“The King who raged”, Ruperto Chapí, season closes at Teatro de la Zarzuela

The King who raged

Sometimes the freshness and the present are not at odds with the passage of time. 130 years, It was exactly a century and three decades ago that ‘El rey que rabió’ was premiered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela -to whose stage it has not been on in 12-, and the public continues to await it with enthusiasm and enjoy it with the same implication as if it were a new creation. That is one of the most memorable secrets that make the theater a magical experience, a unique and universal manifestation. Fortunately we will be able to check it again, to savor that valuable badge, during the 14 functions what of the new production of the work Ruperto Chapí, Ramos Carrión and Vital Aza They will be offered of the 3 al 20 of June in the same theater that, amid unanimous applause and fabulous criticism, saw her born at the end of the convulsive 19th century.

‘The King who raged’, real big zarzuela, was created by Carrión, Aza and Chapí in 1891, and today is a lyrical theater milestone Y, Of course, of the unique and particular history of the Theater where he was born with the Alicante teacher himself on the podium. Because few kings, nor the most popular in history, nor the most beloved of their peoples, will have been more acclaimed, applauded and cheered that our King in this exclusive kingdom that is the Teatro de la Zarzuela.

And if this title is already a masterpiece, checking the artistic team and the casts responsible for putting it back together makes the interest of this June premiere that will close the lyrical season 2020/2021 Coliseum.

Music & Performance. Excellence and luminosity

The musical direction will be the responsibility of the teacher Ivan Lopez Reynoso, one of the most important young batons in Mexico, newly appointed artistic director of the Orquesta del Teatro de Bellas Artes and partner tenor musical Javier Camarena in so many concerts –including the one offered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela several seasons ago–. Also violinist, successful pianist and countertenor, as a conductor he is a specialist in very diverse disciplines - opera, ballet, modern dance, early music and contemporary music–, will occupy the pit in front of the Community of Madrid Orchestra, ORCAM –The Theater Owner–, of the Titular Choir of the Teatro de la Zarzuela –Which this time has as a challenge the interpretation of some of the most emblematic choral numbers of the genre– and two splendid and more than balanced deals.

The scenic proposal of this new production of ‘El rey que rabió’ it's really surprising. The dynamic and intelligent director Barbara Lluch –Responsible for resounding successes such as the award-winning Zarzuela opera ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’ by Miquel Ortega- has launched a bright approach very much in keeping with the original spirit of the work: "Is about give the public as much freedom as possible”, explains the film director, whose intention is “that each viewer feels, empathize and interpret the characters, the place and the relationships between them from their own point of view. From his own unique perspective. " And he warns in this regard that it is for that reason that the librettists did not even name the King, nor the General, nor the Governor, nor the admiral, nor to the Mayor ... "Because there could be so many kings, general, admirals, different governors and mayors as spectators there are in the room ", reflects Lluch.

Custom deliveries

And at this point we come to those who will have to fill those with intentions and a good voice. crazy prototypes born of intellectual talent, ironic and funny of the playwright, journalist and humorist Miguel Ramos Carrión –creator also of the librettos for ‘The nephews of Captain Grant’, 'The Tempest', ‘The witch’ or ‘Water, sugar and brandy'–, and the poet, Comedy writer and comedian Vital Aza, what, as an interesting fact, it was with Chapí himself one of the founders of the Society of Authors and its first president.

This hilarious story of a king to whom the deep boredom in which he is plunged leads him to undertake an incognito trip through the country; of his powerful and closest advisers who unsuccessfully try to prevent it so that the sovereign does not discover the sad reality in which his subjects inhabit, and thus be able to continue bossing him around as you like; of all the bizarre characters that the monarch meets on the way; this funny story (a lot of) in which also love, how not, plays its crucial role, will be defended by two casts that will undoubtedly lift the public literally from their seats. They will fill the room with the best music, laughs (when not laughs) And joy.

