On July 14, while the French were celebrating their national holiday, Ariel Goldenberg died, in a bed cured of horror, like all those in hospitals. It happened in Nimes, where he sought peace with his partner, Andrea Jacobsen, leaving behind an impressive professional career.
He became one of the most important performing arts programmers in Europe: in Spain he was linked to the direction of the Madrid International Theater Festival during the throbbing eighties and the Autumn Festival during the first fifteen years of this century. Both events put Madrid at the top of the international theater scene, the most prestigious artists and companies passed through them, and in both cases, their contribution was decisive. In France he directed the Theater of Bobigny from 1989 to 2000, the year in which he went on to direct the National Theater of Chaillot, in Paris.
I know that a tribute is being prepared there for next fall; Here we are not much of that of recognition, it will be that in these latitudes the looks go less far because the places are full of yoes, or because the ball is disputed from below, in the kingdom of stomping, not elbowing, that this decomposes the gesture and is inelegant.
I met Ariel in 1980, when he passed through Madrid with a French company that José Luis Gómez had programmed in the Spanish Theater, and he joined first with Gómez and then with our Caballo de Bastos Cultural Association with which we had mounted the first edition of the Festival International the year before.
What did Ariel have? What could explain that that calm young man who had come to the Nancy Festival as a companion to a Buenos Aires Jewish folk theater company and who had stayed in Europe, that simple twenty-something, who joined us without breaking the smile, because Ariel was A man behind a smile, will have the most complete agenda of the world theater and speak directly with the great monsters of the scene?
That he spoke seven languages, that he had a prodigious memory and a processor in his head that allowed him to operate with that database, surely something had to do with it. I’m just saying that I never saw him run, or be late, or get pissed off with yelling, or even raise his voice so that those in a nearby radius could perceive that he was talking to important people, or sit a chair, or even the slightest intention of take the Bastille.
If I saw that everyone greeted him and knew him, theater workers, neighbors, waiters, janitors … And that he loved to talk about ham, wine, football. I only saw a deeper expression of concern once, when the Falklands war; I am sure it was not because he was thinking of glorious pages of history, but rather that it might complicate his contact with those of the Royal Shakespeare Company, or something like that, because this Jew, born in Argentina to Romanian and Polish parents, nationalized in Spain and inhabitant of France had no homeland other than the theater.
Thorough tact He has been a cultural manager since the 1970s, as well as the first director of the Teatro Price in Madrid in its contemporary period and of La Noche en blanco.