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My mother, like every Korean woman of a certain age, loves her Korean soap operas. I occasionally ask her what they’re about. “Oh, there is a boy, and he loves a girl, but the boy is from a poor family and the girl is from a rich family so their parents do not approve.” “That’s what the last one was about,” I’ll say. “Oh no no no, last time the girl was from a poor family and the boy was from a rich family so their parents did not approve.” Some plots are timeless, and universal. Such is the plot for La Rosa del Azafrán (The Saffron Rose), a 1930 zarzuela (a half-sung, half-spoken form of Spanish musical theater) based on a 1618 play by Félix Lope de Vega, the great poet of Spain’s Golden Century. Teatro Lirico of D.C.—a small opera company devoted to Spanish and Italian vocal music—will stage this particular dramatization of forbidden cross-class romance. Until we achieve a truly egalitarian society, there will always be plenty of class prejudices to mine for dramatic purposes. The play runs Oct. 9 to 10 at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. $50–$60. (202) 360-3514. teatroliricodc.com.