Devotion to the Cross

Premiere:  10/09/2005
Igor in role: Lisardo, Curcio's son

Drama of love and honour

Calderón’s drama in verses, built on the ground plan of the Baroque tragedy of love and honour, opens the eternal theme of crime and punishment. Young aristocrat Eusebio kills in a duel Lisard, brother of his beloved Julia who stands in the way of their love. Julia, shocked with the crime and scared even more with her unfailing passion to the killer of her brother, leaves for a convent, while Eusebio becomes a robber revenging on the world cruelly and immorally. He visits Julia in the convent, withstanding his passion thanks to his immense self-control, which is however understood as an offence and the expression of contempt by the lovesick girl. Finally, Eusebio is caught up with his pursuers – Lisard’s father and Julia who escaped from the convent and turned in a heartless murderer as her heart broke from sorrow over Eusebio’s putative offence. Eusebio is thrown down the rock by Lisard’s father. However, he gets to know before his death he is Julia’s brother and Curcio’s lost son. Julia, execrating herself for her unknowing incestuous desire is taken up into heaven at the moment of her death… The symbol of cross, which can be interpreted as Kain’s sign or a mysterious promise of happiness and conciliation, plays an important role in the drama including mystic, Christian and demonic elements. The uncontrollable physical and mental passion, desire for justice, heroic concept of honour and fairness, dark criminality, blind hatred, desire for revenge and omnipresent boundless resolution are mixed successfully with clownery and a verily popular concept of “high ideals”. The fresh and unknown verses as well as the colourful story reach the level of Shakespeare’s dramas, exceeding some of them with their temperament and playfulness.