Doña Francisquita

Synopsis

Time: 19th century

Place: Madrid during the Carnival season.

 

Francisquita is in love with student and would-be poet, Fernando. He, however, is infatuated with the fiery actress Aurora la Beltrana, who in turn is the lover of Lorenzo Pérez. When Francisquita tries to flirt with Fernando, he ignores her. His friend Cardona takes him to task and suggests that he would be happier with her than Aurora. Francisquita is then wooed by the Don Mathias, Fernando's father, in the presence of Doña Francisca, Francisquita's mother. At first, Doña Francisca mistakenly believes that she is the object of Don Mathias' affections. Francisquita pretends to accept the elderly man's advances, hoping to make Fernando jealous.

 

At the urging of Cardona, Fernando also makes advances to Francisquita hoping to make Aurora jealous. Fernando's passion for Francisquita starts to grow. He is horrified that she might marry his father and become Doña Francisquita. He tells Aurora that she no longer has any power over him, which at last piques her interest in him. But it is too late, he is now completely in love with Francisquita. All is resolved after a series of misunderstandings and machinations involving Cardona disguising himself as a woman; Aurora's lover, Lorenzo Perez, challenging Fernando to a duel; and rumours that Fernando plans to marry Francisquita's mother to the subsequent horror of Don Mathias. Don Mathias eventually realizes he is too old for Francisquita and gives his blessing to the young couple. In the finale all celebrate the forthcoming wedding of Francisquita and Fernando by singing "Canción de la Juventud" ("Song of Youth"), a hymn to the youthful spirit of Madrid.

Program and cast

ARTISTIC PROFILE


CONDUCTOR: Oliver Díaz
STAGE DIRECTOR: Lluís Pasqual
COREOGRAPHY: Nuria Castejón
SET AND COSTUME DESIGN: Alejandro Andújar
LIGHTING DESIGN: Pascal Merat
COPRODUCTION: Gran Teatre del Liceu and Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid)
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS OF THE LICEU OPERA BARCELONA
DIRECTOR OF THE CHORUS
Conxita Garcia


CAST


Francisquita: María José Moreno - 10th,12th,16th November
Elena Sancho Pereg - 11th,15th,17th November
Aurora “la Beltrana”: Ana Ibarra
Doña Francisca: María José Suárez
Fernando: Celso Albelo - 10th,12th,15th,17th November
Airam Hernández - 11th,16th November
Don Matías: Carlos Chausson
Cardona: Alejandro del Cerro
Lorenzo Pérez: Isaac Galán
Actor: Gonzalo de Castro

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Gran Teatre del Liceu

Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).
 

Origins: From 1837 to 1847

The Liceu evolved out of the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados (Society of theatre-lovers) set up in 1837 at the instigation of Manuel Gibert in the former convent of Montsió by members of the National Militia, an organization of armed citizens with liberal leanings.
Barcelona's economy and population were growing fast at the time and the city needed a music conservatory. This led to the conversion of the Sociedad Dramática into the Liceo Filármonico Dramático Barcelonés de S.M. la Reina Isabel II (Barcelona Dramatic and Philharmonic Lyceum of HM Queen Isabel II).  In addition to its theatrical activities, the new organization cultivated Italian-style singing and music.
 

The building on the Rambla

The original building was solemnly opened on 4 April 1847. The plans had been drawn up by Miquel Garriga i Roca, subsequently assisted by Josep Oriol Mestres. The project was funded by selling shares, which meant that many of the boxes and seats were to be privately owned. The shareholders formed the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu, known as the “Societat de Propietaris” (Society of Owners),  which was in sole charge of running the Gran Teatre del Liceu from 1855 onwards, after it was legally separated from the Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The theatre was operated by impresarios who were given a concession to stage a specific number of productions in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of tickets not reserved for the Societat itself. This system was to endure until 1980.
 

The creation of the Consortium

By the last quarter of the 20th century this management system was no longer viable. In 1980, to avert the danger of the disappearance of an institution of such worldwide cultural renown, the Generalitat  Catalonia's first government in modern times – set up a consortium, the Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu, which also incorporated Barcelona City Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona Provincial Council joined the Consortium in 1985, followed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1986. From then on the Consortium took over operation of the theatre.

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