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Music Text

Libretto by Luis Mariano de Larra (S,E)


2S,3T,2B; numerous minor roles; chorus
Korean bl-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes


World Premiere
BBC, London
Conductor: Stanford Robinson
Company: BBC Theatre Orchestra


LAMPARILLA, the barber of Lavapies Tenor
LA PALOMA, a seamstress Soprano
LA MARQUESSA ESTELLA DEL VIERZO (known as "La Marquesita"), a lady-in-waiting to the Infanta Soprano
DON JUAN DE PERALTA, an emissary from the Liberal leader, Floridablanca Bass
DON LUIS DE MARO, nephew to the prime minister, Grimaldi and in love with La Marquesita Tenor
DON PEDRO, the Chief of Police Bass
LOPE, Lamparilla's assistant Tenor
Time and Place

Madrid, 1766


The Figaro-like barber Lamparilla and his seamstress girlfriend Paloma inadvertently become embroiled in political machinations when the Infanta's lady-in-waiting Estrella comes to the park of El Pardo for a secret meeting in relation to the removal of the prime minister Grimaldi from office. Estrella's fiancé (though political opponent) Don Luis sees her with fellow-conspirator Don Juan, and draws the wrong conclusion. In order to further the cause, Estrella needs an escort across the city, and Paloma persuades Lamparilla to undertake the task. He is arrested, but soon released, though gets himself into trouble once again by engaging in the destruction of street lamps – a diversion dreamed up to aid the anti-Grimaldi faction in getting their candidate, Floridablanca, discreetly into the royal palace. Since the police are now searching for her, Paloma disguises Estrella as one of her colleagues. When the workshop is raided things look bad until Lamparilla turns up with the news that the king has dismissed Grimaldi. Luis, however, must go into exile, and Estrella decides to go with him.


Comic, Dramatic

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