Joaquín Abati y Díaz

Joaquín Abatí was born to an Italian father and a Spanish mother. He studied law and, though licensed, he never practised. He published a book entitled “Respuestas a los Temas de Derecho Administrativo” (Responses to Issues of Administrative Law), intended to help those who had to deal with these issues. Curiously, he never managed to practice any of the principles although the book was helpful to many of those who had used his book. For this reason, he decided to leave the legal profession and devote himself to literature, which appealed him more.

Abatí's first play was the comic sketch Entre Doctores, which premiered at the Teatro Lara in 1892. This was followed by many works, from simple monologues, humorous in nature, such as El Conde Sisebuto and Las cien doncellas to pieces with three or more acts, some in collaboration with Carlos Arniches.

He was a prolific author, achieved successes and produced more than 120 titles, being regarded as a writer of the highest rank in his time. His works include El debut de la chica, La conquista de México, Doña Juanita (written in collaboration with Francisco Flores Garcia), Genio y figura (1910), No te ofendas, Beatriz (1920) (both with Carlos Arniches), España nueva, El Conde de Lavapiés and La Viuda alegre.

He excelled in his role as author of zarzuela, a field in which he collaborated with other authors such as Carlos Arniches and Antonio Paso. Several of his plays were intended as zarzuela booklets, such as Los amarillos, a one-act piece, La corte de Risalia in two acts, La mujer artificial, La mulata and his most famous work, El asombro de Damasco, which he wrote in collaboration with Antonio Cano Paso and to which Maestro Pablo Luna put music and premiered it in 1916.