PARIS – A Spanish foundation has awarded one of the country’s most prestigious awards to British theatre and film director Peter Brook on Wednesday.
The 94-year-old said he was infinitely grateful to be awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2019.
He told EFE that he will continue to work “while it may be useful” and added: “If not, life has no interest.”
Brook said that he was surprised to receive the news of his accolade in Switzerland, while completing his last theatrical project, “Why,” a face-to-face between two interpreters who question why they have devoted all their energy to the theater.
He described the award as “a joy fallen from heaven” and added: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you is a beautiful word.”
He added that if he is able he will go in person to the awards ceremony in Oviedo, northwest Spain.
Brook, a pioneer of British experimental theater and one of the most important stage figures of the past century for the innovative character of his productions, has received 39 nominations from 17 countries.
He was director of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the middle of the last century, before moving to Paris in the 1970s.
In 1971 he founded an international group of creation and experimental theater, the International Centre for Theatre Research, of which he is director.
Brook said that what interests him in his work is the “exploration of life” through theater, opera, cinema or writing.
The arts can bring people closer and “help people in their lives,” he added.
Brook came to fame with his staging of Marat/Sade in 1964 and his adaptation of the Indian epic poem Mahabharata in 1985.
He has been based in France for more than four decades.
The premiere of his next film will be held on June 19 at the Bouffes du Nord theater in Paris, where his company has its headquarters.
The Princess of Asturias Foundation convenes the Princess of Asturias Awards, which are presented at an academic ceremony held each year in Oviedo, capital of the Principality of Asturias.
The Foundation’s aims are to contribute to extolling and promoting those scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of the universal heritage of humanity and to consolidate the existing links between the Principality of Asturias and the title traditionally held by the heirs to the Crown of Spain.