The House of Bernarda Alba was Lorca's last play, completed on 19 June 1936 , two months before Lorca's death during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The House of Bernarda Alba (Spanish: La casa de Bernarda Alba) centers on the events of a house in Andalusia during a period of mourning, in which Bernarda Alba (Irene Gutierrez Caba) , aged 60 , wields total control over her five daughters . Bernarda exercises a tyrant's will over the household , including her followings daughters : Angustias ( Enriqueta Carballeira) , 39 years old , Magdalena (Aurora Pastor) , 30 years , Amelia (Mercedes Lezcano) , 27 , Martirio (Vicky Peña) , 24, and Adela (Ana Belén) , 20 years old . The housekeeper , called La Poncia (Florinda Chico) and Bernarda's elderly mother , María Josefa (Rosario García Ortega) , also live there . Bernarda desperate to uphold tradition carries out a strict observance of the funeral rites , and the differences between men and women . She creates an environment where her family is not permitted to pursue their desires and passions . Bernarda is preoccupied with the reputation of her family and is horrified by the idea of scandal and gossip , and she demands it be known that Adela died a virgin . Some of the characters' names represent symbols , such as : Bernarda Alba— from the Latin for "white" : often a symbol of purity that reflects Bernarda's thinking that she is above everyone else ; Amelia— From Latin and Old German for "industrious" ; Hebrew: "labor of God" ; Martirio—"martyrdom" ; Angustias—"anguishes" or "torments ; Adela—from the Spanish verb "adelantar" meaning "to go forward" or "to overtake" ; Magdalena—The Spanish name of Mary Magdalene and Prudencia—Suggesting the virtue of prudence.
This is an intense drama of women in the villages of Spain that contains tragedy , class prejudice , authoritarianism and magnificent interpretations . Commentators have often grouped it with Blood Wedding and Yerma as a Lorca's "rural trilogy" . Lorca did not include it in his plan for a "trilogy of the Spanish land" , which remained unfinished at the time of his murder . The deliberate exclusion of any male character from the action helps build up the high level of sexual tension that is present throughout the play . Pepe "El Romano", the love interest of Bernarda's daughters and suitor of Angustias, never appears on stage . The picture explores themes of repression , passion , and conformity , and inspects the effects of men upon women . And then emerges the tragedy when Pepe El Romano is passionate for Adela , but is bound by economic necessity to court Angustias instead . Very good acting by Irene Gutiérrez Caba who represents the view that 'a woman's place is home' and uses money as a means of making herself superior, and views the villagers as unworthy of her daughters. Nice performance from Ana Belén as Adela who rebels against the tyranny of her mother . Special mention for Florinda Chico as Poncia who simply observes and does nothing to stop the unfairness in the household . Evocative cinematography that symbolizes dramatic aspects by Fernando Arribas . The motion picture was well directed by Mario Camus but in academic and claustrophobic style . It Won Goya Awards 1988 Best Production Design , Rafael Palmero , and Nominated Goya Best Lead Actress , Irene Gutiérrez Caba and Best Costume Design , Pepe Rubio , but failed at Box office .
The play got several renditions , as film adaptations include : ¨Casa De Bernarda Alba¨¨(1972) with Rosenda Monteros , Ofelia Medina , Diana Bracho ; ¨La Casa Bernarda Alba¨ (1982) with Amparo Rivelles , Rosanda Monteros , Laura Cepeda , Magda Guzmán ; and its English made-for-TV movie The House of Bernarda Alba (1991) by Stuart Burge and Nuria Espert with Glenda Jackson , Deborah Findlay , Suzanna Hamilton ,Gillian Hanna , Joan Plowright ; 1991 Indian film directed by Govind Nihlani, Rukmavati ki Haveli . In 2006, the play was adapted into musical form , under the title Bernarda Alba, it opened at Lincoln Center Theater on March 6, 2006 , starring Phylicia Rashad in the title role .