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El Público is Lorca’s most difficult and mysterious play, and one of the great classics of modern Spanish theatre. Lorca wrote it in Cuba, just after his trip to New York, at a time of intense experimentation in art and life. Homosexuality is addressed openly in El Público. The play is a cry of defiance against bourgeois hypocrisy and a plea for sexual and artistic freedom. Two ways of understanding art are dealt with in the play: the Teatro al Aire Libre (Theatre in the Open Air), commercial and wishing to please the audience, and the Teatro Bajo la Arena (Theatre beneath the Sand), which aims to reveal that which is hidden and question established values.
The play also addresses the issue of the mask in the theatre, which arrives at the heart of the piece and defines a reality in a perpetual state of change, a kind of dream in which characters and identities constantly change their roles. El Público explores consciousness itself and questions the notion of individuality and free will. We are not one, but many.
El Público also considers the theme of art as an instrument for transforming reality, not in a merely political sense, but totally. Lorca was convinced, along with the surrealists, that art had the ability to transform human beings. In the same spirit, composer Mauricio Sotelo and librettist Andrés Ibañez, along with sculptor and set designer Alexander Polzin, have taken up the challenge of transforming El Público into a twenty-first-century opera.


Opera in five scenes with a prologue
Music by Mauricio Sotelo
Libretto by Andrés Ibáñez, based on Federico García Lorca´s play El Público

World premiere
New production of Teatro Real

Klangforum Wien

Chorus of the Teatro Real

(Coro Intemezzo)

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Pablo Heras-Casado
  • Stage director: Robert Castro
  • Set designer: Alexander Polzin
  • Costume designer: Wojciech Dziedzic
  • Lighting designer: Urs Schönebaum
  • Choreographer: Darrel Grand Moultrie
  • Sound Director: Peter Böhm
  • Sound Director´s assistant: Florian Bogner
  • Chorus Master: Andrés Máspero
· - ·
  • Director: José Antonio López
  • First horse: Arcángel
  • Second horse: Jesús Méndez
  • Third horse: Rubén Olmo
  • First man: Thomas Tatzl
  • Second man: Josep Miquel Ramón
  • Third man: Antonio Lozano
  • Elena: Gun-Brit Barkmin
  • Emperor / Magician: Erin Caves
  • Juliet: Isabella Gaudí
  • Servant: José San Antonio
  • Soloist guitar: Cañizares
  • Percussionist: Agustín Diassera

Performance Dates

  • 24 FEB (T) 20:00h
  • 26 FEB (T) 20:00h
  • 1 MAR (S) 18:00h
  • 4 MAR (W) 20:00h
  • 6 MAR (F) 20:00h
  • 9 MAR (M) 20:00h
  • 11 MAR (W) 20:00h
  • 13 MAR (F) 20:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Approximate running time

I Part: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Pause: 30 minutes
II Part: 45 minutes

Photo gallery


Programme of show

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