Soriano Lapresa (or de la Presa), Francisco

Francisco-Soriano-Lapresa-(portrait-of-Manuel-Angeles-Ortiz)
Francisco Soriano Lapresa, portrait of Manuel Ángeles Ortiz.

Lawyer, professor of Law and professor of the conservatory of Granada, graduated in Philosophy and Arts, influential member of El Rinconcillo; an exotic character, highly cultured and a “perfect dilettante”, according to Francisco García Lorca; member of the Regionalist League of Cambó, UGT trade unionist and qualified representative of the PSOE in the 10th congress held in 1934 under the presidency of Francisco Largo Caballero.

He lived with his mother in a large house in Puentezuelas street and thanks to the family’s sound financial situation he surrounded himself with rare books, objects of religious worship such as votive offerings and valuable rosaries, ancient coins and a whole paraphernalia with which he completed his boundless curiosity.

Francisco Soriano Lapresa, Paquito, as his companions called him in contrast to his rotund fatness and his pontifical manners, is the most representative character of El Rinconcillo, the only leader of a sanctum with no leaders. In the twenties he was appointed professor of the Royal Conservatory of Music and Declamation, founded in December 1921, a year before the celebration of the Flamenco Song Contest. In 1931, he replaced Isidoro Pérez de Herrasti as president of the Royal Philharmonic Society of Granada, on which the conservatory depended. In 1927, he married Concepción Hidalgo Rodríguez.

Few characters of El Rinconcillo have been defined with more adjectives and admiration than Soriano Lapresa. José Mora recalls that he lived with his mother in a large house in Puentezuelas street and that thanks to the family’s sound financial situation he surrounded himself with rare books, objects of religious worship such as votive offerings and valuable rosaries, ancient coins and a whole paraphernalia with which he completed his boundless curiosity. Mora recalls a visit he made to Soriano’s home accompanied by Lorca: “We saw him through the glass of his library door, seated before an enormous lectern, wearing an ancient pluvial cloak and reading his beautiful psalteri n a priestly and devout tone”.

“What a sad struggle of the poor and delicate Paquito Soriano with the monstrous morbidities of his flesh, with that obesity that fatigued and almost cloistered him, against which he tried to fight energetically!”, remembers Mora Guarnido.

He died in 1934 from the same genetic morbid obesity that other members of his family suffered from.

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