The Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival paid a well-deserved tribute to Juan Gómez-Cornejo, president of AAI-Adadi, for his career in the art of creating environments with light and shadow for 35 years, illuminating theatre, dance and opera.
Gómez-Cornejo (1957, Valdepeñas), who in 2011 received the National Theatre Award, received this Monday, July 23, 2018, in the most emblematic space of classical theatre in Spain, the Corral de Comedias de Almagro, the most sincere veneration of the theatre world, which paid him an emotional and warm recognition, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, who wanted to accompany him on this special day.
The director of the Almagro Classical Theatre Festival and presenter of the event, Ignacio Garcia, said that “there was no one in the Festival Foundation who was not pleased with this tribute, because it is impossible to understand the last thirty years of theatre without taking into account his figure as an illuminator. Gómez-Cornejo is a theatrical monster, a poet of light, but without a doubt, he is also an exemplary companion and an exceptional human being”.
On this special day participated colleagues such as Alfonso Zurro, director and playwright, the actress Marta Poveda, who dedicated to him an emotional sonnet composed by herself and in which she defined him as “poet of dark clarity, apprentice master against the light or hunter of unconscious shadows” and the director of the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico, Helena Pimenta, who intervened by reading a few words on behalf of the Director General of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (Inaem), Amaya de Miguel, addressed to the honoree.
The Mayor of Valdepeñas, Jesús Martín, who won over the audience with his kind speech and sympathy, also took part in the event. In his speech he said that “the theatre loves Juan because Juan loves the theatre, and he is able to project the actors with his light”.
The most institutional part of the event was represented by the Mayor of Almagro, Daniel Reina, the Vice President of the Provincial Council, David Triguero and the Director General of Human Resources and Educational Planning of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Antonio Serrano.
After presenting him with the festival medal, the ceremony ended with the words of the honoree, deeply moved by the recognition that he wanted to extend to the rest of the professionals who work behind the scenes.
Juan Gómez-Cornejo did not want to forget those who have supported him over the years and made his work easier, especially his first mentors, Isabel Navarro, Francisco Nieva and Gerardo Vera.
Here is a summary of Juan’s speech:
As Cervantes says in one of his verses in Viaje al parnaso “I saw the night mingle with the day” and I certify that in Almagro there were many nights in which this happened (…)
I want to show my gratitude and happiness for this tribute in which I would like to be not only in my own name, but in representation of all those anonymous artists. Professionals that hidden behind the scenes give us the best of their art: Illuminators, set designers, costume designers, musicians, and all the technical staff that supports us.
As you well know, theatre is, above all, a team work and I have always tried to make it so. I don’t understand it any other way.
I have had the great fortune to be surrounded by the best; people who have been infected by this passion for light; colleagues and at the same time friends who have committed themselves to the maximum with each project, and who have managed to turn the work into an enjoyment of continuous experimentation and learning. To all of them, who are already many and are creating a school, I am infinitely grateful for their dedication and generosity with me (…)
As in all theatrical endings I would like to make a dark one but it’s still daylight. I thank you all for your presence and your affection and I thank once again the Almagro Festival for making me worthy of this tribute and, if that darkness were possible and the darkness provoked our dreams, it would only remain for us to say once again:
LET’S DREAM SOUL, LET’S DREAM AGAIN.
Images: Lanza digital and Almagro Festival.
- INTERVIEW WITH JUAN GÓMEZ-CORNEJO. RTVE
- Gómez-Cornejo, the ‘poet of light’, honoured at the Almagro Theatre Festival. CLM News.
- Juan Gómez-Cornejo, the poet of light, revered by the world of theatre. La Vanguardia.
- The Almagro Festival pays tribute to the illuminator Gómez-Cornejo, a “monster of the stage” and “a poet of light”. The Fence.
- The Almagro Festival honours thirty years of “illuminated verses” by Juan Gómez-Cornejo. Digital Lanza.
- Juan Gómez-Cornejo tells how he felt when he received the news that this year the Almagro Festival’s tribute was for him. Almagro Festival video.
- Interview in Cadena Ser on the occasion of the tribute.