El Barberillo de Lavapiés, Francisco Asenjo Barbieri

Title El Barberillo de Lavapiés
English Title
Composer Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823 – 1894)
Librettists Luis Mariano de Larra (1830 – 1901)
Language Spanish, Dutch translation available
Genre Zarzuela, Spanish operetta in three acts
First performance December 19, 1874, Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid
Time of action Mid-eighteenth century
Place of action
  1. Near Madrid
  2. A square in a quarter of Madrid: Lavapiés
  3. The house of Paloma (a poor seamstress), Calle de Toledo, Madrid
Main parts
  • Paloma, seamstress, mezzo-soprano
  • Marquise Estrella, soprano
  • Lamparilla, barber, comic tenor (or high baritone)
  • Don Luis, Estrella’s fiancé, tenor
  • Don Juan, bass-baritone
  • Don Pedro, bass-baritone
Prominence of chorus Considerable; no women’s chorus in act II, but large choral scene for women in act III
Orchestra 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani/percussion, strings
Special demands Small band of plucked instruments (guitars, mandolins etc.)
Full score and orchestral parts Available
Level Not at all difficult
Length About 2 hours
Music Lively; full of sentiment and spirited by turns. Charming medley of Spanish folklore (chorus and comic couple) and Italianate opera (serious couple)

Paloma, a seamstress, and her beloved Lamparilla, get involved in the political intrigues of the marquise Estrella. The latter’s fiancé, Don Luis, is extravagantly jealous; his unjustified suspicions are the cause of near disaster. A specially comic rôle is played by the police (basses and baritones) who are invariably too late when action is required.

Costumes One costume for the women; one, or two, for the men
Link Wikipedia

< Barbe-Bleue | Track | Les Bavards >

Tags: Barbieri | Fransen