The Zarzuela - the beloved Spanish tradition that combines both popular and operatic music with choruses, dancing and dialogue - dates back in in one form or the other to the mid seventeenth century. La Generala by Amadeo Vives, is from 1912, and this week on the Lyric Stage we have the musical selections from it.
There is a conniving older woman in the story's love triangle, but she is quite benevolent. The married Berta, La Generala, The General's Wife, connives to unite the other two sides of the triangle, Princess Olga and Prince Pio, realizing she and Pio might have a great present but the future might not hold much.
Alfredo Kraus leads the cast as Prince Pio. His many opera roles included the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, and Werther in Massenet's opera of the same name, but he always made a place for the music of his native Spain in his repertoire. He was a refined, very expressive singer, who along with Carlo Bergonzi and Jussi Bjoerling stood out in their style from the more blatantly emotive approach of other tenors working in similar music in the 1950's and 1960's.