La vida breve, an Andalusian opera in two acts written by Manuel de Falla on a libretto by Carlos Fernández Shaw, staged by Giancarlo del Monaco at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, in Valencia.
It is without any doubts one of the greatest operas written in Spanish, La vida breve merges with Spanish Zarzuelas, lyric genre of the 17th century. The opera tells the story of a poor gypsy, Salud, and her lover, Paco, secretly engaged to a rich young woman. Shattered by such lies, Salud decided to go to the wedding ceremony.
This verismo opera combines different styles, from the Spanish drama and its flamenco to the classical drama reminding us of Puccini's writting and wagner's orchestration. Andalusian songs remain the most significant influence of the work.
This Giancarlo del Monaco production offers an incredible casting, with Chilean Soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, specialist of Puccini's work and known for her remarkable impersonation of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly. Not only is she greatly influenced by Puccini but her flamenco singing is also marvellous. Tenor Jorge de León plays Paco, with is powerful voice and charisma
Giancarlo del Monaco (stage director), Jesús López Cobos (music director) – With Inva Mula, Laura Giordano...
Núria Espert (stage director), Zubin Mehta (conductor) – With Maria Ewing, Luis Lima and Leontina Vaduva – Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Christof Nel (stage director), Lothar Zagrosek (conductor) – With Angela Denoke (Sieglinde), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Gerhilde) – Staatsoper Stuttgart
Investigations on Robert Wilson's production in Amsterdam