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Master Peter's Puppet Show

  • Model for 'Maese Pedro's Puppet Show'. National Theatre Museum, Almagro © Ministerio de Cultura

    Model for 'Maese Pedro's Puppet Show'. National Theatre Museum, Almagro © Ministerio de Cultura






Original title

El retablo de Maese Pedro

The first masterpiece by the composer Manuel de Falla when he was in Granada: a chamber opera with puppets and real characters, adapted from one of the episodes from "Don Quixote".

Commissioned by the Princesse de Polignac, it was premiered as a concert in Seville on 23 March 1923, and on 23 June that same year it was performed for the first time in Paris. The musical language of Falla scaled great heights with few resources.

It is made up of one act divided into eight parts, with three singers and several puppets. It is based on an episode from "Don Quixote": chapters 25 and 26 of the second part. The puppeteer "Maese Pedro" and his puppet show performed the story of Melisendra, wife of Don Gaiferos, captive of the Moorish king Marsilio. She is released by her husband and the final chase by the Moors is interrupted by "Don Quixote" who charges at the puppet show.


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