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Playing with fire: zarzuela in three acts

  • ‘Playing with fire: zarzuela in three acts.’ Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    ‘Playing with fire: zarzuela in three acts.’ Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España



Music and musical instruments



Cultural background


Original title

Jugar con fuego: zarzuela en tres actos
Spanish National Library

This piece, the most performed zarzuela in Spain from its premiere until 1860, set out the characteristics of the genre and marked the beginning of the "zarzuela grande" (of more than one act).

A great number of fantasias have been made on "Playing with fire", as well as arrangements and transcriptions of the entire play or of the most applauded fragments. Two formats of the play are presented here: the entire manuscript sheet music, which includes the dedication by Barbieri, in his own writing, to the Duke of Osuna and an edition in Madrid for voice and piano from number 12: "Aria and choir of fools". The 1851 edition also shows a copy of the leaflet whose author, Ventura de la Vega, was a playwright, Isabella II's literature teacher and director of the Music Conservatoire of Madrid.

Details of the work

33 cm; 123 pp.


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