Espagna- Spain, the craddle of Flamenco dancing and guitar playing, Corrida (bullfighting), the inspiring figures of the libertine Don Juan (play) and the gipsy Carmen (opera) , the divine voices of Victoria de Los Angeles and Jose Carreras, unforgettable Eurovision spanish songs, attractive cities and amazing landscapes.
(The title of the post QUE VIVA ESPANA is the name of a spanish Hit song in passadobles rhytm).
When I was a school girl in a little town in north-east Roumania, I knew a very musical family of gipsy descent. All the members of this family could sing, dance, and play the violin and/or the accordion. None of them had any formal musical education, except one of the daughters , Maria, who had won a scholarship to study at the conservatory in the county town, afterwhich she went on to study vocal music at the Music Academy in the capital city, where she eventually graduated as an opera singer.
Needless to say she was the Gem of her family and the pride of her little native town.
As an opera performer, Maria was a constant choice and favourite for the part of Carmen ( the protagonist of Bizet's famous opera) due to her mezzosoprano voice , her looks (dark hair, dark eyes. olive skin), and her flexible and sensuous body. She was a great success in the role of Carmen ( the gipsy from Sevilla) and appeared on stage in many world opera houses.
Well, the trouble with her, was that she could not draw the line between her personal life and her role on the stage.. While on a tour in Spain, performing in the role of Carmen, she decided to stay there and not return to Roumania. She fell in love with a bullfighter (like in the opera's plot) and neglected her career.
After a few years, she came back home, ill and with no money. Her elder and married sister persuaded her to come and stay with her and family in the county town for as long as she needed. I didn't see her anymore, but I heard things about her spanish affair. It appeared that the bullfighter had dumped her and got custody of their child. She tried to fight back, but with no success as the bullfighter had friends in high position. This destroyed her completely. At a certain phase, she felt threatened, wanted to leave Spain and return to her country of origin, but she had trouble with the roumanian communist authorities as she was considered a deserter artist.
The story doesn't have a very happy end , but it ended not so badly considering the circumstances. Maria recovered from her illness, and got a job as a choir girl at the Opera . Moreover , with help and good will from various factors, she succeeded in establishing some connection with her child in Spain.
[My Mom used to say to me and my brother:" Don't go too far from your source". Maria got carried away ,went perhaps too far - away from her family, her country, her career- and she was forced by Fate to learn her lesson the hard way].
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3 months ago