The opera of Bernarda Alba, office and modesty | Culture

Miquel Ortega is a theater musician, he has tanned in tables like this Teatro de la Zarzuela that welcomes his great project, an opera about Bernarda Alba's house, of Federico García Lorca. An opera that has haunted him for decades. It premiered in the city of Brasov, Romania, in 2007 and, two years later, at the Santander and Perelada festivals. Now recover the camera version that was his first intention.

His excellent job protects him from many risks, he treats the voices admirably, his relationship with the text is above the usual in lyrical experiences in Spanish and has an instrumental cleanliness that allows the extraordinary Lorca text to reach the viewer intact. In this sense, the opera maintains all the strength of the original drama, which is not little.

But Ortega is halfway to develop any musical fantasy, especially given that ardently defends the use of tonality "to avoid the death of the opera and distancing with the public," pious intentions that would have required a pucciniano fervor that he says to admire but that hardly it summons it. And it is that with Lorca we must go to death and this music is, at times, non-specific, as a kind of quality incidental music. But, as I said before, Ortega is honest and leaves the work of Lorca almost intact, which leaves the resulting show as alive as Pepe el Romano comes out of his raids in this house of women.


Bernarda Alba's house. Music by Miguel Ortega, libretto by Julio Ramos. Cast: Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Carmen Romeu, Luis Cansino, Marifé Nogales, Belén Elvira, Berna Perles, Milagros Martín, Julieta Serrano. Orchestra of the Community of Madrid. Main choir of the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Musical director, Miquel Ortega. Stage direction, Bárbara Lluch. Scenography, Ezio Frigerio. Costumes, Franca Squarciapino. Lighting, Vinicio Cheli. Teatro de la Zarzuela. From November 10 to 22.

The work of the librettist, Julio Ramos, who died before the conclusion of the opera, is adequate, adjusts the sizes and respects to the maximum the vibrant poetry of the great granadino.

In the detail of the treatment of the characters there are notable successes, such as that maid, Poncia, embodied by a man, excellent Luis Cansino, or grandmother Maria Josefa, here spoken character, masterfully played by Julieta Serrano.

The cast is excellent, and they stand out, if only because of the prominence of their roles, Bernarda de Nancy Fabiola Herrera and Adela de Carmen Romeu. Actually, the quality of the interpretation is high and very homogeneous. The work, without a doubt, drags with its intensity a group delivered to a stifling text but pregnant with lyrical sparks.

The composer himself, Miquel Ortega He directs the aforementioned chamber ensemble and extracts from the group of musicians the best shines of the score. The direction of scene of Bárbara Lluch (last representative of the Espert dynasty for now), is sober and effective, the women move through a large rural courtyard crowned by a structure of corrala that well reflects that kind of hive that is the home of Bernarda, and its visuality is very suitable for the records of the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Ezio Frigerio, scenography, and Franca Squarciapino, costumes, paint scenes and costumes with an almost essential black and white, as the historical indication of García Lorca, when he said that the three acts "have the intention of a photographic documentary".


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