Splendour of Catholic America 1: The First Opera of the New World

Hispanic America was not always the same tumultuous space full of left wing agitation, economic precariousness, pauperization,  hate of Tradition and decadent elites as now.

When united and part of the Spanish Empire it had a flourishing cultural life and even a more just social order -designed to protect the weak in a hierarchical context- than  the liberal Republics.

Mexico and Lima (and also minor capitals such as Guatemala City or Buenos Aires) had universities (some of them very old, for example the University of Saint Mark  in Lima  was even older than English settlements in North America, dating from 1551  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13365b.htm)  , literary academies, poetical and musical contests and a splendid miriad of Baroque art.

An excellent sample of this splendour is "La Púrpura de la Rosa", music by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco and script by the late Pedro Calderón de la Barca, the first Opera composed and played in the New World, premiered in the Viceroy's Palace in Lima, 19th October 1701  (Just eight years after the Salem trials in Protestant America)

Here is the prologue:

What happened then? The iluministic movements, the secret societies, England,  the catastrophic wars of Independence, the destruction of both creole and native Nobility, liberalism, socialism and stop counting....

More about the Púrpura de la Rosa:

Beautiful.  Interesting to me that the first opera composed and performed in the New World was on October 19.  That is my birthday (250 years later of course).
Lovely! Thanks so much for sharing. Here's another "American" opera (theme, anyway).


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