Composers and their stage works 

The Mayor of Zalamea

(El alcalde de Zalamea)

Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Comedia histórica wr. l640/44

Pedro Crespo, a wealthy peasant, has Don Alvaro, a young Captain of noble birth, billeted in his home. An extremely proud man, Crespo will yield to no man when his honour is at stake. Alvaro conceives a passion for Crespo's daughter Isabel, whom he abducts and rapes. Crespo is determined to avenge his honour, but before he is able to do so, he is elected mayor and magistrate of Zalamea. Forced to place justice above revenge, he goes to Alvaro and humiliates himself by begging him to marry Isabel and restore her honour. Alvaro contemptuously refuses, and Crespo arrests him. A dispute ensues between Crespo and Don Lope de Figueroa, Alvaro's s general, who threatens to storm the prison and free Alvaro. Violence is averted by the arrival of King Philip II. The King listens to the case and demands to see Alvaro, but Crespo has already had him executed. Impressed by Crespo's steadfastness and agreeing that the penalty was just, the King appoints Crespo mayor for life.