Ricard Salvat (Tortosa, 1934 - Barcelona, 2009), a theatre director, writer, and Professor of Performing Arts at the University of Barcelona, was one of the great reformers of Catalan theatre in the second half of the twentieth century. Besides being a leading proponent of independent university theatre, in 1957, he founded, together with Miquel Porter and Helena Estellès, the Teatre Viu group, which performed monologues and improvised pieces in the style of commedia dell’arte. In 1960, he and Maria Aurèlia Capmany founded the Escola d’Art Dramàtic Adrià Gual, which became a place of reference for theatre training. With the Adrià Gual theatre company, he premiered works by great Catalan and foreign authors, among them Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan, Peter Handke’s Offending the Audience, and Salvador Espriu’s famous Ronda de mort a Sinera, which Salvat adapted for the stage.
Part of his extensive career as a director took place abroad with performances of García Lorca’s Yerma in West Germany, Rafael Alberti’s Noche de guerra en el museo del Prado (1973) in Rome, and Imre Madách’s The Tragedy of Man in the National Theatre, Budapest. Between 1977 and 1986, he was director of the Sitges International festival of theatre and, from 2004 and 2006, the Between Cultures Festival in Tortosa. Notable examples of the plays he directed at this stage are Euripides’ The Bacchae (1980), Goethe’s Urfaust (1983), and Josep Soler’s opera Oedipus and Jocasta (1986), in the Liceu Opera House. Moreover, in 2008, he brought his adaptation of Mercè Rodoreda’s work Un dia. Mirall trencat to the stage.
In the university sphere, from his Chair of Performing Arts, he founded the Theatre Research and Experimentation Association, and was editor of the magazine Assaig de Teatre. He also took part in congresses, symposiums, and theatre debates as well as writing for the daily press and specialist reviews of the entertainment industry. Besides monographs on playwrights and theatre in general, he is also the author of the two-volume work Una mirada al teatre modern i contemporani (2010), which expands and revises an earlier edition.
Notable in the literary field are his novel Animals destructors de lleis (1961) and the works of documentary theatre, Adrià Gual i la seva època (1972) and Salvat Papasseit i la seva època (1981).
Since 2015, the University of Barcelona has been editing his diaries, which he began writing in 1962.
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC.
Documentation: Fundació Ricard Salvat.
Translation: Julie Wark.