Interview with Adolfo Marsillach, published in the newspaper El País
(Madrid, November 14th, 1989)


Tirso and the ONE

Letter to the Director published in the newspaper El País (Madrid, November 26th, 1989)


I remember that last July, regarding the appointment of Adolfo Marsillach as director of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM), Eduardo Haro Tecglen glossed in an article in his newspaper his excellence for the theatrical side of his management, which I think we all agree on. Regarding the musical aspect, Mr. Haro said (I quote from memory): "... as for music, only God knows what will become of it."
Well, four months after that appointment, Spanish musicians are already beginning to know what will become of us in the near future. The statements of Mr. Marsillach (whom, on the other hand, I deeply admire as a man of the theater) on the last page of EL PAÍS on November 14th, 1989 are eloquent enough to produce chills of terror among the profession. I quote verbatim: "With my utmost respect for the members of the National Orchestra, in my cultural desires, I am more interested in Tirso. It is not a personal question. In an objective way, within the culture of a country the classics are more important. For a simple reason, the classics are imperishable and the National Orchestra I don't know."
Despite the horrendous wording at the end of the paragraph, it is clear to the world of Spanish music that its brand-new director, by the same rule of thumb, is more interested in Beethoven than in his National Classical Theater Company.
Naturally, the same thing happens to me in my cultural desires, but if I were director of the INAEM I would try not to mix them with my responsibilities, and I would do everything possible not to fall, in statements to the media, into sophisms as cheap as that from Mr. Marsillach. I propose another, which is suggested to me by rereading the previous paragraph: "Since Mr. Marsillach is unable to resolve the ONE conflict, the best thing would be to break up the ONE (or the dog died, the rage is over). Another variant (… the best thing would be to end with Mr. Marsillach, or for Mr. Marsillach to resign) is naturally out of the question". Because, despite what he himself thought a few years ago, "honesty [is] not always rewarded in Spain."
Remember that, as a man of the theater, your obligation is to get you goose bumps with the classics, and as director of the INAEM, your obligation is to take away your sleep with the National Orchestra. And remember also that if there is something perishable in all this unpleasant affair, it is certainly not Tirso, who is above good and evil, nor is it the ONE, who is as necessary for music as your company for the classical theater, but rather yor position at the head of a public institution in which the incompetence of our current rulers decided to merge two general directions (Music and Theater) into one (the INAEM), in shameful proof of how little they cared about both.

José Luis Turina, composer. Madrid