Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito (Dominican Republic) joins OLA
Inaugurated in 1973, Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito hosts the most varied shows in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. In addition, it is the first Caribbean theatre to join the Latin American Opera network.
Having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito, located in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is the first Caribbean theatre to join the Ópera Latinoamérica network. The institution was preceded by the National Theatre of Santo Domingo and today it is home to symphonic seasons and the International and National Theatre Festival, among other lyrical shows.
«As a director, I consider that our mission should be to seek the original balance of the principles for which this great theatre was created and to evolve following the needs of the audiences according to the times and social circumstances. It is important to be in contact with Latin America,” says in this interview the general director of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito, Carlos Veitía, who also delves into the theatre’s operating system, its artistic seasons and the reasons for its incorporation into Ópera Latinoamérica.
Why did the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito decide to join Ópera Latinoamérica?
We joined Ópera Latinoamérica for the reason that the National Theatre of the Dominican Republic was created for the promotion and professionalization of the performing and musical arts 50 years ago.
Originally the function and mission of the society and the government at the beginning of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito was to bring the most recognized institutions and companies of opera, ballet, dance of various genres and theatre, and this was what happened during the first decade of the theatre’s existence. the institution. Then it was included to accommodate the most excellent of the popular genre of the Dominican Republic.
The operas were performed for decades by the management of the same theatre with local and international talent. Likewise, international theatre festivals and the famous Santo Domingo Music Festival.
In fact, the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito promoted the commitment to professionalize ballet and other manifestations of performing arts.
The existence of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito is preceded by Bella Artes, a palace built decades earlier where the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre Company, the National Choir, and later the Folkloric Ballet and the National Classical Ballet were grouped together.
However, the development of some of these institutions and their foundation occurred after the creation of the National Theatre where they were developed with the responsibility of the improvement and standards that a centre of that magnitude required.
The visit of Alejandra Martí as a guest of Fundación Sinfonía, encouraged the decision to join OLA, aware that, although currently we do not have a fixed opera season as we do with one of the Symphony or Ballet and theatre, It is in our joint plans with collaborators and allied foundations to recover lyrical opera as part of our programming offer. The production of shows of this genre remains sporadic in the Dominican Republic.
What place does this space have in the cultural life and general artistic panorama of the Dominican Republic?
The Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito produces a limited number of projects because the most significant economic income is created by private producers who rent the rooms for international and national artists. The management of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito has designated specific times and dates for its productions and it is important to clarify that it has not been the custom of the managements to exercise and mission to finance or plan seasons, this has been the decision of some administrations, not all. It should be noted that our programming has been full for almost two years in advance.
This circumstance that we have of intermittency in terms of a support from the board is the result of changes in government (we are dependent on the Ministry of Culture and governments), it is due to the need to respect and maintain foundations constantly seeking funds for artistic and other projects. nature.
The Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito has had a board of trustees for decades and has served various purposes, but producing has not been a priority. The Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito has had two foundations, one of them current and a volunteer that is in the process of formation. However, this year of the fiftieth anniversary has probably been the year in which the institution has had the most productions under its responsibility.
The National Ballet Festival, the staging of the play Juana la Loca… madness or conspiracy?, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and The Nutcracker, already a tradition.
The symphonic seasons are based at the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito, the International and National Theatre Festival share their staging with other theatres in the country and the Van Cliburn Festival, which is held biannually, is based in our Carlos Piantini Hall. From this event the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito recently received the donation of a Steinway and Sons Grand Piano. We have several pianos in stock and in constant maintenance.
Finally, as a director I consider that our mission should be to seek the original balance of the principles for which this great theatre was created and to evolve following the needs of the audiences according to the times and social circumstances. It is important to be in contact with Latin America.
The theatre owes its name to the internationally famous Dominican baritone, Eduardo Brito. How does historical memory persist in the activity of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito? Do you pay tributes to Dominican lyrical characters? Do you have a documentation centre or historical theatre archive? How do they transfer that memory to the public?
Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito was inaugurated in 1973 under the name of the National Theatre of Santo Domingo. It was not until a few decades later that it was renamed after the famous baritone Eduardo Brito.
There is a bust in the central lobby, a commemorative plaque and currently on our website being updated, we are expanding the already published history of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito including the Brito chapter.
Visitor and student tours that are guided by our staff include the information.
I must say that since I assumed the position of general and artistic director, I have evidenced the enormous need to create not only more information in our dance, theatre, music, and lyric galleries that we exhibit in our halls, but also in the expansion and readjustment of essay study areas. To date we have renovated one for dance and another for drama that were in need. Currently there are plans to build a multipurpose black box type. The National Symphony Orchestra has another large-capacity studio on the third level of the building. Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito still has enormous, underutilized areas. During the cultural training courses that we offer free, a discussion about Brito is included.
«Our mission should be to seek the original balance of the principles for which this great theatre was created and to evolve following the needs of the audiences according to the times and social circumstances.»
How do you approach the different audiences in the community? Do you have specific training, education, promotion, innovation, etc. projects?
In all Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito productions there are general rehearsals open to public high schools, schools, universities, and students. Friends of Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito Foundation, the Por la Música Foundation, and Dominican career artists abroad, offer free courses and workshops in the Aida Bonelly de Diaz room (former director and pianist).
In the Ravelo room (national composer) theatre makers have a stage at minimal or free cost to put on the works that the Ministry of Culture and the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito choose for quality. The calls for hearings are made by the foundations, Culture, and the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito.
How is the lyrical programming of the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito projected for 2024? What productions or lyrical activities can you highlight?
Together with the producer Fidel López and Fundación Sinfonía we will put Tosca on stage during the month of July 2024.