Gerardo Vera, total creator of theater and cinema, dies at 73

Gerardo Vera, total creator of theater and cinema, dies at 73

The theater, film, television and opera director and set designer won two Goya awards and was distinguished with the National Theater Award

Gerardo Vera, total creator of theater and cinema, dies at 73

Gerardo Vera was a stage man. Of all the scenes. A total artist who began his career as a set designer and costume designer, who won two Goya awards in film, who was an actor, who mounted operas and conceived musical shows, who succeeded, above all, as a director in the theater, where he directed the actors greatest with exquisite taste, and who was responsible for the National Dramatic Center between 2004 and 2011, giving rise to a new generation of directors such as Alfredo Sanzol, Guillem Clua and, in some way, Ernesto Caballero. Always with a voracious appetite, always with several projects underway, all of them ambitious, Gerardo Vera died this Sunday at 73 years of age because of Covid-19, according to sources close to the playwright.

Identified with creative versatility, he did not lack awards and recognitions . He received two Goyas for the costume design of El amor brujo , in 1987, and for the artistic direction of La Niña de tus ojos , in 1999. In addition, in 1988 he was awarded the National Prize for Performing Arts. Three decades later, he was still working tirelessly.

Born in Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid) on March 10, 1947, Vera studied English Philology and came into contact with the University Theater (TEU), where she made her first scenography as an amateur .

His first steps in professional theater were taken in the early 1970s with Manuel Collado and the Tiempo del 98 company, until he moved on to independent theater. He worked with Juan Margallo and the group Tábano and was an actor, set designer and costume designer, but he soon decided to concentrate his fiery talent on set design . To do so, he moved to London , where he studied performing arts, scenography and costumes at the Central School of Arts. Meritorious later in the costume department of the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden, he completed his training at the Laboratory Theater in Zagreb, in Yugoslavia, and at the Prague Theater Institute, in Czechoslovakia.

Back in Spain, he worked as a set designer and costume designer in theater, opera, film and television . His productions include Antón Chejov's La gaviota and Antonio Gala's The Bird Cemetery , both with Manuel Collado; Geography by Álvaro del Amo, Orquídeas en la luz de la luna by Carlos Fuentes, Carmen, Carmen , by A. Gala, and Hamlet by Shakespeare, in José Carlos Plaza's debut as director of the Centro Dramático Nacional.

Similarly, Vera alternated her theater work with others such as the scenography of Ana Belén Rosa's musical de amor y fuego (1988), at the Spanish Theater. He also made his operatic debut with Lucía de Lammermoor by Donizetti, in 1983, for which he did set design and costumes; This was followed by Mozart's Don Giovanni , Bizet's Carmen , Verdi's Simón Boccanegra , Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen , Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore , and Alban Berg's Wozzeck and Lulú , both with Plaza as stage director.

The first collaboration of this passionate about soundtracks in film sets and costumes was in the film Feroz (1983), by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, with whom he would work again on two occasions. With Carlos Saura he collaborated in El amor brujo (1986), El Dorado (1988) and La noche negra (1989), while with Fernando Trueba he also made three films, Be unfaithful and don't look with whom (1985), El Sueño del Mono loco (1989) and The girl of your eyes (1998). In addition, he was the artistic director in How to be a woman and not die trying (1990), Ana Belén's debut film as a director.

In addition to working on television making sets and costumes, in 1991 he directed his first film, A Woman in the Rain , a free version of Edgar Neville's Life in a Thread .

In 1992 he took an emblematic show of the event, Azabache , to the Universal Exposition of Seville , which brought together Imperio Argentina, Juanita Reina, Rocío Jurado, Nati Mistral and María Vidal on stage.

In 2004, this restless creator became a cultural manager when he was appointed director of the National Dramatic Center (CDN) , based at the María Guerrero Theater in Madrid, by the then Minister of Culture, Carmen Calvo. Determined to open the center to the general public, he debuted at his second venue, the Valle Inclán Theater, in the Lavapiés neighborhood, with Divinas Palabras (2006) by Valle-Inclán, which he later took to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, where was awarded.

Since then, Vera has devoted herself entirely to the theater, with splendid triumphs such as Agosto (Osage County) , her farewell from the CDN, with Amparo Baró and Carmen Machi as protagonists.

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