|Acts||3 acts and seven paintings|
|Based on||based on an episode from Eduardo Ruiz's The Conquest of Michoacán .|
|Premiere location||Arbeu Theater ( Mexico City )|
|Release date||February 1, 1900|
|Orchestra||2 flutes, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, harp, timpani, 3 percussions, strings.|
|Bookseller||Alejandro Cuevas (composer)|
The action takes place in Michoacán in 1522.
In a hall of the palace of King Tzimzitcha. Huépac, Hirepan, and some priests and warriors talk about the invasion of their homeland by strangers. Emperor Moctezuma II is accused of his cowardice in handing over the lands of Anahuac to the Spanish. They then request the intervention of the goddess of the Moon "Xharatanga", who will see for them and will help to spill the blood of the invaders on the stone of sacrifices. Meanwhile, Huépac reveals to Hirepan the love he feels for the king's sister princess Atzimba and of whom he discovers that he loves the Spanish enemy Jorge de Villadiego, who they swear will have to sacrifice to offer his heart to the sun as an offering. Jorge falls in love with Atzimba and she cannot reject his love.
Huépac takes advantage of Atzimba's embarrassment and confesses his love to her while threatening to inform the king of Atzimba's love for the enemy. The king, realizing how Atzimba feels for the Spanish conqueror, makes him apprehend when he receives him as an emissary of Hernán Cortés.
The king has George lead to the sacrificial stone where Atzimba is slain, swears that he will follow him to death, snatching Huépac's sacrificial dagger to stick it in his heart.
Some documentary sources mention that in its original form Atzimba had the characteristics of a zarzuela, and that only later was it transformed into an opera. Six years after the premiere of Atzimba, Castro's other important opera, The Legend of Rudel, was to be performed for the first time .
The premiere of Atzimba was carried out with success, on January 20, 1900 with the zarzuela company of the Arbeu Theater. In September of that same year, the Renaissance Theater, which later became the Virginia Fábregas Theater , was to be inaugurated with a season that began with Aída and ended, on November 11, with the replacement of Atzimba. Four days after the premiere of the opera, the Diario del Hogar published a text signed by RN Montante that read as follows:
The success of the opera brought a frank and noisy success to Messrs. Alberto Michel and Alejandro Cuevas, authors of the lyrics, and Ricardo Castro, composer of the music. The argument is divided into two acts and six tables. The patriotic part of the matter was handled with great tact so as not to incur ridiculous exaggerations. Six magnificent decorations due to Solórzano's brush garnered unanimous applause. Castro did not write an overture following the system of modern composers, only a few bars precede au lever du rideau as a Frenchman would say. This immense advantage can be appreciated by those of us who have listened to the operas Fedora and Andrea Chénier by Giordano.. The instrumentation is extremely delicate, following the system adopted by the one we have just named. The number that most pleased the public was Intermezzo, from the second act, as it deserved the honors of the encore.Newspaper Journal of Home , signed by RN Montante (14 November 1900)
After the successful premiere of the opera, which earned Ricardo Castro the recognition not only of colleagues but of society, the work was performed with some regularity approximately every 10 years. The last performance of the opera took place in the 50's of the 20th century. The main role was sung on that occasion by the then very young Rosa Rimoch . The play was broadcast on the radio. This transmission was recorded by Cristián Caballero . That is the only record preserved and that is invaluable, since the score of the work was later lost. It is somewhat incomprehensible that all the scores and the scores used for all the performances disappeared. Only two complete acts are preserved from the work and one last without instrumentation.Arturo Márquez made a reconstruction of the missing second act of the play. Regarding the mysterious fate of the Atzimba opera, the pianist and musicologist Eva María Zuk , who specializes in Castro's work, says in an interview:
The complete work was delivered by a relative of Castro to a governor of Durango, who received it and until then. They don't know what happened to that play. The Atzimba opera has never been recorded. There was another score that was also lost. There were two scores: the one kept by the family in Durango, and the one used in Fine Arts. Of the one that was here, only the first and third acts remained, the second, which was never recovered, is now reconstructed by Arturo Márquez .
The version with the reconstruction of the orchestration of the second act performed by Arturo Márquez premiered on February 7, 2014 at the Ricardo Castro Theater in the city of Durango as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. The production was later presented in the city of Cuernavaca and in Mexico City.
The creation of Atzimba is historically situated at a time when a fruitful movement of operatic creation takes place throughout Latin America. Among the Latin American composers who write operas at the same time that Ricardo Castro creates his Atzimba, mention should be made of the Mexicans Melesio Morales , Julio Morales and Ernesto Elorduy , the Uruguayans Tomás Giribaldi with his operas La Parisina and Manfredi di Svevia and Oscar Camps y Soler with his opera Esmeralda . León Ribeiro premieres his opera Colónin 1892 as part of the festivities for the fourth centenary of the discovery of America; the three operas called all Tabaré , based on the homonymous poem by José Zorrilla de San Martín, due respectively to Alfonso Broqua , Arturo Cosgaya Ceballos , and Heliodoro Oseguera . In addition, among many others, the Chilean opera composers Aquinas Ried and Eliodoro Ortiz de Zárate , the Colombians José María Ponce de León and Augusto Azzali , the Brazilian Antonio Carlos Gomes and the Argentines Francisco Hargreaves , should be mentioned.Miguel Rojas and Edoardo Torrens .
