The Castanets (1931)
Genre: Zarzuela in three acts.
Text: Emilio González del Castillo and José Muñoz Román.
Music: Emilio Acevedo and Francisco Alonso.
Premiere: January 28, 1931, at Teatro Calderón, Madrid.
Performers of the premier: Felisa Herrero, Flora Pereira, Ramona Galindo, Soledad Escrich, Pablo Gorjé, Rogelio Baldrich, Vicente Carrasco, M. Hernández, V. Redondo.
Synopsis: “La Castañuela” is a woman who is dating an aristocrat enemy of the Prince of Peace. Godoy falls in love with her and, thanks to his power in the court of Charles IV that allows him all kinds of excesses and abuses, endangers the life of his rival and even that of the woman.
Set in the reign of Carlos IV, it is the perfect showcase for the appearance of “majos”, bullfighters, aristocrats, military, “petimetres”, in other words an entire collection of characters from this era, whose appearance is adorned and enhanced by the colorful music of their time: seguidillas, boleros ,tiranas, in addition to the typical duets, romanzas and concertantes typical of the zarzuela.
Among their musical numbers, a “comic duo” deserves particular attention; in the second act, the “Canción de la Castañuela”, in the final act, the “Coro de Golillas”; the colorful “Serenata de dragones” and, above all, a spectacular, aristocratic and brilliant Bolero, bursting with intentionality and disdain.