Rocío Márquez presents Rites and Geographies for Federico García Lorca


The album of folk songs recorded by La Argentinita and Lorca is exceedingly well known. As folk songs go, they are truly popular. Rocío Márquez and her musicians have not attempted to take on that repertoire, or at least not merely that. Rather, it is about dramatizing in the sense of internalizing, expanding their work, as well as distilling it, being able to use their findings as a tool to apply to popular music, to our personal musical backgrounds, to that global ionosphere of world sounds that today is our tradition.

Rocío Márquez begins with maestro Pepe Habichuela. Flamenco, yes, "the most cultured of popular music,” said Stravinsky. “Café de Chinitas” but also “Cantes Abandolaos” from Juan Breva and Frasquito Yerbabuena. Milongas and cantiñas. Agustín García Calvo used to say that flamenco wasn’t popular music because it wasn’t catchy enough--nobody sings soleá in the shower. He was right, but not in this case. Because that’s the difficult part and the challenge. Situating popular songs on that border between melody and complaint, between the sound’s texture and the musical chord.

It is no coincidence that Proyecto Lorca [Lorca Project] has that name. Lorca made connections between the old and the new like nobody else, and they wanted to travel through the shared world of contemporary music and flamenco. It’s redundant, of course--flamenco is from the same period as Ravel or Debussy! Rocío sings ¡Anda, jaleo! with them, and the journey is long, starting with “El Vito,” going through our Civil War and almost reaching the French barricades of 1968. The Asturian journey is also ample, by train, passing through “Santa Bárbara Bendita.” But I would like to dwell for a second on La Nana. This lullaby penned by Lorca, “La Nana de Sevilla,” is extremely well known. In the musical inquiry, we discover a musical pattern that traveled from the Sahara to Albania, from the children’s lullaby to a terrible song of mourning. Juan Breva recorded a petenera lullaby and it is Lorca who evokes it in “De profundis” that Shostakovich set to music.

And then we have the big finish. Archangel and Rocío Márquez. Fandangoes of Huelva. “Los cuatro muleros” between Alonso and Cortegana. That is the tone of the trip sought by Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis and Agustín Diassera. The rests, the inns, the stops along the way. But let’s get back to Alosno. When I read The Songlines, the novel by Bruce Chatwin, I began to hear Alosno. Chatwin’s book evokes the world known to the Australian aborigines with cartographic precision thanks to their songs. They memorize songs that function as maps. Such as Alosno, that mythical village of Huelva and the fandango. There, everything is sung, every inch of the region has its song.


“El diamante”, de Libro de poemas (1921). Milonga.

Con Pepe Habichuela

“En el Café de Chinitas”, de Canciones populares antiguas (1931). Abandalaos.

Con Pepe Habichuela

“Reyerta”, de Romancero gitano (1924-1927). Cantiñas.

Con Pepe Habichuela y Los Mellis

“Tangos del escribano”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Tangos.

Con Leonor Leal, Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis y Agustín Diassera

“Nana de Sevilla”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Suite I.

Con Proyecto Lorca

“Anda, jaleo”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Suite II.

Con Proyecto Lorca

“Sones de Asturias”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Suite III.

Con Proyecto Lorca

“Válgame Dios, compare”, de El calvario de un genio, de M. Á. Cortés (2013). Alegrías.

Con Leonor Leal, Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis y Agustín Diassera

“Las morillas de Jaén”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Soleá.

Con Miguel Ángel Cortés

“Los pelegrinitos”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Tangos.

Con Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis y Agustín Diassera

“Los cuatro muleros”, de Canciones populares antiguas. Fandangos.

Con Arcángel, Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis y Agustín Diassera

“Canción muerta”, de Suites (192o). Seguiriya.

Con Miguel Ángel Cortés, Los Mellis y Agustín Diassera

Production Notes

  • Theatre Company
  • Teatro Real
  • Country
  • Spain
  • Parental rating
  • Parental rating information not available.
  • Original language
  • Spanish
  • Subtitles
  • Spanish
  • In theaters
  • No
  • Category / Genre
  • Musical

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