The eight extraordinary soloists, for whom the work has been composed, are here to represent the complex painting of Velázquez. The characters on the stage are positioned as in the painting, using as text a tangled web of literary quotations concerning some of the aesthetic ideas connected to Velázquez and to his pictorial search.
Velázquez, standing by the overturned painting is represented by the first violin. The painting as well as the play are determined by this figure and are embodied in l’Hombre de mucha gravedad. He enlightens his presence through very peculiar, concise, risky tightrope walking interventions releasing the lines of the formal development as well as provoking the priming of the sound. The female-dwarf of the court Mari Bàrbola, standing on the right side of the group, represents the provocative madness and the destabilising element of the formal rules. The soprano representing her is given fragments of folk songs, love poems and sayings producing moments of vulgar explosions and sudden wisdom. L’Infanta Margherita, the leading character of the painting, is transformed into music by the countertenor and by the violoncello. The duet always plays through hanging and transparent veils in order to express the contrast between the dream and the compulsion. The poems used by her tell the theme of the beauty and the potentiality of the future. Instead, the uncontrollable insanity, is the distinguishing element of the conflicting interventions of the dwarf of the Court, Nicola Pertusato. The language used by Pertusato with its distinctive rhythms and variety of colours becomes a part of the music through the unison between Baritone and Viola.
The complexity of the several interventions generates a musical structure made of intersecting panels. They create a kind of continuous inner acceleration, which progresses towards a final resolution. “Quedo adbatido” is the significant final comment of the royals reported by Luis de Góngora and defines the main subject of the Play: the disenchantment.