was of the opinion that music should be systematically understandable: “if necessary, to the point of sheer vulgarity, mud and bricks and that’s it.” The operetta genre lends itself more freely to this description than others, or to put it in a more pedantic and euphemistic way, this excess of comprehensibility.
Using an eccentric libretto that situates the action on the coast of Greece (a circumstance that determines the names of some characters but has no influence on the music, unless it’s the abundance of Phrygian cadences) Isaac Albéniz
complies effectively with the customs of Victorian operetta.
Now, in a magnificent edition by Borja Mariño, this work is newly available and we have the opportunity to approach it with a full and thorough knowledge of the facts. Forget any condescension towards the genre, though: it is more than likely that “The Magic Opal
” has moments of ambivalent simplicity in store for us, unbearable and delicious at the same time.
Listen to an excerpt from The Magic Opal >