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date: 26 February 2020

Goyescaslocked

  • Douglas Riva

Extract

Opera in one act (three scenes) by Enrique Granados to a libretto by Fernando Periquet; New York, Metropolitan Opera, 28 January 1916.

Goyescas is perhaps unique among operas in being based on a piano suite, inspired by the atmosphere and the people of 18th-century Madrid as depicted by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746–1828). Granados was encouraged by the American pianist Ernest Schelling to transform the suite into an opera. After creating a dramatic format for the work with Periquet he composed the music, to which Periquet then fitted a libretto.

The setting is Madrid, around 1800. Paquiro (baritone), a bullfighter, is flirting and joking with a group of young people in the Campo de la Florida. His fiancée, Pepa (mezzo-soprano), arrives in her dog-cart (‘La calesa’) followed by the noblewoman Rosario (soprano), in her sedan chair (‘Los requiebros’), who looks for her lover, Fernando (tenor), a captain in the Royal Guard. Paquiro invites her to a dance at a tavern that evening. Fernando arrives in time to announce that he will be taking Rosario himself. Pepa, furious, vows vengeance on Rosario. The second scene is in a lantern-lit tavern. Fernando and Paquiro quarrel and arrange a duel, while the ...

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