Monday, December 26, 2011

Theatre in Portugal II

Set of stamps
Souvenir sheet I
Souvenir sheet II
First Day Cover with stamps
Garrett represents the introduction of romanticism in Portuguese theatre, but more than that, he indisputably opened the gates to the whole structure of stage and dramaturgy modernization through his writing but also through the institutions for the promotion of theatre and theatrical activities which he created, in an adequately articulated perspective as regards functionality and complementarity: The Teatro Nacional (the company and later also the building), the Conservatório de Arte Dramática, dramaturgy contests, the Inspecção Geral de Teatros e Espectáculos, copyrights and even a subsidy system.
All of them, duly modernized, still exist until this day. But more than that, Garrett’s own dramaturgy – of an exceptional level, despite fluctuations – brought to Portugal, from the onset of the vigorous romanticism, a style and a school, in some cases of outstanding quality, that fed both our literature and our stages for almost a century. Even poets and novelists, who did not focus on theatre, owe to him the renovation of style and content that to this day still deserves highlighting. Camilo is a clear example.
However, it was D. João da Câmara, at the passing of the century, who marked the beginning of a realistic school that still subsist, coexisting, with full quality and timeliness, with more modern currents that also marked and still mark Portuguese theatre, from symbolism to modernism, from expressionism to epic theatre and to theatre of the absurd.
From the beginning of the 19th century, modernist or symbolist, authors such as Almada Negreiros, António Patrício or even Fernando Pessoa (a sporadic playwright) deserve highlighting; as well as prevalently (but not only) realist authors, such as Carlos Selvagem or Ramada Curto; or even Alfredo Cortez, who with Gladiadores introduced expressionism, among others.
They ruled the Portuguese scene, especially in the first half of the 20th Century, leaving continuity in names and notable works, as it is the case with José Régio or Bernardo Santareno, but also authors like Luís Francisco Rebello, Miguel Torga, Luís de Sttau Monteiro, Paço d’ Arcos, Cardoso Pires or in more recent times, Mário Cláudio, Mário de Carvalho, Luísa Costa Gomes, Fernando Dacosta, Norberto Ávila, Diogo Freitas do Amaral, Abel Neves, Isabel Medina, Jacinto Lucas Pires…
Régio and Santareno, each one in his own way, symbolized the transition in Portuguese Theatre from a realistic line with poetic references, in a comprehensive sense, to a dramaturgic conception marked by the conciliation between a traditional poetic-dramatic mix and a spirited affirmation of modernity, both from the stylistic point of view, but above all by the criticism of the contents: the plays are profoundly critical and profoundly modern, even when taking place in more distant times or in fantasy situations.
But more than providing a mere list of names, it is important to underline the aesthetic and stylistic renewal towards modernity which these dramatists imprinted on Portuguese theatre. It is furthermore interesting to see how Portuguese theatre, within the constraints that cyclically have influenced dramaturgic production and performing arts since the 19th century, was able to mirror the evolution of society, of attitudes and thought, of culture and art, from Garrett to the present day.
 It should also be mentioned that, mainly after the end of the 19th century, theatre–show in Portugal gained relevance and quality, following the brilliant actors, stage directors and other scene artists who marked the regeneration of our theatrical art. Names like José Anastácio Rosa and João Rosa, Eduardo Brazão and Rosa Damasceno, Amélia Rey Colaço and Augusto Figueiredo, Armando Cortez, Rogério Paulo and Laura Alves, Ruy de Carvalho, Cármen Dolores, Eunice Muñoz and Raul Solnado, among hundreds of other great names of the stage who have assured the continuity of this art, which sometimes is so poorly cherished and understood among us!

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 08.09.2011
Values: stamps of €0,32, €0,32, €0,47, €0,68, €0,80 and €1.00 and two miniature sheets with two stamps of €1.00 each
Designer: Atelier Acácio Santos / Túlio Coelho
Printer: Joh. Enschedé
Process: 4-colour offset lithography
Size: stamps 40.0 mm x 30.6 mm
Souvenir sheet 95 x 125 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: White TR CPST331 110g/m2
Sheet: sheets of 50 stamps

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