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An Opera by Enrique Granados

The characters and setting of the opera are suggested by the work of the Spanish painter Goya. The opera opens with a crowd of majas and majos enjoying a holiday on the outskirts of Madrid. Some of the majas are engaged in the popular pastime of tossing the pelele (a man of straw) in a blanket. Paquiro the toreador is paying compliments to the women. Pepa, his sweetheart of the day, arrives in her dogcart. Popular, she is warmly welcomed. Soon Rosario, a lady of rank, arrives in her sedan-chair to keep a tryst with her lover, Fernando, a captain in the Royal Spanish Guards. Paquiro reminds her a baile de candil (a ball given in a room lit by candlelight) which she once attended. He invites to go again. Fernando overhears his remarks. His jealousy is aroused. He informs Paquiro that Rosario shall go to the ball, but that he, Fernando, will accompany her. He extracts Rosario’s promise to go with him, while Pepa, enraged by Paquiro’s neglect, vows vengeance upon her.

The second tableau shows the scene at the ball. Fernando appears with Rosario. His haughty bearing and disdainful speech anger all present. The two men arrange for a duel that evening, and when Rosario recovers from a swoon, Fernando takes her away.

The third tableau reveals Rosario’s garden. Fernando visits her before keeping his appointment with Paquiro. When a bell strikes the fatal hour, Fernando tears himself away. He is followed hesitatingly by Rosario. Soon the silence is broken by a cry from Fernando, followed by a shriek from Rosario. The lovers reappear. Rosario supports Fernando to a stone bench where he dies in her arms.

Enrique Granados, perhaps the first important composer from Spain to visit North America, was born July 27, 1867, at Lerida, Catalonia. He died March 24, 1916, a passenger on the Sussex, torpedoed in the English Channel. The libretto for his "Goyescas" is by Fernando Periquet.

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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