Manuelita Rosas (1941)
Genre: Zarzuela in three acts.
Text: Luis Fernández Ardavín.
Music: Francisco Alonso.
Premiere: January 22, 1941, at Teatro Calderón, Madrid.
Performers of the premiere: Pepita Rollán, Charito Leonís, Luis Sagi-Vela, Carlos Oller.
Synopsis: Rafael Mendoza falls in love with Manuelita Rosas (daughter of the Argentinean Freedom Fighter Juan Manuel Rosas) at a party that also Ramón Maza attends, boyfriend of Rosa Fuentes, Juan Manuel’s political adversary. During the party, Manuelita discovers a sinister plot to kill her father is afoot.
On his way to Buenos Aires, Rafael feels jealous and challenges Máximo Terrero (sent by Juan Manuel to protect his daughter) to a duel, but is arrested on the orders of Manuelita to avoid his death.
After a while, when Rafael returns to Spain, Manuelita asks for Ramón to be given a pardon, but the pardon will not come in time because the sentence has already been carried out.
Set in the Argentine Pampas, around 1840, Manuelita Rosas was written during the Spanish Civil War with the intention of premiering it in Buenos Aires. It is a story of love doomed to failure because of ongoing political circumstances of the era, but developed so dramatically that it borders the tragic.
The critics of the time highlighted the momentously script or score written by Fernández Ardavín, who was considered a great poet.
The music is very varied and rich, with references to Argentine dances and to the rhythms of contemporary fashion, generically called the “swing”. It is a happy, dynamic and optimistic score, which turned Manuelita Rosas into the big hit of the year and appeared in several Spanish cities (Valencia, Barcelona, Malaga …).
A trio dedicated to the Virgin of Luján, a comic duo, “romanzas” of Manuelita and Rafael and the truly splendid “Canto a la Pampa”, were most applauded.
1. Preludio y escena “Cuando pasea el mazamorrero”.
2. “Donde quiera que canten los españoles”.
3. “Virgen de Luján, vidalita”.
4. Pavana “Levantando así la planta”.
5. Romanza de Manuelita “Nunca pensé que mi amor…No me ha querido jamás”.
6. Final del acto I “Sed bien venido”.
7. “A lo lejos la distancia”.
8. Romanza de Chucho “Tu me has vuelto la espalda”.
9. Chacarera “Manuelita Rosas, la bella pampera”.
10. Final del acto II. Canto a la pampa “Bajo la luz de la pampa”.
11. “Somos la banda de mazorqueros”.
12. Romanza de Rafael “En la noche dormida”.
13. Dúo de la palomita “¡Virgen de Luján, vidalita!.
13bis. Final del primer cuadro “Paloma, mi palomita”.
14. “La fiesta comienza”.
15. “Manuelita, Manuelita, linda rosa de Palermo”.
16. Final instrumental.
Columbia/1941 – Blue Moon y Homorkord – Dirige Francisco Alonso a la Orquesta del Teatro Calderón, recita Luis Fernández Ardavín y cantan Conchita Panadés, Charito Leonis, Antonio Medio, Manuel Alares y Fernando Heras. Contiene los números 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 y 13, además de un recitado “Canto a la bandera”.