The tenors Enrique Ferrer and Jorge Rodríguez- Norton will give life to the King - a role that was originally female, played by a mezzo-soprano or a central soprano; and it is that being the young monarch he was presented in the form of a transvestite paper, something that, how would i remember Luis Gracia Iberni, one of the most recognized experts in the work of Ruperto Chapí, beyond the historical tradition of this resource in musical theater, at that time it was mandatory due to the lack of lyrical tenors dedicated to zarzuela. Rosa's role, the young woman with whom the King by surprise falls in love with the luck of being reciprocated, the sopranos will interpret it Rocío Ignacio Y Sofia Esparza; Maria's, the labrador's wife, it will María José Suárez, and the General will be the bass Rubén Amoretti and bass-baritone Miguel Sola; Jeremiah, that nephew of the mayor in love without a prize with his cousin Rosa and to whom all imaginable adventures happen, will embody it José Manuel Zapata; Carlos Cosías, Igor Peral and José Julián Frontal they will in turn get into the Admiral's skin, the Mayor and the Governor, respectively; Alberto Frias - emerged from that fruitful pool of singer-actors that is the Zarza project of the Teatro de la Zarzuela - will recreate the sparkling comings and goings of the Captain; Y Sandro Lamb, Pep Molina, Ruth González Y Antonio Buendia, they will act as the Labrador, Mayor, the Page and the Bugle. And to all of them we will have to add three actors and three extras.

Regarding the artistic team, it's made of Juan Guillermo Nova, responsible for the dreamlike and especially beautiful scenery, the designer of the fantastic and great costumes Clara Peluffo Valentini and the master of enlightenment Vinicio Cheli.

Masterpiece of the repertoire. Theatrical music

Teacher Lopez Reynoso considers that the score of ‘El rey que rabió’ “is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of the Spanish lyrical repertoire. Agile, expressive, refined and full of colors ", to which must be added "the wise use of theatricality in musical writing that makes the dramatic action correspond in a remarkable way with the musical discourse ". Therefore, the director believes that it is "a round work, complete, contrasting and fun what, thanks to all the above features, it always manages to become a success that is much loved by the public. "

And it is precisely in this conciliation between music and the word that the media musicologist influences Eva Sandoval, who remembers that Chapí and his librettists were key figures in the development of the musical and dramatic style of zarzuela since the decade of 1880. Sandoval also rescues a statement contained in the chronicle that the critic of the time wrote on the occasion of the premiere Joaquin Arimon who comes to emphasize this crucial characteristic: “The music is perfectly suited to the conditions of the poem and all of it is beautiful and inspired ".

Eva Sandoval argues in this regard that this adaptation and interrelation of both codes, the linguistic and the musical, can be seen throughout the nineteen numbers of which the work consists. "The brevity of all of them also helps to ensure dynamism and agility and favors the dramaturgy, so that music accompanies the action: nor the force, nor does it force her, nor does it condition it”. The author, according to the expert's words, “manages to impregnate each passage with the musical color and atmosphere that the plot requires, as, for example, in the simple but effective prelude. Written in the form of a military court march, it could perfectly serve as the national anthem of the imaginary country in which the action is set. "

It is also especially noteworthy for the musicologist the fact that ‘El rey que rabió’ uses "the same theatrical and pedagogical tactic as the operetta: that of the "world upside down", incorporating resources and languages ​​of the Central European operetta into our lyrics.

Undying King and online

As it is usual, one of the functions of ‘The King Who Raged’ will be broadcast live on streaming through from YouTube channel, the Facebook profile and the Theater's website. The date chosen this time is Thursday 17 June at 20h00 (Spanish CET).

Likewise, can already be enjoyed in YouTube y Facebook the conference given by Eva Sandoval and a new chapter of the series ‘Trip through the zarzuela’, with the teacher López Reynoso and Bárbara Lluch as protagonists.

‘The King Who Raged’ has been on stage uninterruptedly from the 20 April 1891, when premiered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid with Chapí himself at the helm, until the 15 June of that same year. further, was revived in this same scenario in December of that year and January of 1892, and shortly after it would appear in other capital and provincial theaters. Special mention deserves his premiere in Mexico with the Spanish Zarzuela Company in mid-July of the same 1891, just a few months after its premiere in Spain. The echo that Chapí's work obtained in the media of the time was extraordinary, to the point that the composer from Villena established himself as the author of zarzuela grande.

And is that our King came to stay with us, from generation to generation, and so on for 130 years. The chronicler already noticed this after attending the premiere - in an article that after the enigmatic signature of K. it is very possible that the notorious journalist was there Jose Gutierrez Abascal–: "'The King who raged' is assured for a long time on his throne in La Zarzuela". And it was added with a certain tinkle: "There is no danger of him being dethroned." (The Herald of Madrid, 21 April 1891).