Mirentxu at Teatro Arriaga


Jesús Guridi (1886-1961) can be placed in the so-called Generación de los Maestros (generation of the maestros), which included figures like Julio Gómez (1886-1973) or Conrado del Campo (1878-1973). It never hurts to remember his forgotten works. This maestro from Vitoria-Gasteiz, whose most successful and most famous operetta was Caserío and which was revived again and again, composed the opera Amaya and an operetta beforehand called Mirentxu in 1910, subtitled idilio lírico vasco en 2 actos (A Romantic Basque Opera in 2 Acts). With it, Guridi began the golden age of opera in Spain. Mirentxu was what Guridi considered his best work, “the real deal” which he made at the age of 22. Knowledge of Basque folklore undoubtedly favoured the creation of a score with an abundance of appropriately stylised twists, integrated into a unit in which the melodic variety and a very rich orchestration must also be praised. What the work is lacking in terms of intensity and balanced construction, is compensated by an abundance of freshness and spontaneity. The music appears to be easily understood.

The author of the libretto was Alfred de Etxabe, who set the action in a rustic atmosphere which tells the story of Mirentxu’s love for her cousin Raimundo. The story takes place in a mill in Errota-Txiki, located next to the ruins of an old blacksmith’s. This love will be overshadowed by the love that develops between Raimundo and Presen, Mirentxu’s best friend. The dilemma ends with the death of the main character. This is the original plot of an operetta which is now showing at Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao with new stage direction led by the artistic head of the theatre, Emilio Sagi, who does these works justice. It should be noted that the script used is the libretto which was modified in 1947 by Jesús María de Arozamena in an edition prepared by the expert composer Ramón Lazkano.

LOCATION: Teatro Arriaga
WORK: Mirentxu
DATE: 06/2010.


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