Citizens or Savages? The Spaniards in Raoul Laparra's <i>La jota</i> (1911)

Samuel Llano

in Whose Spain?

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858460
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979905 | DOI:

Series: Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music

Citizens or Savages? The Spaniards in Raoul Laparra's La jota (1911)

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This chapter analyses representations of the Spaniard in Raoul Laparra's opera La jota (Opéra-Comique, 1911) and his writings. In this opera, Laparra represented a fictional episode of the First Carlist War (1833–35) in Spain, and addressed key issues of Spanish national identity, such as the need for territorial, political and social cohesion. Laparra's view of France as a country divided by political and social cleavages such as the Dreyfus affair, regionalist debates, and ideological battles between monarchists and republicans, impinged upon his representation of Spain in La jota. In order to present his audiences with a condemnatory and crude rendition of fratricide wars, Laparra made use of extensive violence and helped to reinforce commonplace views of Spain based on the “black legend” trope. Furthermore, this chapter considers Laparra's substantial writings on Spanish music as an interpretive context for analysing La jota, especially regarding his depiction of Spaniards as “noble savages.”

Keywords: Laparra; opera; savage; Carlism; Spanish music; France; nationalism

Chapter.  18346 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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