Francisco Asenjo Barbieri
Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823 - 1894) belonged to the generation of Spanish composers that, along with Arrieta, Gaztambide and Oudrid, fought to establish an authentic Spanish lyric theater independent from the Italian aesthetics that dominated the academic establishment of their era. The lack of opportunities for opera in Spanish led to the development of the 19th century zarzuela as an alternative genre to Italian opera. Some of his best known pieces include Jugar con Fuego (1851), Los Diamantes de la Corona (1854), Pan y Toros (1864) and his comic masterpiece: El Barberillo de Lavapiés (1874). In addition to his contribution as a composer, Barbieri’s legacy also includes the founding of the Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid.