The writer, lawyer and stage director Josep Maria Loperena he died this Friday morning at the age of 82. Born in Alguaire (Segrià) in 1938, he studied Philosophy and Letters and Law at the University of Barcelona and was a theater director in the 60s and 70s. At the end of the 70s he left the theatrical direction and dedicated himself to full in advocacy. He is currently a columnist for the Diari de Girona. He also published books on law and essays on theater.
His most recent work is the novel ‘L’espia del violí’ (Efadós), which coincided with the publication of ‘L’espia del Ritz’ (Column) by Pilar Rahola. Both works used the character of Bernard Hilda and this gave rise to a controversy between Loperena and Rahola. The former ended up filing a criminal complaint for plagiarism against the latter.
Loperena’s lawsuit against Columna, against Rahola and against journalist Jordi Finestres –responsible for the report on Bernard Hilda that ‘Sàpiens’ published in 2003– argued that Rahola had appropriated “his” Bernard Hilda, a real violinist who worked at the Hotel Ritz in Barcelona during the 1940s and whom Loperena fictionalized in his novel as a spy, although he claimed that he had “never” been a spy. By contrast, Rahola claimed that the protagonist of his novel was inspired by published information about the real character.