ATAHUALPA: Scenes 1-4


King Charles of Spain

Don Francisco Pizarro
Diego del Almagro
Don Alverado
Hernando Pizarro
Gonzola Pizarro
Captain Hernando De Soto
Pedro Catano…… Conquistadors

Atahualpa…. Incan Kings

Sachamama… Wives of Huayna

Coya Asarpay
Cuxirimay…. Wives of Atahualpa

Marichanchi… Huascar’s Advisors

Purutu…. Atahualpa’s Advisor

Ciquinchara… Atahualpa’s Translator

Ruminagui ………… Atahualpa’s Captains

Huamanchoro … Incan Caciques

Vincente de Valverde… Dominican friar

Ekkoko – Incan Priest

Fellipilo… Translator

SCENE 1: Huamachuco Village

Chief Huamanchoro is sat with Cuxamiray / enter Cuxamiray who sings Virgenes de Sol

Such a very fine song, so finely sung

She is my own daughter

You must be proud

I am – so, Prince Huascar, tell me
Why honor us with your visit today

My father is dying

I’d heard rumors
On which I could not comment ‘til confirm’d,
But the whiff of his illness upsets us
He is beloved here & far abroad

He is a wonderful monarch, & man,
I rush to be beside him, but must rest
From time to time, I will stay here tonight

Of course

We leave for Cuzco tomorrow

While you are with us, anything you want
To take from my village is yours at once

Your daughter


I will take you daughter…
You hesitate before your future king

No, it is just, I knew this day would come
Her qualities at singing songs exceed
Anything I’ve ever seen, she is yours

So, is her talent natural or train’d

A wond’rous blend of both, yachaywasi
In younger years taught her enough to frame
Superbian modules of vocal range
While a talented pongocamayo
Has train’d her in the flauta fantastic

Excellent, then send her to my dwelling
Along with that beautiful beverage
For which your village is widely fam’d

Yes, sire

Exit Huascar

Fetch the best chicha for Prince Huascar

Exit attendants / Huamanchoro sits in silence musing upon the loss of his daughter


Don Pizarro has been summoned to speak to King Charles

Don Pizarro
Your Highness

King Charles
Don Pizarro, welcome home
Thou art to the appointment fresh & fair
You look as healthy as I’ve ever seen
What spirits are within thee, & without

Don Pizarro
I’m ecstatic to see his majesty
Oft times across the Ocean in the west,
Scourg’d by tasteless trials of exploration,
Torrents of mischiefs & machinations,
I wonder’d if I’d no more see thy face
& smile, your highness, but the thoughts of these
To once more stand before mine emperor
Maintain’d my stridence to fulfill those vows
To empire of its sacred extensions

King Charles
Your letters tell the tale, but better lips,
How was it over there, how is Peru?

Don Pizarro
The present condition of the country
Discovered alongside Don Diego
Almagro of Malagon, I & he
Were the richest in Panama province,
Is this is, your highness, the truth of Peru
tis but a small poor province, fifty leagues
From the start of the equator, whose name
Extended oer the next twelve thousand leagues
Pepper’d with piddling oppidulums
We fought so many battles in that space
In one bout Don Diego lost an eye,
Many other implacable problems
Each day did beset us as we hack’d
Thro coastlines thick with hardship & swampsuck
Where lizards as long as the fragata
Call’d alligators in a native tongue
Who breed at river mouths like common trout
Who’ll scent a man & with a massive bite
Drag him to the bottom to be eaten

King Charles
You, yourself, what sustenance & succor
Provided by Peru

Don Pizarro
We knew hunger, sire
Such burning fever, inimitable,
Unknown in fertile Spain, the only fruit
Which e’er kept us alive grown in the sea
The salty, bitter flesh of the mangrove,
To split the fishy dishes we would net
Tho’ oranges, lemons, figs & grapefruits
Do grow in much abundance, distances
Defeated all our limited storage
& left us oft in difficulties dire

King Charles
But survive you did, dear Don Pizarro
For destiny was with you, & the Lord,
Whom now mine eyes & ears are in Peru
So, tell me of its natives, how are they

Don Pizarro
Proud & curiously beautiful, sire
The women wear their hair so very short
& naked go about but for a small
Apron to cover up their private parts,
The men, however, go waist down naked
Clad only in a short shirt navel o’er,
Both sexes take delight in golden jewels
& emeralds, in nostrils, & in ears,
Your majesty, deep mines are all about
& there is known the value of silver
Of gold & of diamonds, they worship these
Almost as much as their infidel gods

King Charles
Inform me of this pagan pantheon
Of how they’ve never heard of Calvary

Don Pizarro
They worship the Sun & Moon as great gods
Know terrafirma as their Earth mother
Their priests are nothing but murderers, sire,
Sacrificing animals & men
Searching thro hearts & entrails with hands stain’d
By bloody delving into guts & gore
Waiting to see the signs that they desire
& justify this craven homicide
Saying the gods must not be satisfied
Yet with the sacrifice, blunt knife on knife
Murdering more & more, until they find
The symbols that the seek, & what’s more, sire
The chiefs believe in flesh resurrection
Seated on thrones in vaults seal’d after death
Attired in richest clothing, with the wife
Whom he loves most beside him, her throat cut,

King Charles
Why so?

