It premiered in Buenos Aires on March 8, 1945, at the Avenida Theater, on the initiative of Margarita Xirgu. Performers: Margarita Xirgu (Bernarda Alba), Antonia Herrero (Mª Josefa), Teresa Serrador (Angustias), Carmen Caballero (Magdalena), Teresa Pradas (Amelia), Pilar Muñoz (Martirio), Isabel Pradas (Adela), María Gámez (La Poncia), Luz Barrialo (maid), Emilia Milán (Prudencia), Teresa León (Beggar), Susana N. López (1st woman), Aída Espí (2nd woman), María López Silva (3rd woman), Emilia López (4th woman) and Susana Canales (Girl). Santiago Ontañón designs the sets, organizes the rehearsals and takes care of all the details.

Also in Buenos Aires, in that same year, the first edition of the play appeared in Losada, from an apograph provided by Margarita Xirgu after Julio Fuensalida sent it to her. It was not until 1981 that a text was published in Spain, in the Alianza Publishing House, based on an autograph preserved at the Federico García Lorca Foundation. Mario Hernández edited it.

It seems that it was the manuscript that the author always carried with him, on which he worked while he was a refugee in the house of the Rosales family and that was kept hidden in a haystack to protect it from the records of the time. The differences between both texts are only orthographic signs, a change of order in some expressions or substitutions of some terms for others. The autograph seems to have been corrected by the author after the creation of the apograph.

Premiere of the House of Bernarda Alba in Spain, 1950
Premiere of the House of Bernarda Alba in Spain, 1950.

In Spain, it was very difficult for people to be able to read it due to the censorship imposed by the Franco regime. It premiered at the Teatro de Ensayo La Carátula in Madrid in 1950. Performers: Amparo Reyes (Bernarda Alba), Antonia Herrero (Mª Josefa), Lola Gaos, Maruja Recio, Berta Riaza, Carmen Ferreira, María Luisa Romero, Consuelo Muñoz. Set design by Enrique Ribas. According to the press release by ABC (Wednesday, March 22, 1950, p. 21), “it was a resounding success. The select audience that attended this performance in the beautiful hall of the P.M.M., listened to the play with moved interest and, at the end of each act, gave a standing ovation, while the curtains were repeatedly drawn.”

Premiere in other languages: Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, 1945. La Maison de Bernarda Alba. Direction: Maurice Jacquemont. Cast: Madeleine Barbulée, Marthe Mellot, Silvia Monfort (Madeleine), Liliane Maigné, Odette Talazac, Germaine Michel, Jeanne Hardeyn, Annie Cariel.

Poster of the premiere in Buenos Aires of 'The House of Bernarda Alba'. Photo: Federico García Lorca Board
Poster of the premiere in Buenos Aires of ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’. Photo: Federico García Lorca Board