Joaquín "Quinito" Valverde Sanjuán

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Joaquín ("Quinito") Valverde Sanjuán
J. "Quinito"
Valverde Sanjuán
(1875 - 1918)

Son of Joaquín Valverde, Joaquín Junior - known as "Quinito" was born in Madrid on 2 January 1875. He studied under his father and at the Madrid Conservatory, writing his first zarzuela Con las de Caín (1890) when only fifteen, to a libretto later set by Sorozábal. This was the first of over two hundred género chico zarzuelas and revistas (revues) in which he had a hand. A few of these, such as La mulata and La galerna, he wrote alone.

Others were with his father, but the best of them - beginning with Los puritanos in 1894 - were with Torregrosa. El pobre diablo (1897), written to a text by Celso Lucio, is a modern madrileño revue, where the Seven Deadly Sins are bad enough to even shock the devil - shades of Ben Jonson's The Devil is an Ass. El primer reserva (1897) and, amongst later collaborations, the short humorada cómico-lírica El pobre Valbuena (1904), both again with Torregrosa, proved as popular. The charming score for Los chicos de la escuela (texts by Carlos Arniches and José Jackson Veyán), written in 1903 as a parody of a Children's Company show, in collaboration with with the same composer, has recently been successfully recorded.

He shared playbills with Caballero, Foglietti and many others. With Ramón Estellés he wrote several popular works such as La marcha de Cádiz (1896); with Rafael Calleja he wrote El iluso Cañizares (1905); and of his several collaborations with the young Serrano, El pollo tejada (1906) and El amigo Melquíades (1914) are still occasionally heard. His only well-known independent composition is the little song Clavelitos, popular with sopranos and their audiences round the world. This reveals a deft hand, but no strong musical fingerprint.

His career blossomed when he moved to Paris, after the death of his father in 1910. Success followed both there and on Broadway in revues and pasticchios such as L'Amour en Espagne (Paris 1909), The Land of Joy (New York, 1917) and the less successful A Night in Spain (New York, 1917). He died only eight years after his father, on 4 November 1918 whilst on tour in Mexico City. Just as natural a collaborator as Valverde Senior, his personal contribution is equally hard to isolate; and, strangely like his father, his fame has been larger - at least compared to that of his contemporaries - outside his native Spain.

**See also El pudín negro de Stornoway (December 28th 1904), "by Torregrosa and Quinito Valverde, to a libretto by Carlos Arniches"**

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