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Agenda Cultural

 

Yes, Lope achieved popularity while living. When they wanted to extol a work of art or wanted to note the properties of a product, as vulgar as it may be, they used the expression “It’s by Lope.” His fame was such that the prayer of the day for years was dedicated to him: “I believe in Lope de Vega all powerful, poet of heaven and earth.” However, the Inquisition did not find this amusing and had to intervene in order to remove the new credo. They say that people stopped Lope on the street to greet him and confess their admiration, and then they applauded him. He lived the glory of his success and was the best indicator of poetry and theater of his time.  

One of the events that best shows the extraordinary popularity that Lope de Vega achieved, that the people considered the great writer of the people, is the sensational
burial that he had. The funeral service lasted an amazing nine days, and became the most notable funeral of the time.

“It was Lope’s task to be the appropriate representative of the community to which he belonged. His life, tumult without shores, is like the flow of contemporary history, crazy, proud, unrestrained, full of trip-ups and incredible gestures of nobility. Set firmly in Catholic orthodoxy and in fidelity to the King, Lope assimilates the heartbeat of his people and transforms it into a work of art, giving it a gesture of extraordinary beauty, but without new or complicated points of view, but always faithful to the crowd he finds himself in and supports.”  (Zamora Vicente).

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Su madre fue Francisca Fernández Flórez y su padre Félix de Vega Carpio, maestro bordador, ambos procedían de las montañas de Cantabria.

Lope tuvo cuatro hermanos: Francisco, Juliana, Luisa y Juan. El poeta pasó parte de su infancia en casa de su tío, don Miguel de Carpio, Inquisidor de Sevilla.

 Firma-autgrafa-de-Lope-de-Vega

No, at the time there were no intellectual property rights, the copyright. The authors or publishers were thus exposed to the fact that their works could be published at any moment by another publisher. The only tools for preventing this were the printing license and the exclusive that the King solicited called the "exclusive edition," that was granted for a number of years in certain geographic areas.

If there existed the royal exclusive for a work, legally nobody could publish it. The monarch could grant this to the author and also to the publisher or bookseller, and both could publish the work at their own cost or concede the exclusives to someone else who wanted to buy it.

Both the 'exclusive' granted to the author as well as the cession of the publisher figured in the preliminaries of the books, as well as the erratum where a list of possible printing errors is published. Other requirements were the 'approval,' as the church's go ahead, that is to say, the religious censure, and lastly, the ´tax´ which described in detail the price of the book. Only the traders and traffickers of wealthy business, noblemen and other members of the upper class could buy books, a true object of luxury for the vast majority of Spaniards.

In the case of the comedies (general name used for theatrical works or plays, they could be comedies or tragedies), the authors wrote the work to be performed. Later, the text in some cases was printed and generally appeared in a compilation of twelve works, which was called a 'parte,' as a unit or part of several volumes. These compilations could be by the same author, or by several authors.

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maqueta-corral-de-comedias

In Lope de Vega’s time there was court theatre, religious theatre and popular theatre. The first was presented in the royal palaces, and the religious theatre had to take place during the day. In the second group belonged the celebration of the eighth day of the feast of Corpus Christi, the interpretation of the sacramental religious plays. Lastly, the popular theatre, which took place in the corrales de comediasThe first corrales de comedias were interior courtyards of homes where the stage and seats were improvised. As they gained in popularity, they become more complex. They were organized into different parts: the stage, which was a platform without a curtain or decorations; the cazuela on the opposite side and which was reserved for women, the chambers, balconies and windows of the houses that faced the courtyard and were reserved for the nobles, and the patio, for the people from the town. The back was for the musketeers who earned their name from their shouts and the troublemaking attitude at the performances they did not like. Usually they threw vegetables at the stage. Lastly, in front of the stage, there were benches reserved for the tradesmen and artisans who could afford to pay for a slightly better seat., with performancesThe function generally began with a ‘loa’ (prologue) that bid the public’s favor and tried from that first moment to win over the attendees and get them on the company’s side. With that introduction they also tried to get the spectators to be quiet.
In the first act, the jesters set the stage with their recitations with which they tried to compensate for the poverty of the stage.  The spectators had to be entertained at all times, avoiding lulls, so pauses were few.
Between the first and second acts an ‘entremés’ was performed and between the two acts there was a dance or comic ballad sung. A ‘farce’ –act with music, dancing and hustle and bustle—ended the performance.
, which anyone could attend, as long as they paid. The corrales were run by confraternitiesAt the beginning of 1574, the Confraternity de la Soledad rented the Corral de Burgillos. Their intention was to earn extra money with the performance of comedies, in the same way that the Confraternity de la Pasión had been earning since 1668. Both then became involved in a lawsuit, started by the Pasión, which tried to maintain the monopoly. The ended with the agreement ratified by the Council of Castile, according to which the two institutions shared the income and expenses related to the performance of the plays. The La Confraternity de la Pasión would have two thirds, and the remaining third went to the Soledad.
 “Porque dando un real a la comedia, se da medio al hospital y a los pobres, y somos
de tan ruin naturaleza, que aunque veamos a nuestra puerta los pobres como llovidos y las camas de los hospitales llenas de ellos, no nos alargamos a darles dos maravedís de una vez, y por este camino se paga un tributo grande a los hospitales [...] sin duda, el provecho que sacan de las representaciones es grandísimo, y se había de mirar en esto con mucho cuidado; y así, considerándolo, todas las ciudades de España donde quiera que hacen teatro aplican su provecho al hospital”, advertía Francisco Ortiz en su Apología en defensa de las comedias que se representan en España, escrita a principios del siglo XVII.
and were companies of actor, many of them with a set structure, which maintained the theater.

