The talented Manuel Granero (on the 98th anniversary of his death)
On the 29th of June 1920, a young matador is introduced to the Madrid bullring. His name is Manuel Granero Valls. He’s a prodigy from Valencia and many bullfighting enthusiasts already consider him to be the heir to the throne, left empty by the fatal goring of Joselito ‘El Gallo’ in the plaza de toros of Talavera de la Reina. Some years earlier the future looked different.
A photograph shows a nine-year-old Granero on the day his mother took him to the Conservatorio de Musica. Under his arm he clutches his proudest possession and it won’t be long before his teachers realise that this youngster has a great musical talent. In the words of his conservatory director: “No doubt Manuel will be a virtuoso violinist. Very soon he’ll play sonatas by Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven.” But Manuel is from El Pilar, a neighbourhood famous for its toreros and the applause and the glittering costumes also attract the young music student. At the age of 14 and calling himself ‘Granadito’, he makes his official appearance in the plaza de toros of Valencia. The next day, one of the local newspapers records: “The boy possesses an astounding serenity and is a natural in handling the cape as well as the red cloth. His taurine skills are exceptional!”
In May 1922 Manuel Granero, by now a confirmed matador, is back in the nation’s capital. The dark grey bull is called Pocapena. When the time comes to kill the animal, Granero leads him out to the middle of the golden circle and lines him up. Suddenly the bull lunges forward catching the Valencian by the right leg, throwing him into the air. As the matador falls to the ground the bull’s horn rams into the man’s eye and crashes his head against the wooden barrier, shattering his skull. Manuel Granero dies instantly. He is only twenty.
crónica de Pieter Hildering
Fotografias de archivo Diputacion y del libro “Manuel Granero una muerte marcada“ de Manuel Serrano Roma