Immerse in Spanish  Opera! 

Goyescas: Spanish Opera and Zarzuela

This April 2017 the Boulder Opera teams up with the Boulder Phil players to celebrate Spanish culture with Goyescas and Zarzuela pieces.

Goyescas, an opera in one act by Enrique Granados, is based on a series of six paintings from Francisco Goya’s early career, inspired by the stereotypical young men and women of the majismo movement. The evening will start with a selection of Zarzuela scenes sung by the Boulder Opera’s ensemble singers.

Premiered more than a 100 years ago, Goyescas is a timeless opera that can be enjoyed by everyone. 


Come celebrate Spanish culture and music!

Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of source of their wonders.
-Francisco De Goya




Sunday April 2nd at 4:00 p.m. Stewart Auditorium in Longmont

Friday April 7th at 7:30 p.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder 

Sunday April 9th at 4:00 p.m. Broomfield Auditorium 


$35 for Orchestra seating
$30 for Middle seating
$25 for Back seating
$20 for Seniors
$15 for Students

Meet the Conductor!

Rafael Rodriguez- Conductor

Rafael had his conducting debut in Europe with the Romanian National Opera Orchestra in Constanţa in September 2013. Further engagements with this orchestra and with the Pazardjik Philharmonic in Bulgaria followed in 2014. Rafael was selected as a 2015 Conducting Fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, and was the second prize winner at the Black Sea Conducting Competition in Romania in 2012.

Recently returned from Lima where he led the British-Peruvian Cultural Center Youth Orchestra in concert, his work as a conductor and master teacher has taken him to Romania, Bulgaria, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and the United States. He served as Artistic Director for the national youth orchestra in the Costa Rican Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical, and led this 120-member ensemble on a tour to Mexico in 2012 featuring concerts in prestigious venues such as the world-renowned Sala Nezahualcoyotl.

Rafael is an Assistant/Cover Conductor with the Boulder Philharmonic and is currently attending the University of Colorado Boulder as a teaching assistant in pursuit of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting.

goyescas Synopsis

The story of Goyescas is based on a series of six paintings from Francisco Goya’s early career, inspired by the stereotypical young men and women of the majismo movement. These majos and majas are known for their bohemian attitude and soft spot for finery. The opening scene is directly based on his 1791 painting ‘El Pelele’, painted for Charles IV of Spain to hang in his textile mill, although the painting implies a satire of the monarch’s popularity.

First Tableau

The majos and majas are enjoying an afternoon outside the Church of San Antonio de la Florida. As the Manzanares River meanders in the distance, the fun loving troupe spend their time dancing, feasting, and playing a traditional game known as the pelele. This game involves a human replication made of straw being thrown up in the air by a group using a stretched out sheet. As they flirt and chatter, Paquiro enters, surrounded by women. He calls all the ladies unique garden flowers, and they swoon for him, but all of them know who he supposedly belongs to. Pepa enters the scene riding her dog cart, and the men crowd around her excitedly, as she thanks them for making her feel welcome. Suddenly, the attention is on two richly dressed lackeys bearing a sedan-chair, and in which the high born lady Rosario waits for her lover. Paquiro wastes no time approaching this mystery woman. He recalls a time when she appeared at one of their lantern-lit balls, and invites her again that very night. Rosario ignores him, but her indifference goes unnoticed by Fernando, captain of the royal guard, who was hiding away and spying on her and Paquiro. Fernando assumes that she was flirting, and although she flatly denies it, he does not trust her. They continue arguing while Pepa and the ladies mock them. Fernando decides that Rosario will accept the invitation, but that he will accompany her. They leave promptly, and after sharing their plans to ruin the lovers, Pepa and Paquito leave on their dog cart.

Second Tableau

At the ball that night, all the majas are dancing, while the majos watch eagerly. Fernando enters dragging Rosario, whom Pepa proceeds to make fun of the minute she walks through the door. Fernando assures Rosario that he will defend her honor. Upon this, Paquiro makes a spectacle of asking Rosario to dance, and Pepa questions his motives jealously. Fernando insults Paquiro's honor, while Rosario protests. Paquiro suggests a duel to prove his valor. A brawl begins, the women holding back Paquiro and the men from rushing Fernando, and Rosario faints in the excitement. After setting the time and place of the duel, Fernando leaves with Rosario. Pepa, returning to the center of attention, engages the crowd in a fandango.

Third Tableau

Later that night, Rosario sits on a bench in the palace garden, listening to the sad song of a nightingale under the light of the moon. As she moves to go inside, Fernando approaches the house, calling to her. She responds sorrowfully, but always lovingly, and he doubts her claims of total devotion. They share a loving moment, ruined by the presence of Paquiro, who is dressed in a black cloak with Pepa trailing furtively. Fernando makes ready to leave, and Rosario clings to him, begging him to stay. Fernando tears himself away, promising to return victorious, and leaves. Rosario follows, and the duel begins. Two screams signal the end of the duel, one by Fernando being mortally wounded, the other by Rosario. Paquiro flees, dragging his cloak behind him. Rosario drags the mortally wounded Fernando to the bench where they had just shared their tender moment. She holds him against her bosom, and they share one last kiss before he dies in her arms.