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Photo: Fred Fehl
New York City Opera 1966

Ginastera, Alberto

Don Rodrigo (1963-64)

Duration: 104 minutes
Opera in three acts and nine scenes

Libretto by Alejandro Casona (S,E,F,G)

Major roles: S,M,T,Bar,B minor roles: S,M,A,T,2Bar,B,2children; chorus 3(I=afl,III=picc).3(III=corA).3(III=bcl).3(III=dbn)- perc(6):3SD/3crot/3tgl/3susp.cym/2cym/BD/25bells/3tam-t/ratchet/whip/ tamb/2small anvils/xyl/glsp-cel-mand-harp-strings On-stage: 8(or4)hns.8(or4)tpts
Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires
Jorge Petraglia, director
Conductor: Bruno Bartoletti


FLORINDA, daughter of Count Don JulianSoprano
DON RODRIGO, King of SpainTenor
DON JULIAN, Governor of CeutaBaritone
TEUDISELO, Tutor of Don RodrigoBass
FORTUNA, Florinda's maidservantMezzo-Soprano
1st MaidenSoprano
2nd MaidenMezzo-Soprano
Blind HermitBaritone
1st PageTenor
2nd PageBaritone
1st BlacksmithTenor
2nd BlacksmithBaritone
1st MessengerTenor
2nd MessengerBaritone
Young MessengerContralto
Voice in the DreamBass
Peasant BoyChild
Peasant GirlChild

Time and Place
8th Century- Toledo Spain

Don Rodrigo, after avenging an attack upon his father, returns to be crowned King of Spain. Don Julian, Governor of Africa, introduces Rodrigo to his daughter Florinda.  Rodrigo promises her father to treat her as a daughter if he will allow her to stay at court.  During Rodrigo’s coronation, Florinda drops the crown.  Disregarding this sinister omen, he places the crown on his own head. Since ancient times every King of Spain has respected the secret locked inside a chest in the Vault of Hercules, but Rodrigo forces the chest open.  Inside he finds an Arab flag and a curse: He will be the last of his dynasty and the Arabs will enslave Spain.  Florinda bathes naked in a fountain, and Rodrigo sees her.  He enters Florinda’s chamber at night and forcefully seduces her.  Furious at Rodrigo for both seducing her and then abandoning her, Florinda writes her father demanding revenge.  Don Julian raises a rebellion against him and defeats Rodrigo at Guadalete.  After the battle, Rodrigo, a penniless wanderer dying in the home of a blind hermit, is discovered by Florinda.  After confessing his sins he dies in her arms.

Dramatic, Tragic

Relationships, Politics, Society

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