Public Reception, Politics, and Propaganda in Torrejón's loa to La púrpura de la rosa, the First New World Opera


  • Chad M. Gasta


Specific Literature, Spanish literature, Time Period, 1600-1699, Subject Author, Torrejón y Velasco, Tomás de (1644-1728), Subject Work, La púrpura de la rosa, Literary Genre, drama, (treatment of) Felipe V, King of Spain (1683-1746), Lite


When Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco composed and staged a revised version of Calderón’s first opera La púrpura de la rosa (Lima, 1701), he almost certainly did so for political reasons. Indeed, it can be said that this opera has clear propagandist implications because the entire loa, or overture, was composed to glorify the new French monarchy in Spain and the New World, and to persuade Hispanic audiences to welcome their new Bourbon King, Felipe V. By recontextualizing the loa within Torrejón’s time and analyzing the various ideological pressures that inform its composition, one can see how this innovative musical and dramatic experiment renders a poignant sense of the economics and politics of 1701 Lima. At the same time it provides an intimate perspective on how propaganda was used as an effective device of royal authority. (CMG)