Rafaela, from slave to the TV screen

From Symphony to Transforming History into a Screenplay: “Rafaela and the Lily of the Prado”.

By Aimmee Kodachian / An article from Empowering Humanity Magazine. 

(For French, and Portuguese, please click at the Language Box)

 The Lily of the Prado
The Lily of the Prado

Occasionally, in the vast expanse of the art world, a maestro emerges whose craft extends beyond its realm, stirring profound human emotions. Reynaldo Fernández Pavon is undeniably such a talent, seamlessly bridging the worlds of music and literature to produce both stirring concert music and captivating stories.

Though initially a music lover, Reynaldo Fernández Pavón was also seduced by the allure of literature. His venture into the literary universe began with “Cruzando Mares,” an acclaimed work that clinched the First Prize in the David Poetry Competition of UNEAC in 1980. Subsequent works like “El Lirio del Prado” and “El Repatriado” further cemented his stature as a seasoned storyteller.

However, “Rafaela and the Lily of the Prado” stands out as his magnum opus. These masterful narrative recounts the riveting journey of Rafaela Alfonso, an embodiment of courage, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit. Born in the shadows of slavery, Rafaela’s rise to prominence as the founder of “The Lily of the Prado” is a beacon of hope and triumph against overwhelming odds.

To appreciate “Rafaela and the Lily of the Prado,” one must first understand the multifaceted artistry of Reynaldo Fernández Pavon. Internationally renowned for his concert music compositions, his creations have graced stages from Cuba to Russia, earning accolades like the esteemed “13th of March” music award from the University of Havana.

Yet, Reynaldo’s creative endeavors are not limited to harmonious compositions. His foray into literature and theater reflects a dynamic range, from being honored for the book “Cruzando Mares” to the music of Lydia Cabrera’s “Cuentos Negros” for the Repertory Spanish Theater, ACE  Award for the Best Musical Production  of New York City, 1996.

Rafaela’s narrative transcends mere historical accounts. Through Reynaldo’s portrayal, she emerges as a testament to human fortitude. His rendition offers a delicate blend of fact and fiction, guiding readers through the tumultuous avenues of 19th to 20th-century in America, revealing the spirit of a woman resolute to rise above societal confines.

Rafaela’s venture isn’t merely gastronomic; it becomes a bastion of cultural amalgamation, fostering an environment where ideas blossom and societal barriers melt amidst human camaraderie.

Reynaldo’s depiction of Rafaela’s life stands as a poignant reflection of human trials and triumphs. His knack for intertwining history, culture, and individual essence creates an experience that transcends traditional storytelling.

As this narrative gears up for its television adaptation, viewers will be privy to a tale that promises to be both timeless and far-reaching. Reynaldo’s vision ensures Rafaela Alfonso’s legacy will be eternally celebrated, epitomizing hope, resilience, and the unparalleled power of tenacity.

Upon discovering Rafaela’s story, I was deeply moved and felt compelled to explore the TV series project further. Consequently, I approached Reynaldo with queries, believing the answers would intrigue you.

A: What is the story of the TV series project “Rafaela and the Lily of the Prado” about?

R: This series reflects the story of a real family, those who have been marginalized, the underprivileged, their trials and struggles for survival over a century. The first key theme we consider is related to conflicts. Rafaela is not a common character in cinematography; she is a woman born into slavery, to enslaved parents, growing up without attending school and not leaving the owner’s premises until her youth. She lives her entire life in a classist, racist, and sexist society that does not overcome these prejudices. All the other issues faced by the protagonist are consequences of this major conflict.

A: How important is this theme to you?

R: In this period drama, the historical backdrop is an omniscience and omnipresent character that we aim to showcase, along with the role that power and official culture play in societies. We are in the presence of hundreds of millions of human beings condemned to “historical solitude,” represented by the main and supporting characters in this “period romantic drama.” It’s a theme that remains relevant as humanity has not overcome intolerance towards others, whether based on race, gender, origin, religion, or idiosyncrasy.

A: How do you identify with this theme?

R: Rafaela is the furthest ancestor in our family’s lineage, the root and trunk of our past. We present her from her birth to bring her life’s odyssey and conflicts to the screen, which she must confront and overcome until her death. The audience will follow this exceptional character from birth to the last breath of her life, a real-life character who surpasses fiction.

A: Why do you believe the production of this series should be supported?

R: Firstly, because it is a series in which the relevant characters are real women from the humblest strata of society in the settings of the Americas and Europe. Secondly, it demonstrates through the protagonists that determination, perseverance, personal talent, and self-belief can overcome the obstacles that life places in the path of human beings.

A: What documents have you created to produce this TV series?

R: This serial project is based on my  novel “El Lirio del Prado”, and the following documents have been created for production:

  • The Pilot Episode in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • The Season 1 Bible in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

  • The chain of events for the entire series in Spanish and English.

  • Seven episodes of the first season in Spanish and English.

  • A video with the orchestral recording of the series’ theme music, which showcases the main and supporting characters in potential filming locations through music.

  • The budget to produce the Pilot Episode and the Pitch Deck.

Unraveling the artistic path of Reynaldo Fernández Pavón offers a deep dive into genuine dedication and talent. From his earliest works to his most recent endeavors, Reynaldo has demonstrated an acute understanding and reverence for historical accuracy and nuance. His fervent passion for portraying formidable women is not a product of fictional creativity but rather a reflection of the real, powerful narratives of women throughout history.

The tales Reynaldo chooses to share, most notably in “Rafaela and the Lily of the Prado,” bear testament to actual events and individuals. These stories, rooted in fact, honor the legacies of women who, against all odds, exhibited resilience, strength, and a determination to defy societal norms. Reynaldo’s work does not just recount these histories but elevates them, shining a spotlight on these women’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs.

Experiencing Reynaldo’s deep-seated commitment to presenting authentic stories, especially those highlighting powerful women serves as a potent reminder of the role of artists in preserving and celebrating true accounts from our collective past. Through his meticulous research and devoted storytelling, the author ensures that the tales of these remarkable women are neither diluted nor forgotten but shared with the reverence and respect they deserve.

To learn more about Reynaldo Fernández Pavon’s incredible work, please visit www.reynaldofernandezpavon.com.


Award-winner “Inspirational Influencer Global Impact” by IAW, “Global “Woman Ambassador For Peace” by WFWPI, Author of “Tears of Hope,” Keynote Speaker, TV Host of EmpoweringHumanityTV.com, and Editor in Chief of Empowering Humanity Magazine.




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