The work of Ricardo Castro is located in the tradition of the operas with historical subjects and nationalistic tendencies like Guatimotzin of Aniceto Ortega , Il Guarany by Antonio Carlos Gomes , Ollanta and Atahualpa of Jose Maria Valle Riestra , Huémac of Pascual de Rogatis and Quiché Vinak by Jesús Castillo among many others.
Cast of the premiere
World Premiere |
February 1, 1900
Directed by Eduardo Vigil y Robles
Premiere at the Palacio de las Bellas Artes |
then not finished its construction and called
September 16, 1928
Directed by José F. Vásquez
Premiere at the Palace of Fine Arts |
August 3, 1935
Directed by Eduardo Vigil y Robles
|Atzimba , princess tarasca||soprano||Soledad Goyzueta||Luz González de Cosío||Luz Maria Vazquez|
|Jorge de Villadiego , Spanish officer||tenor||Eduardo Luján||Eduardo Aceves||Ricardo C. Lara|
|Sirunda , Atzimba's friend||mezzo soprano||Esperanza Dimarías||Clementina González de Cosío||Clementina González de Cosío|
|Huepac , high priest||low||Luis G. Parra||Luis G. Sandi||Jose Corral|
|Hirepan, general tarasco||baritone||Leandro Diaz||Rafael Marquina||Ignacio Guerra Bolaños|
|Tzimzitcha , king||low||Jose Paez||Jose Palacios||Pedro Garnica|
- The last time it was played was in 1952 in the National Opera season, AC with Rosa Rimoch and José Soler in the main roles.
- The premiere of the reconstruction of the orchestration of the second act was held in the framework of the commemorations for the 150 years of the composer's birth at the Theater that bears his name in Durango on February 7, 2014
The success of the opera brought a frank and noisy success to Messrs. Alberto Michel and Alejandro Cuevas, authors of the lyrics, and Ricardo Castro, composer of the music. The argument is divided into two acts and six tables. The patriotic part of the matter was handled with great tact so as not to incur ridiculous exaggerations. Six magnificent decorations due to Solórzano's brush garnered unanimous applause. Castro did not write an overture following the system of modern composers, only a few bars precede au lever du rideau as a Frenchman would say. This immense advantage can be appreciated by those of us who have listened to Giordano's operas Fedora and Andrea Chenier. The instrumentation is extremely delicate, following the system adopted by the one we have just named. The number that most liked the public was Intermezzo,Review of the premiere of the opera published by RN Montante in the newspaper "El Diario del Hogar" on November 15, 1900
His triumph with Atzimba was complete and general and the public acclaimed him, enthralled by his spirited, youthful and original music, and in many passages great and passionate. Ricardo Castro's beautiful composition , written about a dramatic episode of the conquest of Michoacán, related by Don Eduardo Ruíz and arranged on stage by Alberto Michel , was greatly liked and liked, although because it is a work superior to the faculties of zarzuela singers. , its performance was poor, and despite, also, that the tenor part was sung in a deplorable way by the Mexican artist Eduardo Luján. The work did not lack a few pious censors who, under the pretext of extolling the merits of the score, detailed what they considered defective, hypocritically employing the old device of lamenting that the sun has spots that are not perceptible except for those who with special devices seek them . Soledad Goyzuetain the protagonist, he sang with a positive desire to make her shine, and drew much-deserved applause at every moment; the decorations, all new, were well and skillfully painted; the costumes turned out to be showy and conventionally proper, since it would not have been possible to bring to the scene the nakedness and rudeness of the primitive Tarascans, cruel executioners of the dreamy princess Atzimba and the enamored Captain Villadiego; The orchestra was suitably reinforced and the young and distinguished composer and master of the cembalo Eduardo Vigil y Robles , rehearsed and directed the work with great success and correction, and as far as it depended, he highlighted the many beauties of the score.Enrique de Olavarría y Ferrari , " Historical review of the theater in Mexico "
- * There is a recording of the last performance of the opera made in the middle of the 20th century. The performance was broadcast by radio and the recording is kept in the Cristián Caballero library . The recording has not been edited or published.
- Dictionary of Spanish and Hispano-American Music (DMEH), a work sponsored by the General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) and by the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain .
- Gabriel Pareyón . Dictionary of Music in Mexico . Mexico: Secretariat of Culture of Jalisco 1995.
- Octavio Sosa : Dictionary of Mexican opera . Mexico 2003.