Zarzuela on Poland in Madrid: El pino del Norteof Vincente Casanova with the music of maestro Ruperto Chapí
El pino del Norte, a one-act zarzuela in prose and verse written by Vicente Casanova with music by Ruperto Chapí, was performed on February 27th 1907 in the theatre Apolo in Madrid. The play was pulled from the billboard the day after its first performance. The author describes at length the circumstances of the staging and quotes parts of the review in the preface to the printed libretto. The action of the play is located on an estate in Russian Poland in the year 1853 which is a surprise because the genero chico generally dealt with local Spanish themes. The author introduces Polish realia in the conventional garb of the zarzuela in a convincing manner. The Polish reader will recognize Polish themes and motives which are familiar to him from his reading. This is understandable since the author was brother of Sofia Casanova de Lutoslawski, a Spanish poet married to Wincenty Lutosławski, who was a unique “link between Polish and Spanish literature” (Ofelia L. Alayeto).