The success of the theater in the corrales de comedias was such that the companies went on to perform the functions every day, forgoing the custom to only act on holidays. The works ran for one or two days –very few times they went on for five— the shows lasted between two and a half and three hours, usually at two or three in the afternoon in the winter and a four in the summer. The theatrical performancesThe function generally began with a ‘loa’ (prologue) that bid the public’s favor and tried from that first moment to win over the attendees and get them on the company’s side. With that introduction they also tried to get the spectators to be quiet.
In the first act, the jesters set the stage with their recitations with which they tried to compensate for the poverty of the stage.  The spectators had to be entertained at all times, avoiding lulls, so pauses were few.
Between the first and second acts an ‘entremés’ was performed and between the two acts there was a dance or comic ballad sung. A ‘farce’ –act with music, dancing and hustle and bustle—ended the performance.
, that were suspended in the event of rain had to be finished before sunset for moral reasons and public order.

The authors wrote the works for their performance and in many cases, they were then printed. The actors were part of the company of actors, who were established and legally regulated. There were different types of companies: royal or titled, league or traveling, puppet or comic… But with the corrales, the first fixed theaters, there also appeared the established companies. These were made up of a minimum of fifteen actors, and tended to have a repertoire of around fifty plays.

The Confraternities ruled the corrales de comedias and used the money earned to run hospitals and works of charity. The Confraternity of Sagrada Pasión and the Confraternity of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad ruled the two corrales de comedias of Madrid, the most famous of all, the Confraternity de la Cruz and del Príncipe.

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Yes, and Lope de Vega created the best female roles in Golden Age theater, women who were interpreted by actresses or “comediennes” on the stages of the corralas. Fearless and determined, the women in Lope de Vega’s works dress as men or travel disguised as housemaids, breaking the legal rules and social impositions, they are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they are looking for, just like the men. Some of these groundbreaking characters appear in El perro del hortelano, where the main character not only chooses the man she will marry, but also chooses him from among her employees; or in Fuenteovejuna, where Laurencia harangues the frightened men so that the rape she was subjected to does not go unpunished. In La moza de cántaro, Doña María abandons her house to become a housemaid and avenge a family affront, and in La serrana de la vera, Gila renounces her ranch and its comforts to remedy a masculine humiliation and becomes a bandit, and with that, the mistress of her own life.

Contrary to what happened in England, the presence of women was very relevant in the theater in Spain. Although in the 16th and 17th century women were not considered legal subjects, they knew how to get around the difficulties and were able to insert themselves into the universal theater as authors of plays, actresses and even business women.

Jerónima de Burgos, Francisca Baltasara –better known as 'La Baltasara'-, Bárbara Coronel, Jusepa Vaca, Micaela Fernández, María de Navas, Francisca Vallejo, Ana Muñoz, Juana de Villalba and the authors María de Zayas and Ana Caro de Mallén are some of the women who make up part of the Golden Age’s theater.

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Su madre fue Francisca Fernández Flórez y su padre Félix de Vega Carpio, maestro bordador, ambos procedían de las montañas de Cantabria.

Lope tuvo cuatro hermanos: Francisco, Juliana, Luisa y Juan. El poeta pasó parte de su infancia en casa de su tío, don Miguel de Carpio, Inquisidor de Sevilla.