La vida breve
Lyric drama in two acts · Music by Manuel de Falla · Libretto by Carlos Fernández Shaw · Premiere: Nice, 1st April 1913, Local Casino
El amor brujo
Gipsy piece in one act and two scenes · Libretto by Gregorio Martínez Sierra · Premiere: Madrid, 15th April 1915, Teatro Lara
LA VIDA BREVE
Stage direction and Set design
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Carmela / First and third saleswomen
Voice in forge / Distant voice / Salesman voice
* Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo
EL AMOR BRUJO
Omer Meir Wellber
Stege direction and Choreography
La voz / Cantaora
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 14th March 2012
All performances start at 8:00 pm, except for Sundays and holidays, which are at 7:00 pm
LA VIDA BREVE (Life is Short)
Scene I. The yard of a gypsy's house in the district of Albayzin, Granada. The home of a grandmother and her granddaughter Salud. Early morning on a beautiful day. At the back of the stage, there is a forge where several blacksmiths are complaining about their unfortunate fate. Salud appears and tells her grandmother that she fears her boyfriend Paco -an Andalusian young gentleman with whom the young gypsy girl is passionately in love, after he has asked her to marry him- will leave her for another wealthier girl. The old woman tells the young gypsy girl to stop worrying, but she warns her that to care so passionately about someone is not a good thing. Suddenly, the grandmother announces the arrival of Paco, which reassures Salud and makes her confess her suspicions to her sweetheart. Paco categorically denies her accusations. While the couple takes a stroll with only eyes for each other, Uncle Sarvaor enters. He is furious and tells his sister (the grandmother) that he has found out that Paco "the cynic" is to marry "a girl from his own class the next day". The grandmother manages to calm down her angry brother, who had intended to kill Paco.
Scene I. A narrow street in Granada, outside Carmela's house, Paco's newly-wed bride. Through the bars at the window, it is possible to see the bustle of the wedding banquet with dancing and a Flamenco singer, who sings unusual soleares. Salud suddenly appears and worriedly looks through the windows. Right there, she finds her old fears to be true. Devastated and full of anger and sorrow, she finds consolation in her grandmother's arms. Paco notices the gypsy girl is there. Uncle Sarvaor furiously enters the house taking Salud with him.
Scene II. A view of Granada from Sacromonte. Distant voices are heard, and Salud and Paco leave the house and say goodbye. Night slowly falls. Uncle Sarvaor, held back by the grandmother, comes out of the forge in a threatening attitude. Symphonic interlude.
Scene II. The courtyard of Carmela and Manuel's house, decorated with lights for the wedding banquet. The bustle and merriness of the occasion contrasts with the groom's unease, as he has seen Salud through the window. Uncle Sarvaor and Salud interrupt the merriment, and Salud (most determined and purposeful) reproaches Paco for deceiving and betraying her in the presence of the wedding guests. Most unexpectedly, Salud drops dead at his feet.
EL AMOR BRUJO (Love, the Magician)
Inside a cave by the sea in Cádiz, where gypsies have set up camp. It is night and there is an atmosphere of witchcraft and mystery. The sound of the waves can be heard in the distance. Two young gypsy girls are sitting on the ground waiting for their sweethearts to arrive (Candelas and her friend). They are playing with tarot cards to find out what fate has in store for them. There are bad omens in love for Candelas, who sings the ‘Song of suffering love’. The bells strike midnight. To shake off the black omens announced by the cards, the two gypsy girls throw incense and rosemary onto the fire, while Candelas dances the ‘Day’s end dance’. A whistle is heard and the gypsy friend disappears to meet with her sweetheart. Once alone Candelas recites the ‘Fisherman’s ballad’, and the scene comes to an end.
A dark witch’s cave with a will-o’-the-wisp darting around inside. The moon is shining outside the cave. Showing her fear, Candelas follows the spectre into the cave, and she finally manages to corner it exactly where the witch keeps her magic instruments. Distant thunder reveals to Candelas that the will-o’-the-wisp is the spirit of the cave. The spirit flees, disappearing into the moonlight, with Candelas chasing after it. (‘Will-o’-the-wisp song’). Free of the spirit, Candelas herself casts the spells that should bring back her lost love. Attracted by the spell, her sweetheart arrives and is captivated by her as she dances and sings the ‘Dance and song of the false witch’. A happy ending -‘The bells of sunrise’- hints at the reconciliation of the lovers.