Honeymoon in Cairo (1943)
Genre: Operetta in two acts and an epilogue.
Text: José Muñoz Román.
Music: Francisco Alonso.
Premiere: February 6, 1943, at the Teatro Martín, Madrid.
Performers of the premier: Mari Carmen, Aurelia Ballesta, Amparo Pérez, Sara Fenor, Pilar Perales, Charito Álvarez, Carlos Casaravilla, José Álvarez “Lepe”, Racafel Cervera, José Bárcenas, Tomás González, Luis Heredia.
Synopsis. On board a transatlantic ship bound for Egypt, sails a variety show company. Myrna Mendes and her boyfriend enter the company with pseudonyms, since she is fleeing from her father, the Mexican General Ponciano Mendes. Everyone thinks that also travelling incognito is a princess, who in fact is the young Marta, in love with the composer of the company named Eduardo. Myrna offers to impersonate the supposed princess, since the latter is also wanted by her father, the Emperor of Limburg. Marta, in turn, will take on the personality of Myrna. Upon arrival in Alexandria, Marta is forced to marry Eduardo, who is also not who he pretends to be. General Ponciano Mendes, via a telegram, orders, them to spend their honeymoon in Cairo. Honeymoon in Cairo is a score of singular importance in this genre, with ingenious scenes of intrigue between princesses and the other exotic characters but all with with a triumphant outcome.
After its premiere, the work of Muñoz Román was highly praised, “disengaging and far removed from any coarseness or simplicity, and particularly so, the work of Maestro Alonso, which caused “spectators to miss the last Metro”, which according to one commentator of the time, occurred because of the encores of the musical numbers.
The work was presented with the usual extravagance ; one example of which is that the vicetiples wore ten different suits.
The music is within the most modern musical canons of the time and particularly applauded were the numbers entitled “Taking life seriously”, “First loves”, “Come to see you in Cairo”, “A little princess with a dreaming soul”, besides a nice triplet and a brilliant pasodoble.
Honeymoon in Cairo was premiered in Barcelona in that same year of 1943, reaching hundreds of performances and having as interpreters Maruja Vallojera, Concha Páez, Ignacio León, Salvador Videgain and Luis Barbero, among others.
And it was offered in TVE, within the series “The Spanish musical comedy”, in the performance of Fernando García de la Vega, interpreted by Teresa Rabal, Maria Mendiola, Marta OWisiedo, Margot Correns, Manolo Otero, José Bódalo, Juan Carlos Nava, Ángel de Andrés and others.
From January 31st to February 15th 2015, the Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid released the work under the stage direction of Emilio Sagi, Kevin Farrel on the podio and scenography from Daniel Bianco. The singers were David Menéndez (Eduardo), Enrique Viana (Rufi), Manel Estève (Regidor/Secretario), Eduardo Carranza (Don Celestino/Ministro De Lymburgo), Mariola Cantarero (Myrna) y Ruth Iniesta (Martha). It had excellents reviews and was applauded.
On April 3, 4 and 6 2019, this production will be on stage in Teatro Arriaga de Bilbao.
Playlist on youtube
1943. Performers: Maricarmen A. Ballesta C. Casaravilla Gran Orquesta del Teatro Martín conducted by Francisco Alonso.