(Vienna, 1913-Barcelona, 1996)
She became prima ballerina at the Vienna Opera, and at age 15 she left her home in Austria to travel around the world. She studied various disciplines, including acrobatic dance, American dance and singing. She later joined the prestigious maestro and director Max Reinhar’s dramatic art school. Combining song, dance and dramatic performance in her artistic activity, she became a top vedette and made numerous tours around Europe. With the outbreak of World War II, she arrived in Spain via Italy in 1942, as a member of the Italian company Bussetti, directed by Eduardo Spadaro, with its show Mani in Tasca e Nasi al Vento.
In April 1943 she joined the popular company The Viennese, a great family directed by Arthur Kaps and Franz Joham. Together they gave lessons in style and created unusually colorful and funny shows, which were enjoyed and applauded by audiences for over two decades. Herta Frankel was successful from the very start. On one occasion Los Vieneses created a group of marionettes and Herta Frankel took over the task of bringing them to life. 1959 marked the inauguration of the Spanish television broadcasting station Miramar, in Barcelona, which over the next twelve years produced children’s programmes, which accompanied all Spanish boys and girls on Sunday afternoons, leaving an indelible imprint on the collective memory of several generations.
In 1961 Herta Frankel made her debut with her own Puppet Theater in Vigo, with fifteen artists, two hundred marionettes, eighty stage sets and a complex light-and-sound setup. Herta Frankel received numerous distinctions like the Gold Medal of Valladolid and the Ondas Prize. The Company’s work in the series El País de la Fantasía was rewarded with the Marconi Award in 1969, the Gold Nymph in 1970 and the Platero de Oro in 1971.
The Herta Frankel Puppet Company was established in 1985, with the entry of Pilar Gálvez and Fernando Gómez. In 1995, the Company set up the exhibition Herta Frankel And Her Puppets in Lleida and Barcelona, an event full of emotion and warmth, where the audience paid the founder a spontaneous and enthusiastic tribute. Herta Frankel died in Barcelona in 1996, at the age of 82. She left behind a magic universe peopled by marionettes that came to life in her hands. All of them have in their souls the same tenderness that was in their maker’s heart, which makes them forever indelible.