La Dolores returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela


Lyric drama in three acts
Tomas Breton (1850-1923)
record: Tomas Breton, based on the rural drama by José Feliú y Codina
Premiered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, he 16 March 1895
New production of the Teatro de la Zarzuela
D. musical: Guillermo García Calvo
D. scene: Amelia Ochandiano
Scenography: Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda
Locker room: Jesus Ruiz
Lighting: Juan Gomez Cornejo (AAI)
Choreography: Michelangelo Bern
Community of Madrid Orchestra (Owner of Teatro de la Zarzuela)
Holder Choir Teatro de la Zarzuela, Director: Antonio Fauró
White Voices Choir Sinan Kay, Address: Monica Sanchez
Rondalla Lírica de Madrid «Manuel Gil»
Distribution: Session Hernández, Jorge de León, José Antonio López,
Maria Luisa Corbacho, Rubén Amoretti, Javier Tomé, Gerardo Bullón

has been expected 85 years to see La Dolores again at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, of the master Tomás Bretón, which marks the centenary of his death. This is an extraordinary way of paying homage to those who, from his position as director of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid, worked for the modernization of music studies in Spain.

It premiered in this theater on 16 March 1895, with great success, nothing less than 63 representations. The libretto and music are by Bretón himself., and is based on a rural drama by José Feliú y Codina. Initially it was going to premiere at the Teatro Real, but the businessman wanted Bretón to write the script in Italian, which the composer refused. Finally Bretón decided on the Teatro de la Zarzuela.

Bretón has always been better known for his zarzuelas than for any of his operas, as is the case of La Dolores. In fact, the one that the Verbena de la Paloma, which had been released a year earlier, was much more successful than La Dolores, saddened the composer.

La Dolores is the umpteenth attempt to develop the operatic genre in Spain, and is influenced by the verista moment that was touring Europe and that it had in Carmen, Bizet, one of its greatest exponents. in both works, the protagonist attracts the interest of numerous men and they end tragically.

One of the differences between Breton's opera and those that were written with a similar bill, is the difficulty of fitting five main characters into the score, instead of the traditional love triangle.

It is a very Spanish work. Based on a traditional story that was told in Aragon and its protagonist, Dolores. It is full of folk elements, like street parades, a soleá or the most popular Aragonese jota. The rest of the score is highly complex.. With Wagnerian evocations, also typical of the time, and with a metric and a rhythm that are not easy for the singers or for the orchestra.

For this reason important voices are required, to answer the difficulty of the score. It is necessary to have a good central register and great dramatic capacity.

The main role has been in charge of Saioa Hernández, who has perfectly defended the difficult task of interpreting the protagonist. It has a powerful and well-supported central registry, from which he faced with solvency the constant descents to the serious zone and some demanding ascents. La Hernández makes everything very easy and sings with the security that her impressive instrument provides.. He filled the whole room with his harmonics and a voluminous enameled voice. Maybe diction was his Achilles heel, since in the interpretation he was also at a great height, with a dramatic and intense character, that reached the public convincingly.

To the reply was Jorge de León. We have seen him better than other times, with a very appreciable volume that reinforced that enamel so characteristic and that we like so much. His phrasing is extraordinary and so is his taste in interpretation.. His Lázaro had the nobility and ingenuity that the character requires. Together with Saioa Hernández they performed their two duets of the second and third act, enthusing the public.

Rubén Amoretti gave life to the braggart Sergeant Rojas, another suitor of Dolores. He was the only comic character in a play with so many dramatic overtones.. We are not used to seeing Rubén Amoretti playing such a funny character and he does not do it badly. We noticed his voice a bit muffled, not so round, but this did not prevent him from phrasing with a marked and nice Andalusian accent, especially in the interpretation of the soleá.

José Antonio López presented a rightly aggressive Melchor, violent cases. Reinforced by incisive and powerful bass. He performed well on stage and was really scary.

The role of Patricio was in charge of Gerardo Bullón, who embroidered the role of wealthy pusillanimous, elegant and effective. Very good interpretation with a very tight touch of humor.

the gaspara, by María Luisa Corbacho was at the height of the cast, her deep voice endowed the owner of the inn with character and presence.

A score like this, with three acts of great density and 11 scenes, that García Calvo has compared in structure with any of the Wagnerian tetralogy, not easy to interpret. A great capacity for concentration is required. This is where the director's job comes in., that has extracted oil from the Orquesta Titular del Teatro, with some very inspiring moments.

The set design by Amelia Ochandiano and Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda is simple, but full of details that give it personality and update it. It begins with three acrobats appearing onstage above the giants with their silent dance, appearing again at the start of the third act.. throughout the play, the bigheads provide the local air along with the jota, magnificently interpreted by Juan Noval Moro.

next to the jack, the dancers, directed and headed by the choreographer Miguel Ángel Berna, They were one of the big winners of the night and the most applauded after their performance by an enthusiastic audience.

Everything wrapped in the illumination of Juan Gómez Cornejo, creating a romantic and sometimes eerie atmosphere, that points out and enhances each frame of the scenery. Accentuated by the wonderful and appropriate costumes of Jesús Ruiz.

A success and an event this Dolores in the year of Tomás Bretón.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Elena del Real