Mrs. Francisquita ’, the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Max for Best Musical or Lyric Show

Doña Francisquita

The production of Zarzuela Theater ‘Doña Francisquita’ directed and adapted by Lluís Pasqual, has been awarded today with the Max Award for Performing Arts for the best Musical or Lyric show, in the XXIII edition of the contest promoted by the SGAE Foundation that has been held in the Teatro Cervantes de Málaga.

This montage of the work of Amadeo Vives, considered one of the brightest scores in our musical heritage, It was premiered at the Coliseum in Plazuela de Jovellanos in May 2019 and co-produced with the Gran Teatre del Liceu y the Lausanne Opera. the libretto, from Federico Romero Y Guillermo Fernández-Shaw, is inspired by ‘La discreta enamorada’ by Lope de Vega and has been adapted for this version by Pasqual himself.

The stage manager states that the zarzuela is in itself a happy episode: the audience goes to the theater with good humor, and usually leaves the room with a generous smile. Hence, its principle and purpose is to anoint every detail of that spirit of joy Y happy emotions, leaving also, as usual in their jobs, a useful space for reflection.

At its premiere in Madrid, teacher Oliver Diaz was in charge of the Musical direction in front of the Community of Madrid Orchestra (Titular del Teatro). The cast, who shared the scene with him Holder Choir Teatro de la Zarzuela, had two special collaborations of height: that of the immense mistress of castanets Lucero Tena and the actor's Gonzalo de castro. The casts were integrated, mostly, by common voices in the most important lyrical venues such as sopranos Sabina Puértolas Y Sonia de Munck, tenors Ismael Jordi Y José Luis Sola, the mezzosopranos Ana Ibarra Y Maria Rodriguez, tenors Stephen Vincent Y Jorge Rodríguez-Norton, mezzosoprano María José Suárez or the baritones Santos Ariño Y Antonio Torres. They also participated 12 dancers Y 12 actors, completing the cast of this lyrical comedy in three acts and five-way love.

The scenery and costumes are signed by Alejandro Andújar, lighting by Pascal Mera, the choreography is by Nuria Castejón and the audiovisual design of Celeste Carrasco. Likewise, the functions intervened Rondalla Lírica de Madrid «Manuel Gil».

Those who have not yet been able to enjoy this ‘Doña Francisquita’, have the opportunity to do so in the accounts of YouTube Y Facebook of the theater.

A great Classic

What ‘Doña Francisquita’ is one of our great lyrical classics there is no one who doubts it. A about to turn one hundred (will do it in 2023), To date, great productions have been seen on the stage of the Teatro de la Zarzuela where he arrived for the first time in 1924, with the same production of the premiere four months earlier at the neighboring Apolo Theater, signed by Manuel Fontanals, and with almost identical cast. Since then, the work of Amadeo Vives has been represented on numerous occasions in this venue.

In 1934, ‘Doña Francisquita’ had already become a lyric comedy in three acts on the stage of the Monte Carlo Opera, and shortly after in a grand spectacle operetta in the Royal Theater of the Currency of Brussels, stop in 1954 become a Game from Spain at the Volksoper in Vienna. The international Francisquita!

That was precisely the reason why in 1956 was the title selected for the gala to reopen the theater of the Zarzuela Theater with stage director Jose Tamayo. In 1972 I would go back up to these tables again by the hand of Tamayo, although with a new scenic proposal aimed at the public of Madrid. But 1985 it was really an exceptional year for ‘Doña Francisquita’ at the Teatro de la Zarzuela: the stage version of José Luis Alonso traveled to the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Ghent —In the framework of the Europalia Cultural Festival 85: Spain— and returned to this same scene in the Plazuela de Jovellanos with the National Ballet of Spain that premiered it as a dance show, with Vives music, arrangements by Antón García Abril and choreography by Alberto Lorca.

In 1998 ‘Doña Francisquita’ was in Buenos Aires and Washington DC with a spectacular new co-production of the Teatro de la Zarzuela directed by Emilio Sagi. And in 2019 returned to Madrid with this new scenic proposal directed by Lluís Pasqual, who then successfully traveled to Barcelona and Lausanne, montage co-producers.

Spanish Cinema and Film Library

He Teatro de la Zarzuela and the Spanish Film Library signed on the occasion of this production a collaboration agreement for the restoration of the film ‘Doña Francisquita’ by Hans Behrendt (1934). It is the first time that both institutions come together to tackle a joint project of recovery of Spanish cultural heritage, in this case cinematographic and musical. Some of the fragments of said feature film are part of the award-winning production today.

In 1992 The Spanish Film Library found at the bottom of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris an image and sound negative of a movie so far gone; it was about Doña Francisquita (1934), by German director Hans Behrendt, produced by the Iberian Films company at the CEA Studios in Madrid. In 1993 is achieved, as an exchange between both organizations, That send the copy to Madrid for restoration. It was first physically restored and then, between 1995 Y 1996, they were made new jobs with the Polisitem Laboratory in Barcelona: duplicate image negative, the sound negative and a standard copy. Y in 2018 the Teatro de la Zarzuela collaborates with the Spanish Film Library in the production of a new digital copy.

The movie, shot entirely in Madrid in the year 34 with Raquel Rodrigo (Francisquita), Fernando Cortes (Fernando), Matilde Vazquez (Aurora) Y Antonio Palacios (Cardona) in the cast, is a important example of the talkies of the republican period in Spain. He promoter of the original project was the son of Amadeo Vives, Jose Vives Giner, who served as artistic supervisor of this adaptation of the popular zarzuela.

For your second film version ‘Doña Francisquita’ will dress in colors and fantasy —With the new Cinefotocolor- from the hand of another exiled director, hungarian Ladislao Vajda, in 1952. The cast is made up Mirtha Legrand (Francisquita), Armando Calvo (Fernando), Emma Penella (Aurora) Y Antonio Casal (Cardona). This time the film will reach the screens of the Cannes film festival as Masquerade of Love in 1953.

Photograph: Javier del Real