Don Pizarro
They are expected to return
To life, emanating regality
Clad in majestic fineries

King Charles
What fools?

Don Pizarro
Indeed sire

King Charles
That continent needs cleansing
Of devil customs all, Don Pizarro
Are you prepared this task to consummate

Don Pizarro
Of course, your majesty, at your command
I stand with honour, all that you desire
& bid I will attend with all my strength
My first expedition lasted three years
But in that time, in all its suffering
Thro’ nature’s dangers, Indian attacks,
& inner mutinies of dark reasons,
I have acquired an intimate knowledge
Of how Peru thro mortality moves

King Charles
Dogs might bark but the wagon passes on

Don Pizarro
Indeed, sire, but alas, my wheels are worn
& all my riches dissipated, sire,
As Don Diego’s has – we’re both in debt,
& heavily – if money could be found
We are prepared for more expeditions
In the name of Charles, Spain & Saint Peter.

King Charles
What do you need my fine conquistador

Don Pizarro
Provisions, soldiers, horses, ships & arms
& beg your majesty another thing
I wish to be the royal governor
To compensate for hardships undergone
& yet to be endured

King Charles
This shall be so,
My governor & my chief magistrate,
You shall discover me new settlements
& make me others with wide streets & squares
Where churches bearing the cross of Jesus
Are the brave blanch’d beacons of Christendom

Don Pizarro
My King, you do me the noblest honour
America’s a place for living life
As we have fashion’d it from centuries

King Charles
I hear something of the Incan empire
It is very powerful is it not

Don Pizarro
It is great, my lord, a mass of nations
Held together by a single tribe
The ruling elite they call the Inca,
Every drop of sweat belongs to the state
Whose king is supremely omnipotent
Entitl’d ‘Sapa Inca’ who portrays
His pagan realm as Utopia found
On earth, but underneath a murd’rous veil
They are lunatics, disregarding life
Building a ruthless causeway of corpses
Of lives expendable

King Charles
Who is their King

Don Pizarro
His name Huayna, who has extended
The empire’s heritage to great extent
By all accounts a wise & noble klng
But, but

King Charles
Wise pause, speak up before your king

Don Pizarro
As Huayna grows old, his sons grow bold
Huascar, Atahuallpa are their names
Who swim against their father’s quality
There are loud rumorings of discontent
That part these feather’d princes, a wide gap
In which to pour the resources of Spain
I’ll write thy name in bloody characters
& for the empire claim the Incan realms.

King Charles
With God on your side what else could happen
As my superintendent designate
You’ll be supplied with all you’ll deem a need
&, Don Pizarro

Don Pizarro
Yes sire

King Charles
Spread justice
Tell all you meet if they accept my throne
They’ll be treated with upmost dignity
But if they do not

Don Pizarro
Yes, your majesty

King Charles
Kill them, kill all of them who dare dissent

Don Pizarro
Of course, your majesty

King Charles
You may leave, now
& God be with you, always

Don Pizarro

King Charles
Don Pizarro

Don Pizarro

King Charles
Remember one thing
The end will depend on the beginning

Exit Don Pizarro

3: Cuzco

Huayna is on his death bed – it is silent – his son Huascar is there with Ekkoko & Apumayta – enter Chasca, Palta & Sachamama



Your wives are entering

Then let me gaze upon them one last time
Let sacred lights of Inti shine their cheeks
Ah – Chaska, Palta, sweet Sachamama
I cannot think which one of thee to choose
So women woo my heart & tell me why,
Which of thee has to join me in my tomb

My husband, we’ve shar’d so much together
The love of youth when foster’d into age
The supreme symbol of a knot of souls
Who else could ever match our darling depths

My love, listen not to this old lady
None would look better on thy royal arm
When you to life return, your youngest wife
Am I, & thus the prettiest by far

Great king, of all the conquests you have made
The day you took the palace of my heart
To rule this supple body as your realm
The gods decreed right then which wife would sit
Beside thee at thy portal of rebirth,
You’ll need my beauty, guile, experience
I still look young, but we’ve spent many years
Conversing easy, dancing fiestas,
Deliberating serious matters,
& making love under an Incan moon

Chaska, you speak with such a clever chaunt,
It shall be thee

Great king let it be me

Huayna, my love, what are you doing!

Silence! Respect my father’s wishes, go,
Depart this place, & Chaska, you go too,
Prepare yourself for death, & dress your best

Exit Chaska, Palta & Sachamama

Huascar, come near me, son, come hear me
Fear not the devils underneath my skin
These evil trickeries of the White Ones
Are… {cough}


When the throne is your own seat
The sons of every empire chieftain
Invite to Cuzco, tie them to our tongue,
For being here their fathers daren’t revolt

I will do, thy counselwise respecting



Your brother

What of him

Within his territories let him reign
Tho’ supreme sapa thou, he’s still my son
The brawl of brothers is a futile sport

But, father, I…

Promise me Huascar
You will honour me, my orders, & my rule
Without these three you never would be king

Forgive me, of course, I shall treat your son
As my own child, tho’ you have sired us both

Good, good… my boy come closer, hear my words
Go visit the statues & the houses
Of our forefathers, your Great-Grandfather
Pachacuti yupanqui, & his son
Your grandfather, Topa Inca, listen
To the old songs of their famous exploits,
If anything is lacking there, provide,
& hold great feasts, perform sacrifices
& be the very best of Incan kings

Father !

