In 1832 he moved to Madrid and earned a meager living by translating plays of Scribe and the elder Dumas; despairing of success, he was on the point of enlisting when he suddenly sprang into fame as the author of El Trovador, which was played for the first time on March 1 1836. García Gutiérrez never surpassed this first effort, which placed him among the leaders of the romantic movement in Spain, and which became known all over Europe through Verdi's music.
His next great success was Simon Bocanegra (1843), but, since his plays were not lucrative, he emigrated to Spanish America, working as a journalist in Cuba and Mexico till 1850, when he returned to Spain. The best works of his later period are a zarzuela titled El Grumete (1853), La Venganza catalana (1864) and Juan Lorenzo (1865).
He became head of the archaeological museum at Madrid, and died there on the 6th of August 1884. His Poesías (1840) and another volume of lyrics, entitled Luz y tinieblas (1842), are unimportant; but the brilliant versification of his plays, and his power of analysing feminine emotions, give him a foremost place among the Spanish dramatists of the 19th century.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.