: is the first opera in four acts written by Francisco Escudero (1912–2002) in the year 1962, commissioned by the Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera (Asociación Bilbaina de Amigos de la Ópera, ABAO.) Its libretto (script), written by Manuel Lecuona and Escudero himself in Basque, is based on the plot of Jose Zincunegui.
Zigor was interpreted for the first time (incomplete) in concert version on the 4th October 1967 in the Coliseo Albia in Bilbao
Bilbao ) is a Spanish municipality, capital of the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. With a population of 353,187 , it is the largest city of its autonomous community and the tenth largest in Spain...
. One year later, on the 6th June 1968, it was represented for the first time in the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...
, with great success among the public and critics.
- Zunbeltz, Antihero, child killer, ambitious, cruel and a traitor. Father of Lore and uncle of Sancho Garces. Bass or Baritone
- Sancho Garces, Hero, aspiring to be the first King of Navarra designated by the divine Providence, in love with Lore. Tenor
- Urdaspal, Baritone
- Burni [‘iron’], Basso Profondo
- Lore [‘flower’], Heroine, daughter of Zunbeltz, young, beautiful, personifies all the values of the town. Soprano
- Sorgin [‘witch’], Daughter of a Norman who lives in the Basque lands. Contralto
- San Leon, Bishop of Bayonne. Baritone
starts with three fairies chanting about the grim future of the Basque Country (the invasion of the Normans and the betrayal of Zunbeltz). However, these fairies also announce a plentiful era which will arrive with Sancho Garces, destined to be the first King of Navarra, guide of the Basques.
Zunbeltz defies God and vows to claim the crown. His first action is an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the infant Sancho Garces; he kills the wrong baby. When Garces becomes a man, Zunbeltz accuses him of double treason: patriotic treason (for dealings with the Normans who are destroying the Basque coasts) and treason of love (a romance with Sorgin, the daughter of a Norman who lives in the Basque lands).
San Leon assures the captured Basques that God will break their chains, allowing them to defeat the enemy, as anything that disrupts or circumvents the divine balance will be punished. This is where the title Zigor
, punishment, comes from.
At the end of the opera, the punishment begins: the Normans who try to gain power in Navarra lands are punished with defeat. The evil Zunbeltz is punished both psychologically (remorse, hallucinations, murder of a child) and physically, when he accidentally wounds his daughter, Lore, fatally.
- Information extracted from the libretto that accompanies the recording of Gernika, realised in November and December 2007. Symphonic Orchestra of Euskadi, Choir Society of Bilbao, Jose Ramon Encinar (musical director). DECCA, 2 CD (0028947667957)