I have lived this life

Father, no !

Huayna dies

Sapa Inca dies, Sapa Inca lives
Huayna is dead, Huascar alive
Salute the father, tribute to the son

We praise thee Huascar, our lord unique

{crowning Huascar}
Here is your father’s borla, from his brow
Still warm from life, now in his death on yours
Now Topa Cuxigualpa is your name

Leave all of you, I wish to grieve in peace

Exit all

I will miss you father, thank you for life,
Thank you for love, & I promise thee
All thro’ my rule the empire will be large
&, prosperous, rest easy with the sun,
There happy be in Pacarina’s halls,
When mingling with our ancestors, where we
Shall meet in Heaven when I meet thee there

4: Panama

Don Diego is with Don Alverado playing chess / Enter Don Pizarro with his brothers Hernando & Gonzola

Don Pizarro
Don Diego del Almagro

Don Diego
Hah – so you have returned

Don Pizarro
Of course, to Panama & the project

Don Alverado
You might not receive a happy welcome

Don Diego
Indeed, there is a lingering canker
I am steaming with dissatisfaction
For having read His Majesty’s missive
Indignancy goes churning in my guts
You ! Made my governor ! we are equals !
While my financial outlay’s much larger
In all these explorative endeavors,
The act smacks of mad ridiculousness,
Or something more perfidious perhaps

You dog! You insinuate trickery

Don Pizarro
Hernando, stay your tongue, Don Diego
My friend, my country comrade, I pled deep
Your case in court, but I was there not, you
& His Majesty has declined, for now,
To grant what you deserve, & who was I
To question his divine authority

Well, there we go, there’s nothing more to say
Upon a maim’d & imperfect judgement
Pizarro & King Carlo have condemn’d
Myself to distinct nothingness out here
Despite most strenuous determinations
To make Spain great

Don Pizarro
Please, pass me thy bible

Don Diego
A bible, & for what

Don Pizarro
Thank-you, my friend
I oathe & promise on this sacred book
If we can continue conquest onwards
Until the empire satisfied, I shall
Renounce the Chief Magistracy, & then
Petition His Majesty to confirm
The title’s transference to your favour

Don Diego
Hah – we have not come this far Francisco
To fall into some pit of civil strife
Hernando, & you must be Gonzola

Don Pizarro
Yes, these are younger brothers to me both

Don Diego
Welcome to Panama

A pleasure to meet you Don Diego

Don Diego
This man is Don Alverado

Don Pizarro

Don Diego
Don Alverado grunts

Don Pizarro
For my mean brusqueness I apologise
I needed to relay my discontent

It is no matter, sir, we understand
Your status, & your station here respect

Don Alverado
You should have stay’d in Spain, Don Pizarro
Lunacy would be too gentle a word
Peru is godforsaken, to return
Means death to all but Spain’s luckiest son
I would not gamble my life’s breath again
Upon such chaotical cecity
As conquering the scorching equator

The Roman empire not Ceasar’s alone
Augustus never knew its full extent
Such things as glory need the arc of time
On which to flourish, as the bolting colt
Tamed by an expert handler of the horse
So too shall all these lands of the Andes
Be temper’d by the mighty hand of Spain

So, we go again, Don Alverado

Don Alverado
You are mad, I will have no part of it
The precious porcelain of human clay
Lies brittle in these hands of brutal barb

Then why remain still with this company
Depart & graze low pastures, while real men
To highest business of the realm attend

Don Pizarro
After-traces of awkwardness & doubt
Should be converted to cool ambition
Men died, will die again, but in the end
Peru will stand among the Spanish lands

Don Alverado
The end! When will that come! Our lifetimes? No!
I wish you luck, I do, but you’ll need more
Than luck, you’ll need God with you every step
I shall send letters to your families

Exit Don Alverado

Don Pizarro
We shall need stouter hearts than his

Don Diego
But come, gentlemen, the ocean is vast
& you would have feasted on sprigs & seeds
Continents ne’er won on empty bellies
Let us eat, let us plan, let us parley
Today, there is much to be determined,
Men, if you’ll follow me, please, step this way

Don Pizarro
I have miss’d you old friend, how is life
Out here on the boundary of the world

Don Diego
As ever, as it was before you left
A paradise of sweat

Don Pizarro
Hah Panama!
In the New World there is nowhere like it

But after Panama, as soon as soon,
Let us see peruse the beauties of Peru

Don Diego
Your brothers are most eager, let us hope
Their thusiasms survive the jungle

Exit all except Don Alverado

Don Alverado
More fodder for the foolishness of greed


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