Rivas, Ángel de Saavedra, duque de (änˈhĕl ħā säˌävāˈħrä dōˈkā ħā rēˈväs) [key], 1791–1865, Spanish romantic poet and dramatist. A liberal, Rivas was condemned to death and fled in 1823 to England. After the death of Ferdinand VII he returned to Spain, having inherited his title and fortune. He became ambassador to Naples and France and president of the Spanish Royal Academy of the language. In literature Rivas was the champion of Spanish romanticism. His Don Álvaro; o, La fuerza del sino [Don Alvaro; or, the power of destiny] (1835) emerged from heated literary controversy as the first romantic success in the Spanish theater. This play was used as the basis of Francesco Piave's libretto for Verdi's opera La forza del destino (1862). Rivas's best-known poems are the colorful Romances históricos (1841), renderings of popular legends in ballad form.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.