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Calderón de la Barca

  • Calderón de la Barca, 'Quarta parte de comedias' © EFE

    Calderón de la Barca, 'Quarta parte de comedias' © EFE






Date of birth

Jan 17, 1600

Date of death


" Golden Age poet and playwright, considered one of the greatest authors of all time."

Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born in Madrid in 1600. He was a soldier and priest, philosophical poet and playwright. His life spanned the reign of three kings (Philip III, Philip IV and Charles II). He saw Europe go through pacifism, the Thirty Years' War and the change in hegemony towards the more bourgeois north. In Spain he witnessed the loss of Flanders and the rebellions of Catalonia, Portugal, Aragon and Andalusia. The wide range of registers to be found in his work is a mirror and manifestation of the crisis of modernity. He streamlined the form known as the 'Comedia Nueva', or New Comedy, eliminating superfluous scenes and secondary characters, and brought the individual and his conflicts to the fore. In his dramatic style he placed particular emphasis on the staging of his work, which he described as the 'memory of appearances'. 'Life is a dream' is his most universal work. He died in Madrid in 1681.

Essential works

  • Wardrobe design for the performance of 'The Phantom Lady'. National Theatre Museum, Almagro © Ministerio de Cultura

    The Phantom Lady

    A cloak and dagger comedy by Calderón de la Barca, inspired by the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche.

    More info
  • ‘The Prodigious Magician.’ Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    The prodigious magician

    Manuscript written in Calderón de la Barca's own hand, containing an incomplete version of the work, a magnificent example of religious comedy.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

    More info
  • 'Life is a Dream'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

    Life is a Dream

    Calderón de la Barca's masterpiece, considered to be one of the best Spanish plays of all times, in which the author reflects on freedom and predestination.

    More info
  • 'Basta callar: comedia en tres jornadas' © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Basta callar: comedia en tres jornadas (It Suffices to Shut Up: a three-day comedy)

    Long version of the comedy by Calderón de la Barca. Most of it is an autograph, although it has notes by different people.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

    More info
  • 'The Mayor of Zalamea'. National Classical Theatre Company © Ministerio de Cultura

    The Mayor of Zalamea

    "Honour drama" written by Calderón de la Barca in which the individual is confronted with the reigning classes.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • The constant prince
  • The great theatre of the world
  • The surgeon of his honour



«El burlador de Sevilla» © I-Tek.esl

To be confirmed


Corral de Comedias Theatre - Almagro
Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival

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