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FPdGi Awards

Theatre director Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos, 2019 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award

The jury, who met on 20 February at the Seville Aquarium, chose the winner for “his ability to create deeply appealing visual universes and for his vision of opera as a tool for social construction”.


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The theatre director from Seville Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos has won the 2019 Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGi) Arts and Literature Award. The winner’s name was announced on 20 February at an event attended by almost 300 people in the Global Omnium auditorium of the Seville Aquarium, the first to be hosted in this new venue. The jury praised the winner’s “ability to create deeply appealing visual universes and his vision of opera as a tool for social and individual construction, based on contemporary interpretations designed to promote a dialogue with the public”.

Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos (Seville, 1987), attending the event, thanked the Princess of Girona Foundation for the award, saying that it highlighted “the power of young people” and that he wanted to dedicate it to all the performers, artists and collaborators who bring his ideas to life on the stage.“A theatre director is a product manager who coordinates the talent of many people”, he explained.

The winner also said it was a great honour to join the ranks of the Foundation’s award winners, which include other Andalusian names such as Auxiliadora Toledano, soprano and 2013 FPdGi Award winner, singer Soleá Morente, who won last year’s award, and poet Elena Medel, winner of the 2016 FPdGi Award. The three also took part in the events carried out by the Foundation together with other previous winners, such as conductor Andrés Salado, painter Hugo Fontela, engineer José Miguel Bermúdez, and researcher Damià Tormo. 

The jury, who met on 20 February at the Seville Aquarium for their deliberations, was made up of theatre producer Jesús Cimarro, the artistic director of the Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona Víctor García de Gomar, cinema producer Luis Manso, journalist Montserrat Domínguez, who acted as chair, and poet Elena Medel, who was secretary of the jury.

The event, organised by the FPdGi and presented by serial creator Xavier Verdaguer and journalist and humourist Juan Carlos Ortega, was attended by various institutional representatives and members of Andalusia’s cultural and social sphere. In his closing speech, the president of the Foundation, Francisco Belil,emphasised the FPdGi’s work “for andwith young people”, including Andalusia’s youth, because “they have the necessary talent to be competitive, innovative and creative, but they need opportunities to demonstrate, develop and fully exploit it”.

Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos, theatre director born in Seville in 1987, graduated in Dramatic Arts from the Royal School for Dramatic Arts in Madrid and went on to postgraduate studies in music as interdisciplinary art at the University of Barcelona and ESMUC. His work in Italy, Germany, Hungary and the UK has won him recognition with multiple awards, such as Opera Europa’s European Opera-Directing Prize and a finalist position in the Independent Opera London Awards in 2014.

During the 2015-16 season he was an artist-in-residence at the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome. He has worked with artists such as Salvatore Sciarrino, David Arkham and the Quiroga Quartet. His most recent projects include a staging of Orfeo ed Euridiceby Gluck at Jerez de la Frontera’s Villamarta Theatre and a beautiful production of Acis and Galateaby Handel at the 2018 Castell de Peralada Festival. Last November he presented the operas Der Diktatorby Ernst Krenek and The Emperor of Atlantisby Viktor Ullmann at the Maestranza Theatre in Seville.



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