Teatre Russafa

Historical Theatres and Concert Halls
Teatre Russafa
  • Alternative names:
    Teatro Ruzafa

    History:
    Ubicat al barri de pescadors de la ciutat de València, aquest teatre va funcionar entre els anys 1880 i 1973 convertint-se en un espai d'aturada obligatòria en les diferents gires d'artistes i companyies teatrals. A més de la molt llarga història com a seu de teatre de text, també va ser un important escenari de sarsuela. Va programar la versió teatral en valencià de La barraca de V. Blasco Ibáñez.
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He studied with his father Manuel Penella i Raga, Salvador Giner and Andrés Goñi. Despite showing talent for the violin from an early age, he had to abandon the instrument due to an accident in his left hand. In 1894 he was organist of the parish of Sant Nicolau in Valencia, the city where he premiered the zarzuela La fiesta del pueblo.

In 1898 he began a journey through Latin America as musical director of multiple lyric companies, and also conducted a military band in Ecuador. In 1907 he settled in Madrid, where he premiered nine stage music works until 1914. In Buenos Aires he performed Las musas latinas (1913) with his own company.

In 1917 he premiered El gato montés at the Teatre Principal in Valencia, an opera that arrived to New York years later casting Concha Piquer. In 1932 he presented the opera Don Gil de Alcalà at Teatre Novedades (Barcelona), with which he paid homage to Mexico where he would move once the Spanish Civil War began.

He wrote over 80 stage music works, as well as very popular songs such as En tierra extraña and La maredeue

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He studied with his father Manuel Penella i Raga, Salvador Giner and Andrés Goñi. Despite showing talent for the violin from an early age, he had to abandon the instrument due to an accident in his left hand. In 1894 he was organist of the parish of Sant Nicolau in Valencia, the city where he premiered the zarzuela La fiesta del pueblo.

In 1898 he began a journey through Latin America as musical director of multiple lyric companies, and also conducted a military band in Ecuador. In 1907 he settled in Madrid, where he premiered nine stage music works until 1914. In Buenos Aires he performed Las musas latinas (1913) with his own company.

In 1917 he premiered El gato montés at the Teatre Principal in Valencia, an opera that arrived to New York years later casting Concha Piquer. In 1932 he presented the opera Don Gil de Alcalà at Teatre Novedades (Barcelona), with which he paid homage to Mexico where he would move once the Spanish Civil War began.

He wrote over 80 stage music works, as well as very popular songs such as En tierra extraña and La maredeue

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Composer and musical director

He was admitted to the Escola Municipal de Música in Valencia and studied under Manuel Penella i Raga, Robert Segura and Salvador Giner. After a brief stint as a pianist in the city’s cafés, in 1880 he focused on teaching while actively participating in the Valencian Renaixença Cultural, collaborating with Lo Rat Penat.

In 1884 he moved to Madrid and joined the company of the Teatro de la Zarzuela as its musical director. With this company, he toured the main theatres of the Iberian Peninsula for ten years. In 1896 he returned to Valencia and joined the company of Teatre de la Princesa, where he was able to achieve his goal of creating a specifically Valencian lyrical theatre. From 1905 to 1915 he directed the Russafa Theater and in 1916 he returned to the Princesa, leaving the theatre altogether in 1917.

He composed over 80 zarzuelas, sainetes and revues, often writing also their libretti. Some examples are La Chent de Tró (1898), Les Barraques (1899) and Las Carceleras (1901). He also composed some songs and Quinze estudis per a piano.

 

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Composer and musical director

He was admitted to the Escola Municipal de Música in Valencia and studied under Manuel Penella i Raga, Robert Segura and Salvador Giner. After a brief stint as a pianist in the city’s cafés, in 1880 he focused on teaching while actively participating in the Valencian Renaixença Cultural, collaborating with Lo Rat Penat.

In 1884 he moved to Madrid and joined the company of the Teatro de la Zarzuela as its musical director. With this company, he toured the main theatres of the Iberian Peninsula for ten years. In 1896 he returned to Valencia and joined the company of Teatre de la Princesa, where he was able to achieve his goal of creating a specifically Valencian lyrical theatre. From 1905 to 1915 he directed the Russafa Theater and in 1916 he returned to the Princesa, leaving the theatre altogether in 1917.

He composed over 80 zarzuelas, sainetes and revues, often writing also their libretti. Some examples are La Chent de Tró (1898), Les Barraques (1899) and Las Carceleras (1901). He also composed some songs and Quinze estudis per a piano.

 

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