Margarita Xirgu

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Xirgu, Margarita


Born 1888 in Molíns de Rey, near Barcelona; died there in 1969. Spanish actress.

Xirgu studied at the Catalonian School of Dramatic Art in Barcelona. She made her professional stage debut in 1906 and then performed in the largest theaters of Barcelona and Madrid. She toured Cuba and Mexico in 1936. After Franco came into power (1939), Xirgu refused to return to Spain and worked in Argentina and Uruguay.

Xirgu played comedy, genre, and tragedy roles with great mastery in the plays of J. Echegaray, B. Pérez Galdós, R. Valle-Inclán, M. Unamuno, and A. Casona. The plays of García Lorca gave Xirgu her greatest artistic opportunities—for example, the title roles in Mariana Pineda, The Prodigious Shoemaker, and Yerma. She also headed her own troupes, producing classical dramas and staging the plays of modern playwrights with democratic tendencies. [13-1563-3; updated]

References in periodicals archive ?
Margarita Xirgu, teacher and actress, is looking back on her relationship with Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish poet and dramatist murdered by the fascists in 1936.
After much reworking, Golijov has layered the opera, with a libretto by David Henry Hwang, to run the Lorca thread alongside the demise of the Catalan actress Margarita Xirgu, whose final days were spent in Uruguay in 1969.
The first image takes us to a theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay, in April 1969, where Lorca's play Mariana Pineda is being performed, and where Margarita Xirgu, in the last minutes of the last day of her life, tries to convey to a student the fire and aspiration that gave birth to the Spanish Republic many decades previously.
He almost always worked in Barcelona, which is where his professional training began, and this show contains some outstanding portraits of celebrated figures of the day (Pablo Casals, Margarita Xirgu, and others) as well as images of the agitated social and political life of the time and of the war, which he covered from Barcelona and from the Aragon front during the counterattack against the Fascist army.
The year ended triumphantly for him as Margarita Xirgu, the famous Catalan actress, opened Yerma in Madrid's Espanol Theater to a completely sold-out house and favorable reviews.
And later in the summer, Garcia Lorca's version of La dama boba, first performed by Membrives in Buenos Aires, was presented in Madrid by Margarita Xirgu and Enrique Borras for the tricentenary festival in homage to Lope de Vega.