OMG!!! Where do I begin? How to summarize the last ten days, which I spent here, at the Faber residency in Olot, surrounded by all this beauty?

I came here from Israel. My very first visit to Catalonia (not Spain, Catalunya!, I learn fast…). Had no idea what to expect.

Was told that I would be picked up from the station. Went off the bus and there he was: Francesc Serés, our host, the man behind this wonderful project, smiling at me, leading me to the car, suggest taking me for a quick tour of the city. I say ‘yes, sure’. We hit the road. Wow, it all looks amazing. Truly “love from first sight”, these things happen.

From there on, things just got better and better: meeting some lovely colleagues (Valeria, David, Andrew and Llatzer- you entered my heart, inspired me, moved me every one and each of you), enjoying excellent conditions (great facilities, total isolation and silence when needed, great company and exchange of ideas from time to time, delicious food and of course the view, good God, the view from the balcony), kind hospitality and lots of learning: about the place, its history, geography (Agata- thanks again for the great guided tour!), culture, politics, language, other people and, of course, about myself.

There is indeed “a-lot to learn in Olot”!!! (and did I mention I learn fast?).

There was just one night in which I had to leave the place and go somewhere else. It was last Saturday, for the closing ceremony of Filmets-Badalona Film Festival. It turned out, within an amazing timing, that the wonderful Israeli actress, Miriam Zohar, who’s also a close friend and colleague of mine, won the Venus Award for a leading actress (Millor Actriu). Unfortunately, she couldn’t attend it (aged 85, she’s still performing almost every night on the stage) and asked me to go and represent her. I was very happy and decided to take that mission seriously and to give the traditional “thank you speech” in… Catalan!!!

I knocked on the door of my new friend, the super talented Valèria Gaillard, and asked her to teach me, and quickly, please! (I’m a fast learner, remember?) Half a day we rehearsed (all these “double L”- ll- my God…), but at 0800 PM I stood on the Teatre Zorrilla’s stage, in front of some 500 people and T.V. cameras and spoke. The audience went mad, I was in heaven, the rest is history. 

No kidding, all in all, my stay here was such a fruitful experience, and I’ve managed to make quite a significant progress with my work (a thesis regarding Israeli theatre based on Biblical materials. Take a look at my website, www.royhorovitz.com).

Thank you, Faber residency (Francesc, Albert, Agata, dear sponsors…), You are doing a great work!!! I promise to be a devoted ambassador, spreading the word about you and preparing all my homework (Valeria recommended so many books, Llatzer sent me a play, Andrew and David referred to some must T.V. series and movies…). As I see it, it was only the beginning of a wonderful friendship between us, and I already look forward to our next time together!