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La verbena de la Paloma

  • «La verbena de la Paloma» © EFE

    «La verbena de la Paloma» © EFE







Tomás Bretón,

Ricardo de la Vega

Original title

La verbena de la Paloma

One of the key works in the operatic genre known as the género chico. All the most popular and traditional aspects of Madrid are here given their maximum expression.

The work is in the style of a one-act operatic sainete, with music by the composer Tomás Bretón and an original libretto by Ricardo de la Vega, and was first performed to great acclaim in the Teatro Apolo Theatre in Madrid on February 17, 1894.

Under the subtitle 'El boticario y las chulapas y celos mal reprimidos', the story takes place in Madrid in August during the festivities in honour of the patron saint, the Virgin of La Paloma. The scene is set in the popular neighbourhoods of the city, and the operetta features an unforgettable gallery of typical characters such as the chulapas and chulapones, castizos (various traditional inhabitants of Madrid) the chemist, the night watchman, the tavern landlord, and the local police.

Its three scenes contain numerous musical numbers which have gone down in the history of the genre, including the duet in the style of a habanera, 'Dónde vas con mantón de Manila?'; the verses by Don Hilarión entitled 'Una morena y una rubia'; the seguidillas 'Por ser la Virgen de la Paloma'; and the flamenco soleá 'En Chiclana me crié'.


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