere. And is it true that she is shy?
I find it difficult to do some small things.
–But that shyness will vanish when you get on stage, right?
-Of course. There is a whole change, in nature, in feelings. The personal is left aside and what is taken is what you have made in rehearsals, which makes you the character. What you have worked with the director and on the text allows you to do it.
–Does the feeling when the curtain opens change over time, with maturity and experience?
-Well, I almost don’t remember anymore (laughs). Beginnings are always painful. You are not ready for a big jump and I had it when I was 19 years old. That was very good for me but also very bad, because it placed me in a place that did not correspond to me. But it was the first ‘Medea’ and everything that would come later started from there.
–Isn’t it exhausting to always be under the orders of someone, a director or a director?
–Noooo… On the contrary! I absolutely need them. Nerd. My career is full of great directors. I have worked with the best in Spain and abroad. And the result is good work, each and every one different from the previous ones. For that you have to be accompanied and have a lot of confidence in the director.
-However, he doesn’t like occupying that position…
-Noooo. I have never liked directing. It was a stumbling block that they gave me and that I could not refuse. One of those things that happen to you once in a lifetime and you can’t say no.
-From there he got a good friendship with…
–With Glenda the wonderful! Glenda Jackson. A fabulous lady. It was a job that turned out very well, ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’. I gained a friendship that I place enormous value on. In fact, many years have passed and we are still friends, calling each other and putting green to who has been their prime minister, Boris Johnson.
-With your career, you must have a huge amount of recognition. What do you do with plaques, awards, etc.?
– Well, the truth is that they are distributed a little around the world. With a van they came to look for them when he lived in the countryside and took them to the National Theater Museum, in Almagro._Later, in another house, my husband saved a room for them. And already here, in Madrid, they are in a closet.
– Do you have a project in hand?
-I have it, but the fact is that it hasn’t been presented yet. We are going to premiere something in Barcelona, and I am very happy with this. But it is not the time yet to talk about him.
–Another curiosity, apart from work, what are you reading now?
-I read a lot. The book I have in my hands right now is by Alice Munro, a Nobel laureate. It’s called ‘Dance of Shadows’ and it’s a wonderful book with beautiful magical tales.
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“I turn Boris Johnson green”