Jan Brandts Buys: Spaans fragment (1898)

In Zutphen's large audiorium De Hanzehof (Buitensociëteit) on Saturday September 22 2018 401DutchOperas presents highlights from all 10 operas composed by Jan Brandts Buys, as part of our Jan Brandts Buys Festival. The opera recital also features the world premiere of Brandts Buys's first opera experiment, the so called 'Spanish Fragment' from 1898, thus called because the libretto is on a Spanish topic.

In 1892 an accidental journey to Vienna for Dutch magazine Het Vaderland would determine the course of Brandts Buys's life.  He had to report on the International Ausstellung fur Musik- und Theaterwesen but then decided to remain in Vienna, where he hoped to establish himself as a composer. To support himself he worked as a music arranger for various publishers. By 1898 he started the composition of an opera after a Spanish theme, then very popular. He never completed the work, of whih only the first act and a bit of the second one were completed. Just as in his 1919 opera Micarême this Spanish opera experiment is also set at Carneval met Carnaval.The plot though has no further things in common with Micarême. In thr Spanish Fragment womanizer Gomez is obstructed in his activities by Don Quichot and Sancho. Although the 'Spanish Fragment' is Bradts Buys's first oepratic experiment to whih he actually compsoed music, it is not the earliest operatic experiment among his works. A few lines of a libretto for a childhood opera (to which no music was composed) reveal brandts Buys's  early vocation for the genre