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Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (Composer)

Born: 3rd August 1823, Madrid, Spain

Died: 19th February 1894, Madrid, Spain

Nationality: Spanish

Francisco Asenjo Barbieri was a well-known composer of the popular Spanish opera form, zarzuela. His works include: El barberillo de Lavapiés, Jugar con fuego, Pan y toros, Don Quijote, Los diamantes de la corona, and El Diablo en el poder.

He was born and died in Madrid, appropriately, since the themes are characters of his operas are often distinctly Spanish and Madrilenian. Among the characters featured by Barbieri are bullfighters, manolos and manolas, and even (in Pan y toros) the famous Spanish painter, Francisco Goya.

The character of much of Barbieri’s work is farcical, utilizing mistaken identity and other devices to entertain the audience. His themes deal largely with the ins and outs of love, and the relations between the upper and lower classes in nineteenth-century Spain, but there is also a distinct political character to much of his work.

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