La Bejarana

La Bejarana (1924)

Genre: Zarzuela in two acts.
Text: Luis Fernández Ardavín.
Music: Francisco Alonso and Emilio Serrano.
Premiere: May 31, 1924, at Teatro Apolo, Madrid.
Performers of the premiere: María Caballé, Eugenia Galindo, Emilia Caballé, Arturo Castro, Francisco Gallego “Galleguito”, Fernando Latorre. Valentín González, Jesús Navarro.

Synopsis: Set in the vicinity of Béjar (Salamanca) in 1860, develops a theme which is very common in the theater: the love between the daughter of the wealthy farmer and the laborer, with interference of the rich of the town, whose devious behavior has to give way to justice, and as a result poor, but honest love is triumphant.

Journalist comments after the premiere of La Bejarana highlighted the fact that it was an old style zarzuela, with elegant music, significantly inspired by Salamancan folklore. From the text, the sonority of the rhyme and the fluidity of the verse were particularly noteworthy.

It was a resounding success and It came to be performed three times a day during the months of June and July, it was released in Paris with first class artists: Cora Raga, Marcos Redondo, Eduardo Marcén, Antonio Palacios…

Amongst its great many musical numbers, what stoodout most were the “Canción de Inés y coro de mozas” with which it begins; two duets: Luz María and José Luis and the Inesilla y Blasillo; a “Charrada”, typical Salamancan dance, and a pasodoble that became patriotic music influenced by the rabid bellicose sentiment provoked by events of the wars Morocco and known as “Pasodoble de los quintos”.

In 1926 La Bejarana was made into a silent film under the direction of Eusebio Fernández Ardavín, with cinematography of Armando Pou and the acting cast included Ángel del Río, Luis Comendador, Celia Escudero, Luis González, María Luz Callejo, Antonio Mata, Dolores Moreno, José Nieto and Modesto Rivas. It premiered on April 3, 1926, at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid.