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Manuel de Falla's early work La Vida Breve on The Lyric Stage

The Lyric Stage this Sunday (7/2) features this early one act by de Falla, sometimes compared to Puccini.

This week on The Lyric Stage we feature Manuel de Falla's early work, La Vida Breve, The Short Life. He composed it 1905 when he was 29 to a libretto in the Andalusian dialect by Cesar-Fernadez Shaw. The first performance was in Nice on April 1,1913, (in a French translation by Paul Millet), and after revisions, it next appeared at Paris at the Opéra-Comique in December 1913. The Paris version is the standard version in use today. Critics compare it to Puccini, and it certainly falls into the category of verismo opera, with all the mood, passion and catastrophe inherent in that genre.

The story is that of a Gypsy girl, Salud, who has been seduced by and become obsessed with the cosmopolitan Paco. A day after swearing his undying love to her, he marries the well-to-do Carmela. Salud crashes the wedding, comes forward to accuse Paco, then falls down dead.

Alicia Nafe and Antonio Ordonez head the cast, and Jesus Lopez-Cobos conducts The Cincinnati Symphony and the May Festival Chorus in this 1992 recording.