The Love of Don Perlimplín with Belisa in His Garden
by Federico García Lorca
The show premiered on 15th November 1996 in Litografia de Portugal, at Bairro Alto. A space where the company had its headquarters
An emblematic show from the company with big national and international success, and presented until 2008, “The Love of Don Perlimplín...” got the prize for Best Dramaturgy at the World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague (June 2001), and was nominated for Best Puppet Manipulation. Since 1998 it has been present in several international festivals, mainly in Spain, Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Pakistan, Hungary, Argentina, United Kingdom, Portugal, among others.
In the scope of the event Coimbra - National Capital of Culture 2003, A Tarumba recreated “The Love of Don Perlimplín...” in cooperation with Ensemble Barroco do Chiado in a new version with live music, interpreted by a chamber orchestra.
The object of a disappointed love, Don Perlimplín, landlord of many lands, geese and cheep, takes the character of an old ridiculous man with a pure and virgin soul, like a child. He gets old without truly knowing life. He discovers love in a marriage settled by his maid (Marcolfa, his mother alter ego), an initiatory moment when he peeks at Belisa’s body. Belisa is a beautiful soulless animal. She sleeps with the five races of the Earth and in the morning next to the wedding night, Don Perlimplín wakes up cruelly adorned with a pair of flowered golden horns. The lover hopes to be immolated by the sacrifice. In an apparent consecration of love, Don Perlimplín conceives a hidden revenge plan. He impersonates a handsome young man in a red cape, “red as his blood”, he conquers Belisa’s heart, despairs her and in the end...
A chamber operetta for puppets in the original libretto, “The Love of Don Perlimplín with Belisa in His Garden” was created from the original idea from the poet, with puppets and music written by Lorca, collected by Gustavo Pittaluga from the poet’s sisters and played by Portuguese musicians.
A victim of apparent intrigues, inexplicable losses of successive manuscripts; persecuted by the Police and hold for years accused of immorality; published in the shadow of the ‘maior’ work of the poet, “The Love of Don Perlimplín...” is, without a doubt, a key work in Lorca’s Production.
“The Love of Don Perlimplín...” was adapted with the purpose of recreating Lorca’s original conception for this show, inspired in Alleluia Theatre from his childhood and, simultaneously, pay tribute to Federico García Lorca, accused of immorality, betrayed by friends and murdered by those who screamed “Death to Intelligence!” and “Hurray to Death!”.
"This Love of Don Perlimplín with Belisa in His Garden proved itself to be (...) a pleasure/revelation. For many reasons (...) For the liveliness given to the characters, for the good taste in scenery, for its simplicity, for its colour, joy and happiness, for its functionality, for its excellent manipulation, for the well-achieved recreation of the nineteenth century spirit (Luís Vieira does not forget a visit to António José da Silva!) or for the magnificent puppets, that may well say – true pieces of art that the company itself made (...). From the cast, full of good puppeteers, we state our positive evaluation (...). Excellent voices, good technique in what manipulation is concerned, drama and enough joy to give the characters the necessary veracity and life, all of this make this show a tribute to spontaneity and creativity."
-Pedro Teixeira Neves (Semanário, 7th December 1996)
"There is a new space in Bairro Alto. The Litografia de Portugal (Rua da Rosa, 311) has given part of its facilities to Tarumba - Teatro de Marionetas, that will stage today The Love of Don Perlimplín with Belisa in His Garden (...) These characteristics – the humour and the unmistakable Lorca’s poetry – are in this Tarumba production, a group that has been settling in this gender of theatre, developing the manipulation techniques and creating demanding shows. It is the case of this Love of Don Perlimplín (...)."
-Manuel João Gomes (Público, 6th February 1997)
"Federico Garcia Lorca found in the puppet theatre the way to the theatre and with the puppets has given the first steps. The Tarumba reminds us of that first love (...). Another reason for you not to miss this show from Tarumba and unveil the poet’s reasons for his love of puppets. You will not regret it."
-José Mendes (Diário de Notícias, 14th March 1997)
"The Tarumba - Teatro de Marionetas project cements itself with this production now again at Litografia de Portugal (...). A tragicomic operetta performed by puppets. It includes the score created by the author himself."
-Manuel João Gomes (Público - Caderno Zap, March 1997)
"The Costa do Castelo theatre welcomes again this Perlimplín made by puppets and enriched with musical excerpts designed by Lorca. It is one of the most curious Lorca’s productions staged in this centenary year of the poet (...)."
-Manuel João Gomes (Público, 24th April 1998)
"(...) Today at 1.30pm it briefly goes through the small auditorium in Teatro Rivoli in Oporto, integrated in a series of events related to Federico Garcia Lorca (...). Lorca’s musical and puppeteer side is, therefore, important enough for whoever wants to deepen the knowledge of the theatre man and poet. Even if it is necessary to postpone lunch hour, this is an opportunity not to be missed."
-Manuel João Gomes (Público, 26th May 1998)
"One of the latest bolds from this puppet company was the beautiful opera for puppet theatre, about the play Love of Don Perlimplín, erotic alleluia by Federico Garcia Lorca. The show marked, in Lisbon and Oporto, the centenary of the birth of the Andalusian poet.
-Manuel João Gomes (Público, 22nd November 1998)
-FIMFA Lx4 - opening of the festival (Casa d’Os Dias da Água, Lisboa, 2004);
-Wee Bit of Portugal Festival (Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre, Scotland, 2004);
-Festival de Música das Caldas da Rainha (2004);
-Coimbra - Capital Nacional da Cultura (Museu dos Transportes, 2003);
-IV Festival Internacional de Teatro de Títeres, Objectos y Visual - opening of the festival (Granada, Spain, 2002);
-Festival Internacional de Formas Animadas de São Paulo (SESC Pompeia, Brasil, 2001);
-V World Festival of Puppet Art (City Library, Prague, Czech Republic, 2001);
-Darpana Puppet Festival (Ahmedabad, India, 2000);
-V International Puppet Festival of Pakistan (Lahore, Paquistan, 2000);
-IX Iron Rooster International Puppet Festival (Gyor, Hungary, 2000);
-Festival International de Títeres, UNIMA - Santa Fé (Argentina, 1999);
-Festival Internacional de Marionetas do Porto (Teatro Rivoli, 1998).
Artistic direction, concept and puppets: Luís Vieira Adaptation: Luís Vieira, Rute Ribeiro Puppeteers: Rute Ribeiro, Luís Vieira, Fernanda Cruz, Paulo Figueiredo, Catarina Fonseca / Vera Alvelos, Susana Esteves Pinto, Tiago Pereira, João Calixto Scenography and costumes: João Cardoso, Luís Vieira Seamstress: Elvira Martins Shoes: Rute Ribeiro Lighting and sound operation: António Pedro Figueiredo / Jorge Cramez / Paulo Belém / Hugo Sousa / José Rui Props: António Lino Photography: Alípio Padilha, Luís Vieira, Pedro Barros Technique: String puppets
With the participation of Ensemble Barroco do Chiado: Luísa Tavares (soprano), Marcos Magalhães (harpsichord), António Carrilho (recorder), Nuno Vasconcelos (guitar), Álvaro Pinto (violin)
Studio recording: Marco Santos (tenor), Norma Silva (harpsichord), Gil Alves (recorder), José Manuel Tavares (guitar), Carlos Passos (violin)