Bernarda Alba

A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Bernarda Alba

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  10f

Words and Music by Michael John LaChiusa / Based on the play

LaChiusa brings a musical voice to Federico Garcia Lorca's final 1936 masterpiece, The House of Bernarda Alba, through pulsing castanets, trilling Spanish guitars and resounding rhythmic stomps.

Image: Paul Kolnik

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    10f
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
Bernarda Alba

Details

Summary
Bernarda Alba tells the tales of a powerful matriarch, who imposes a strict rule on her household following her second husband's funeral: 'Not a breath of outside air is going to enter this house. It's going to feel like we've bricked up the doors and windows,' she proclaims. Bernarda's five daughters, however, struggle with her cold wishes. The girls' dreams and desires challenge their mother's harsh rules and the outside world begins to slowly permeate their isolated existence.

A perfect show for a strong female cast, Bernarda Alba is a masterwork by Michael John LaChiusa, who has brought us such critically acclaimed hits as The Wild Party and Marie Christine.
Cast Attributes
  • All Female
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
PRINCIPALS
6 Women

FEATURED
4 Women

Comments
The score is influenced by Spanish folk song and flamenco; vocally, this requires versatility from each actor.

Bernarda Alba - late 50's, early 60's

Bernarda's Daughters:
Angustias - 39- years-old
Magdalena - 35-years-old
Amelia - 32-years-old
Martirio - 29-years-old
Adela - 25-years-old

Maria Josepha - Bernarda's Mother, 80-years-old
Poncia - 50's, Bernarda's Servant
Young Maid - early 20's
Servant (doubled with Prudencia) - 40's
Prudencia (doubled with Servant) - Bernarda's Neighbor
  • Time Period 1930s
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Media

"Michael John LaChiusa has done it again. Bernarda Alba is fascinating, riveting, vibrant, and exciting."
— Steven Suskind, Playbill

"A serious and seamless musicalization... shows off LaChiusa's native strengths: his grasp of the living rhythms of theatrical language, which pervades not only his music and lyrics but his expert shaping of the libretto; his eagerness to cut directly to the dark, despairing marrow of his material; and his raw, almost Gothic sensuality."
— Rob Kendt, Broadway.com

"Not just a good musical or a great musical, but a musical for the ages. That impossibly rare thing: an engrossing musical drama, so superbly integrated that all boundaries between speech, music, and dance blur and dissolve before your eyes... Like all great adaptations it eclipses its source. Bernarda Alba brings to arresting theatrical life the soul of Lorca's compact emotional epic in a way that will make it impossible to ever look at the original the same way again.”
— Matthew Murray, TalkinBroadway.com

“Michael John LaChiusa has finally composed the impeccable tuner that cognoscenti have been awaiting with waning patience. .. this 90-minute, intermissionless compression of the hothouse play is absolutely stunning in every possible category.”
— David Finkle, Theatermania

"It's even possible that, just as it's now difficult to watch George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion without hearing the songs that Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe wrote for My Fair Lady, Michael John LaChiusa's Bernarda Alba will become more popular in this country than Lorca's grim, impassioned play. That's how powerful a work of art it is.”
— David Finkle, Theatermania

Photos

  • Bernarda Alba

    Image: Paul Kolnik

Music

Music Samples

1. "Prologue" - Company
2. "The Funeral" - Bernarda and Women
3. "On The Day That I Marry (Part 1)" - Young Maid
4. "Bernarda's Prayer" - Bernarda and Women
5. "On The Day That I Marry (Part 2)" - Bernarda, Young Maid, Servant, and Poncia
6. "Love, Let Me Sing You" - Amelia, Martirio, Magdalena, Adela and "Pepe"
7. "Let Me Go To The Sea" - Maria Josepha, Daughters and Women
8. "Magdalena" - Magdalena
9. "Angustias" - Angustias and Women
10. "Amelia" - Amelia, Young Maid and Servant
11. "Martirio" - Martirio and Magdalena
12. "Adela" - Adela and Daughters
13. "I Will Dream Of What I Saw" - Men and Boys, Daughters and Poncia
14. "Thirty Odd Years" - Poncia
15. "Limbrada's Daughter" - Bernarda, Daughters and Women
16. "One Moorish Girl/ The Smallest Stream" - Young Maid, Servant, Ponica and Bernarda
17. "The Stallion" - Angustias, Magdalena, Amelia, Martirio and Adela
18. "Lullaby" - Maria Josepha
19. "Open The Door" - Adela and Women
20. "Finale" - Bernarda

Full Orchestration

Keyboard I
Keyboard II
1 Reed
1 Guitar
1 Viola
1 Cello I
1 Cello II
1 Bass
1 Harp
1 Percussion
REED: Oboe, Alto Flute, Shawm [a medieval high-pitched wind instrument, with a double reed; an ancestor of the oboe], Bombard [a large kind of oboe or shawm, popular in the 14th and 15th century France, now obsolete], English Horn, Soprano Recorder [in C], Sopranino Recorder [in F], Alto Recorder [in F], Tenor Recorder [in C], Cana in A

  • Musical StyleContemporary Broadway
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra SizeMedium
  • Chorus SizeMedium

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!

12 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Reed
1 Guitar
1 Harp
1 Percussion
1 Viola
1 Cello 1
1 Cello 2
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack

12 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Add-Ons

Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!

Authors

Michael John LaChiusa

Michael John LaChiusa – composer, lyricist and librettist – established himself as a powerful presence on the American musical theatre scene after winning Off-Broadway’s 1993 Obie Award for his musicals First Lady Suite and Hello Again. Six years later, LaChiusa was represent ...

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