“La Sargento de La Concepción” by Patricio Molina, is a Chilean opera based on a factual event from South American history. Seventy-seven Chilean solders from the battalion of Chacabuco heroically confronted more than 2,000 men in the city of Concepción, located 200 km east of Lima, Peru.
Despite the detriment, the Chileans gave their lives in honor of their homeland, never surrendering to the adversary.
The Battle began on the morning of Sunday July 9th, 1882 with a religious procession that was intended to distract the Chilean solders. The battle ended at noon the next day, July 10th as the last Chilean solder, feeble and out of ammunition, led a charge against 2,000 men with only his bayonet attached to his weapon. He chose to attack in order to preserve his honor rather than surrendering in shame.
This Opera evokes the true love story between Cecilia, a military nurse, who followed her beloved Corporal Carlos Morales into war. Cecilia cooked and assisted the sick throughout the battle, when she became pregnant by her husband. During the battle of July 9th, Cecilia was wielding a gun to assist the soldiers, when she began to feel the contractions of childbirth. Her husband, rushing to her aid, ran to protect her but in doing so he received a fatal gunshot wound. She gave birth to her son while her husband succumbed from his wounds.
This work consists of three acts:
The first act shows the environment and idiosyncrasies of the typical Chilean life in the late 1800s, dissimilar from modern Chilean culture.
During the Second act, between the Chilean dances and festivities, the motives for war become clear, while pain and uncertainty lie in the hearts of those leaving their loved ones.
The third and final act shows the battle itself, which is characterized by the events occurring between July 9th and 10th.
Why the name “La Sargento de la Concepción” (“The Sargent of the Battle of Concepción”)? Even though Cecilia was only an assistant during the war, the answer becomes clear to the spectator at the end of the Opera when Cecilia becomes an honorary Sargent.
Even though the story of this Opera is martial, this is not a work with a military cut. This work revives and highlights the consequences of war and brings to life one of the most extraordinary love stories experienced by human beings.
The spectator will be given the opportunity to be placed in the middle of the tragedy experienced by the young brave solders that faced an imminent death never surrendered to preserve the honor of their country. Also, the viewer will have the opportunity to look at the morals and values that instigated and mobilized the foundations of the country of Chile.