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Paco Hernández Rodríguez

The donation of Paco Hernández Rodríguez includes brief popular plays Valencian of the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection finds deposited in the Library of Philosophy and Letters, forming part of the section Theatrical Bottom Valencian excluded of loan and with access restricted to personal researcher.



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Paco Hernández Rodríguez (1892-1974)

First actor and artistic director. It was the mythical figure that diffused Valencian theater to the Alicante regions during a good part of the 20th century.

He was born on February 9, 1892 to the Vilavella neighborhood of Alicante. Before the age of 10 he played the Echegaray Society, playing children's roles. Later he began to practice singing to the Orfeón de Alicante and immediately made his debut as a comic tenor in Bohemios.

He went with his family to Argentina, where he performed with Emilio Carreras, Pepe Moncayo and Consuelo Mayendia. Back in his hometown, he worked with Josefina Hernández from Alicante. At 18 he was a chorister in the Salón Novedades. He was part of the lyrical ensembles directed by Pepe Carreras, Jesús Sara, Joaquín Giménez, Enrique Beüt and Pepe Ángeles, with the last of which performed in Andalusia, Murcia and many towns in the province of Alicante.

In 1926 his artistic career took a fundamental turn when he created his own company specializing in Valencian theater. He made this dramatic activity compatible with the work of artisan painter and artist foguerer. He worked together in the first actresses Teresa Barrachina and Lolita Millà, and the actors Àngel Mas and Antonio Prieto, among other artists from Alicante. He acted in a stable manner, at least during the weekends, in the Salón España or the Teatro Monumental in Alicante until the Civil War. They also made "bolos" by other secondary venues in the city and the towns of the province, especially in Elche, where they were very well received. His fame reached Valencia, where he worked at the Salón Novedades during the period 1931-1935.

It came to have an extensive repertoire of more than a hundred Valencian pieces, which was increased with the translation of several Castilian works. So much was his popularity that many authors gave him the exclusive to present his productions or did, new, expressly for him, as was the case of the prolific Valencian saineter Paco Barchino.

After the Civil War, he had to pass to Castilian and was enrolled in a group with the Alicante Jaume Olmos and Manolo Codeso, with which toured the Channel, Murcia and Andalusia. From 1947 he dedicated himself again to the Valencian theater. He had an incomparable comic vision, forged during a long artistic life. So much so that he returned to Valencia, leading a company that performed at the Alkázar theater in the period 1952-1956. He retired from the stage in 1963, after celebrating fifty years of uninterrupted work. And he left us definitively on November 18, 1974.

All the consecrated artists have what we could call their favorite works, those that they have executed and that have earned them the most resounding and deserved success, but, in the case of Paco Hernández, their repertoire is so wide, with more than 200 comedies released , which is difficult to highlight some. Even so, the comedies that represented more were El llenguatge of tobacco, Als bous de Castelló, Two bullfighters of cartó, It is canvia moto per sogra, The parrot of the mercat, Colombaire of profit, Pare vosté la burra, amic i Deixa'm la dona, Pepet. In addition to enjoying well-deserved fame as a comic actor, it was also very appreciated the interpretation he made of the character of Jesus Christ in The Passion and Death of Jesus, by Enrique Zumel, a drama that represented all the Holy Weeks, as well as the character of Ciuti of Don Juan Tenorio, romantic drama forced in the functions of All Saints.

It is also necessary to remember him as the original author, since he wrote the drama Sang bullfighter or the mort de nostre ídol (1929), about the tragic death to Inca of the bullfighter from Alicante Àngel Celdrán Carratalá; The Sol de la Llibertat (1933), a work of social theme, and, in collaboration with Antulio Sanjuán, the successful music magazine Benacantil (1950) and the festive piece Semper fogueres or Alacant és la glòria (1961). He also adapted several pieces of the popular Valencian author Paco Barchino to the local customs of Alicante.

Paco Hernández worked with his daughter, Maruja, and his son-in-law, Evarist García, two magnificent performers of our comic theater, who later founded the Paco Hernández Valencia Theater Group (1984) in memory of this great artist.

Source: Jaume Lloret Esquerdo. Investigator. University of Alicante

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