In the course of the seventeenth century, with the Dutch Revolt against Spain coming to a final peace, Spanish theatre invaded the Netherlands. The initial reconnaissances took place during the Twelve Years Truce of 1609-1621, in a pioneering transfer by a Dutch diplomat in Madrid. In the forties and fifties, however, the newly built Amsterdam Schouwburg started to enhance its ‘native’ repertoire by translating and producing the attractive Spanish plays on an industrial scale.
With its massive impact on repertoire and taste, Spain became a kind of Hollywood for Dutch theater. Lope de Vega, in particular, was embraced by Dutch theater producers as many of his works were to stay and dominate the repertoire for over 150 years. As a further consequence, Vega’s name and plays went their way from Amsterdam throughout the Dutch Republic and beyond, to Kopenhagen, Germany, Stockholm and other Baltic stages.
Traditional research of the import, adaptations, impact and popularity in the Netherlands, and the export of the Vega plays throughout the Dutch mercantile and cultural network, has accelerated considerably in recent times, partly due to the newly developed digital datasystem for the Amsterdam Theater in the Golden Age, ONSTAGE, which opens up data from the extensive manuscript theater administration. Frequencies of play performances and revenues now allow to determine both the big hits of the Dutch Vega vogue, as well as some failures. Moreover, the research tool brings to light creative industry processes for the theater, such as Spanish translation networks, production patterns, and criteria and agencies responsible for selection.
Our presentation on the Vega invasion in the Dutch domain, will first focus on the initial phase with an analysis of the individual efforts done by the diplomat Theodoor Rodenburgh. In the second part we aim to give an analysis of the industrial import of Vega plays for the Amsterdam theater, also presenting the datasystem ONSTAGE. In conclusion, we will look at the Lope de Vega export from Amsterdam.
Dr. Frans R.E. Blom is an expert in the Neolatin and vernacular literature of the Dutch Golden Age. Working at the University of Amsterdam, he studies the cultural life of Golden Age Amsterdam, with a focus on the City Theater. He is supervisor in the ONSTAGE online datasystem for Theater in Amsterdam of the Golden Age. In addition to his dissertation on the autobiography of Constantijn Huygens (2003), he has also devoted many of his publications to this key figure in Dutch cultural history.
Dr. Olga van Marion is assistant professor at Leiden University, specialized in Dutch Golden Age poetry. She published books and articles on heroical epistles (Heldinnenbrieven, 2005), lyrics (Princesse Lietboec, 2007), female authors (Women’s Writing from the Low Countries, 2010), medievalism (Vrouw van het Vaderland, 2011) and subversive literature (Boeken onder druk, 2011 and Schokkende boeken! 2014). Currently she is working on the cultural transfer between Dutch and Spanish Golden Age theater.