Six adaptations of Celestina at the video library “Teatroteca” of the Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música

Screenshot_2020-03-21 INAEM - FichaResultados

Teatroteca, the video library of the Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música (CDAEM) of the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música (INAEM) makes available on-line and for free six modern stage adaptations of Celestina:

This is a great chance to watch some of the most important stage adaptations of Celestina of the last decades, in particular for those who were not in Spain when they were in theatres.

La Celestina by Compañía Nacional de Teatro (México)

One further stage adaptaion of Celestina is to be found on-line: Rosenda Montero’s and Ruby Tagle’s version for the Compañía Nacional de Teatro (México).

I really appreciate that theatre companies have started recording and uploading their performances of Celestina to Youtube or a similar platform. Not only does it give people the chance to watch adaptations that are not staged in their area, but it gives a good idea of how alive Celestina is.

Recent stagings of Celestina I feel curious about (II)

More than two months ago, I wrote a post on a few recent stagings of Celestina I have not had the chance to attend and about which I felt curious. This time I am curious about the many stagings of Celestina that are or will be running this month in both Spain and Mexico (and in New York).

si_0_267In first place, the Celestina of Proscenio Teatro had its premiere the last 30th of March 2019 at Porta 4 (Barcelona), and will be running once a week (on Fridays, at 21:00) until the next 28th of July 2019. Directed by Jone Arteagoitia, I do not know who is responsible for the text adaptation. However, given some photos I was able to find on the internet, I am sure this is the version of Celestina with more leopard print, leather and kitty ears ever. If this alone does not make you feel curious about it, I was informed that it involves music, songs and dance, as well.


On the 25th of May 2019 takes place the last performance of La Celestina (the other one was the last 13th of April) by the theatre company of the Corral de Comedias (Almagro). Antonio de León is the stage director and the adapter, and, if the dossier that completes the play does not lie, he has renounced to magic to portray Celestina as a connoisseur of the human psyche. The trailer shows a much more traditional version than the above mentioned staging by Proscenio Teatro, which fits very well the exceptional setting of the Corral de Comedias of Almagro, the only 17th-century theatre that has survived more or less unchanged until our days.

la-celestina-logoOn the other side of the ocean, in New York, since the 8th of February 2019 it is possible to see another adaptation of Celestina at Repertorio Español, the only theatre in the city pemanently running theatre plays in Spanish and/or with a Spanish background (as far as I know). This time Leyma López is in charge (years ago, René Buch directed a further version for the same venue) and reviews state that the essence of the text has been kept to a great extent, despite the play being reduced to just 100 minutes. You still can buy tickets for the shows on the 10th and the 17th of May 2019.

d56g7ntwwamo5rgFrom tomorrow to the 1st of June 2019, a further version of La Celestina will be running at the Sala Héctor Mendoza (Ciudad de México) by the Mexican Compañía Nacional de Teatro. With four weekly performances (Thursdays and Fridays at 20:00, Saturdays at 19:00 and Sundays at 18:00) and a free entrance, I can imagine it will be a great success. The poster is very likely symbolic of the reading of Rosenda Monteros, in charge of the text adaptation, so that I would expect a version in which Celestina’s skein (and Pluto’s spell) play a central role, as well as the metaphor of entanglement.

5cae0db849af2297328128Finally, Celestina is one of the main characters of Mucho fuego prometéis, in which the old go-between and don Juan meet in a cabaret in hell, during the Carnival celebrations. Their dialogue is intended as an exhortation against gender-based violence, so that I do not think there will be much of the original text there. In any case, the play will be running from the 16th of April to the 19th of May, with three performances a week (Fridays at 10:00, Saturdays at 19:00 and Sundays at 18:00) at the Teatro Sergio Magaña (Ciudad de México). This means that, for ten days two pieces related to Celestina will be running simultaneously in Ciudad de México. I do not know if this has been made on purpose, to raise expectation, but it serves as a confirmation that this year April and May are quite celestinesque months.

As usual, I would be very grateful if someone could provide me with the text and/or a recording of the above mentioned shows (and, in general, of any performance related to Celestina), with research purposes. Invitations would be most welcomed but, unfortunately, I am not very mobile and I am really busy at the time.

Recent stagings of Celestina I feel curious about

CArtelaltaok[1]Since 2018 Bambalina Teatre Practicable is touring with their two-performers and several puppets staging of La Celestina. An adaptation by Jaime Policarpo, an actor and an actress impersonate all characters and interact with them on stage, their presence being represented by personalised puppets of their heads. The art of the figurines (character design) is quite interesting, with a dark air and hyperexpressive eyes, which seem to have been transferred to the puppets as well. I wonder if the staging and the text also share such an atmosphere. Unfortunately, I will have to keep wondering as there is no performance planned in my vicinity.

La_Celestina_TDC-0659e2[1]This is not the first staging of Celestina with puppets. The adaptation of Darío Galo for Carolina Calema, which I neither could see but has been reviewed in Celestinesca and can be watched for educational purposes –and with a horrible sound and image quality– in Youtube, has been touring Spain and Latin America from 2016 to 2018. In it, Carolina Calema played both the role of Celestina and of the puppeteer and storyteller, which conveyed a quite obvious symbolism: Celestina as the person behind the plot and directing the fates of all characters. In the case of the staging by Bambalina Teatre, it seems that the actors impersonate Calisto and Melibea, so that they are the only alive, human characters in a world of puppets controlled by someone else, with no will of their own, as well as the central point of the plot, unlike most modern stagings, in which Celestina tends to be the central character. However, nothing is explicitly said about this symbolism in the correspoding dossiers of Bambalina Teatre or Calema Producciones.

la-celestina-de-molto-vivace[1]Very different is my interest in the musical adaptation by Jesús García-Consuegra (music) and Marcos Fernández-Espartero (staging) for Molto Vivace, a chorus and occasional theatre company of the Spanish town of Daimiel (Ciudad Real). It consists of 17 songs that are conceived as a compromise between the 16 and the 21 acts of, respectively, the Comedia and the Tragicomedia, but which in reality correspond to each act of the 21-act version, with some adaptations. Considering that this musical adaptation is made for a chorus and a few solists, I am really curious about how the choir and the solists interact, how solists interact among them, and which characters they represent: Do solists impersonate more than one character or is it always the same? In that case, which are the individualised characters that solists impersonate? Moreover, how the text has been adapted to fit just 17 songs intrigues me: Which are the acts ommitted or merged? Does it follow the same principles as the opera adaptations of Celestina or does the chorus format require a different kind of adaptations? I have my suspicions but…

Therefore, I would be very grateful if someone could provide me with the text (I cannot start anything with music) and/or a recording of the above mentioned shows (and, in general, of any performance related to Celestina like, for example, this one or this another) with research purposes. Invitations would be most welcomed but, unfortunately, I am not very mobile and I am really busy at the time (if I were not, you can bet I would already have attended Celestina, puta vieja, the adaptation by Doriam Sojo for El burdel a escena).