Definition of zarzuela – What it is, Meaning and Concept

The Operetta it’s a stage genre that combines declamations, songs and instrumental parts. Its name comes from Zarzuela Palace, the place where this type of dramatic and musical work was performed for the first time. This palace was built in the XVII century by order of the king Philip IV as a hunting lodge and its name is due to the presence of brambles (also known as blackberries or blackberries).

OperettaThe work of this gender and the lyrics wave music from the same work they are also called zarzuela. During the colonial era, zarzuela spread to America (in countries like Cuba Y Venezuela) Y Philippines (where it was combined with local forms and gave rise to the sarswela).

Considered a subgenus of the operetta, the zarzuela differs from this one since its action takes place in some Spanish province and, in addition, always includes some musical fragment inspired by the typical music of Spain.

Lope de Vega Y Pedro Calderon de la Barca they were some of the great writers who, in the early days of zarzuela, brought their genius to the genre. By then the zarzuela was divided into gender boy (when they consisted of a single act) and large gender (with two or more acts).

However, we must not overlook the figure of another series of important authors within the genre of zarzuela who left their deep mark on it during the period between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This would be the case of the Madrid composer Federico Chueca.

Among his most significant works in this area we should highlight, for example, “Last year for water”, “The white vest”, “The Gran Vía”, “The joy of the garden” or “Water, sugar and brandy” .

In the same way, the Basque composer Pablo Sorozábal Mariezcurrena and Jacinto Guerrero from Toledo have also become indisputable figures within this artistic genre, who made such important works as “La del manojo de rosas” and “La rosa del azafrán” respectively. .

One of the best known works in the field of zarzuela, which has managed to become a great classic, is the one entitled “La verbena de la Paloma”. In 1894, taking as a stage the Apolo Theater in Madrid, it was when the one that is also known by the name of “The apothecary and the chulapas and badly repressed jealousy” was presented.

Ricardo de la Vega was the one who was in charge of writing the libretto while Tomás Bretón was the one who composed the music for this story that revolves around one of the best-known festivals in Madrid: the Verbena de la Paloma. In this framework, a young man has an attack of jealousy when his girlfriend attends the celebration in the company of an old apothecary.

The historical development of the zarzuela included the appearance of the zarzuelita, a genre that emerged in the 19th century and linked to sainete.

It should be noted that zarzuela, in another sense, is a dish which consists of the combination of different kinds of fish and shellfish, seasoned with a sauce.

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