The opera version of “The house of Bernarda Alba” in Malaga

“La Casa de Bernarda Alba”, the Opera, is a reimagined version of Miguel Ortega’s preoccupation with the act of constructing a musical embodiment of Federico Garcia Lorca’s pre-Civil War written play. He is rerunning his personal project, which premiered nearly two decades ago. Due to the conductor’s extreme fascination, from a very young age, with this text, he was drawn towards undertaking the creative project of its orchestration with a symphonic orchestra.

Ortega truly outdid himself on this one. Now, so many years after he had decided to apply an even greater creative intervention to the classic play: its conversion into an Opera. Staged the first Saturday and Sunday of the new month, July 3rd and 4th, at Cervantes Theatre, this refined performance, is hosted in Andalusia for the first time ever. In fact, it certainly is not random that the cast would make a stop in the greater region of Andalusia, since it is also where the original house of Bernarda Alba can be found.

Back to Ortega and his exceptional concept of adapting Lorca’s most global piece of work; he was all about elevating the dramatic masterpiece he asked his playwright Julio Ramos to help him out. Ortega’s endeavor was easily applicable due to the rich and versatile themes Bernarda consists of. Confined gender roles under the Patriarchy, together with class struggle due to a very strict structural hierarchy create fertile ground for the emotive and powerful narrative of an Opera to emerge.

To gain access to the refined sonic experience you need to visit the site of Theatre Cervantes. The price range depends on the seat placements, starting at 40 euros at the C- category, to 56 at the B- category and up to 75 at the A- category.

More information on Bernarda Alba and a summary

Written by Federico García Lorca, the Spanish dramatist around 1936, when the last days of peace took place, culminating towards the Spanish Civil War. It constituted his “Swan Song”, his final work before his assassination, due to accusations of him being an enemy of the state. It is a one-house set, inhabited by the loss-ridden matriarch Bernarda Alba and her five unmarried daughters: Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Martirio, and Adela.

The symbolic home- confinement and her cruel and tyrannical dominance over her daughters and on the staff, stands for female subjugation, outdated traditions, and social conventions of that era. Her preoccupation with what “appears to be” and not “what is”, mixed together with her stage of denial to face grief and move, becomes a scary combination. Her compulsive adherence to the regulations set by her family’s traditions led to her imposing an eight-year mourning period on her household, making everybody estranged with one another and miserable.

Another very important point that is highlighted in the play is the feeling of entrapment, which besides Bernarda, is also caused by the lack of chances available for the daughters, at that time. Finally, the competitive spirit kicks in due to the build-up tension and they all try to seduce Pepe el Romano…

Could the way they behave to the poor guy Pepe, be considered a clear  instance of a guy fallen victim to the female gaze? I cannot provide the answer for that one! If you want to find out, click here to purchase the tickets and it will become clear to you then, what character in the play is the victim of whom…


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