It was in 1909 when Alfredo de Echave learned through the critic Franciso Gascue of the existence of Maitena, a Basque pastoral in two acts written by Charles Colin between 1905 and 1908 to a libretto by Étienne Decrept. Colin, a justice of the peace from Ciboure, painter, sculptor and composer, was inspired by various Labourean melodies, adapting them to the stage and developing them in a rural setting. By way of summary, the action tells the story of the rich farmer Piarres Landaburu, Maitena’s father, and his intention to marry her off to Ganich, a young man from a good family, rather than to an unfortunate pelotari named Domingo. Maitena, contrary to her father, marries Domingo and goes to America in search of a new life. After being widowed in Buenos Aires, she returns to her father’s home where she finds only repudiation. Maitena moves away, but her father welcomes her back into his home, favouring her marriage to Ganich and thus returning the family to live together again. The work, which premiered at the Teatro Campos Eliseos in Bilbao on 29 May 1909 under the direction of Aureliano Valle, was a resounding success. Critics praised the suitability of the libretto to the music and highlighted the melodic character of the work based on a strophic character similar to the “koplak” technique used in bertsolaritza. A simple orchestration adapted to the psychology and action of the characters were the ingredients that defined its success.