Accounts of the Teatro Real of Madrid

No one can deny that the departure of former manager of the Teatro Real of Madrid, Alfredo Tejero, was caused by the economic disagreements with the artistic director, Gerard Mortier, another thing is that he left a conflict as he did not correctly applied the discount in the salaries of the workers which by law should have appeared on their payroll. At the end of this story, rather than the theater itself who pay their errors, had to be the workers who will see their next payrolls depleted due to the discount that was not previously done.

The strained relationship with the former General Manager Miguel Muniz with fellow artistic director Gerard Mortier, also largely due to financial disagreements, took Muñiz to resign a few months before its legal contract termination.

On the other hand is also known the deployment of Theatre employee salaries twice, while the emoluments of Mr. Mortier remain the same, about 250,000 € per year plus rent of his apartment on the Paseo del Prado, travelling expenses covered, etc. which is ultimately a significant quantitative amount, not even a regional president earn that millionaire amount.

During this last days, layoffs are occurring in the same coliseum regardless of their productivity and important work done as is the case of Panchi Tamayo, head of the pedagogic program, Juan Marchan, former head of communication with an award for his work taking to Madrid prisons concerts, recitals, etc… Also Mr. Segura was disregarded, the former chief of staff, and for next Friday more layoffs are foreseen.

The atmosphere at the Teatro Real is of real anxiety: Who will be the following?

It is true that the crisis affects all areas and institutions, including the Teatro Real, and that this was about to come due to the staff-hypertrophied situation- each new charge was bringing its acolytes who remained after he was leaving. In addition, the absurd number of hostesses without a clear need to cover or the big amount of ushers that is no longer seen in any theater in the world. There are settings everywhere but as we said, except on the payroll of Mr. Mortier.

The waste is everywhere in the planning and its implementation. So the Mesiaens’ San Francisco de Assisi which closed the season at Madrid Arena was a disproportionate spending, that between came to cost around 3 million Euros, when it could have been played in the theater itself without decorative paraphernalia. Nor is it acceptable that the production of Richard Strauss’ Electra required 10 trucks coming from Naples to move a stage set, very beautiful, but unnecessary. Or what about the productions of C(h)orus and Marina Abranovic, rejected by the public and that have contributed nothing to the Teatro Real?

But goes on and on for next season.

It opens with a concert version of the opera of Scönberg Arnold, Moses and Aaron to cost more than € 1,100,000 for an important score but extremely difficult for an audience not much grown in modern and contemporary opera. I hope we are wrong but we imagine that the public attending these concerts will flee in fear.


Needless to say it is useless spending to include in the upcoming season titles for which the Theater has own productions as Verdi’s Macbeth, in addition that the production to be showed is the most Parisian booed one of the time Mortier passed on the French capital. Aside from 5 titles repetition, some of which, have already been seen at the Theater recently.

All this is an obscene waste for the times running, but nobody seems to want to bell the cat.

While the next programming has accused the critics that were made to Mortier in terms of Opera titles, the fact remains that have dark spots or strange, as schedullin for the Wagner Year only one opera, Parsifal in concert version, or the just quoted Verdi, that also meet the 200 years and that all the theaters are going to celebrate with major productions of his operas, and not because missing singers, which was the excuse advanced by Mortier in the news conference to present the season 2012/13. Spain has a tremendous pool of singers that are not lyric stars, but who needs stars?; but it seems that the Teatro Real is forbidden to our singers  except for our half-dozen famous ones and a short list of co-primary papers with a sentence or two… And this at a National theater.

How long will these violations continue? Someone will have to correct the direction of the Teatro Real, and political institutions of our country, involved in its maintenance and the sponsors are silent. It seems incumbent upon them…