La Vida Breve
A national monument in Spain, Manuel de Falla's La Vida Breve is perhaps the greatest opera ever written in the Spanish language. A kind of "tragic Zarzuela," it unites verismo atmosphere, Andalusian local color and a score shimmering with reminiscences of French Impressionism. Written in 1905, La Vida Breve is the story of a poor gypsy and her lover, who is engaged to wed a wealthy girl. "Simply a stroke of genius," wrote Spain's Opera Viva about Giancarlo del Monaco's austere, minimalist staging at Valencia's Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. Maestro Lorin Maaze, whom El Pais hailed as the "triunfador"" of the evening, leads an exquisite array of soloists headed by Chilean soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domas, Jorge de Leon and Maria Luisa Corbacho.