La zarzuela en Madrid

By | 9 July, 2011 | 0 comments

Like every year the Madrid Council organizes a series of cultural activities to make the heat of the summer a bit less heavy-going. Zarzuela is again present in this year’s edition of Veranos de la Villa, the umbrella name that covers all the artistic and cultural activities sponsored by the council.

Zarzuela is a Spanish genre of musical theatre, something in between an opera, a musical and a theatre play. The main attractive of zarzuela is that the stories are stories from real people and from the lands of Spain. Many of the zarzuelas are set in 19th century Madrid, but many others also represent beautiful scenes of typical Spanish festivals of other areas.

The dances and the music used for zarzuelas are all inspired in the traditional musics, songs and dances of the local folklore. The shows are usually very colourful.

This year the show will take place in Jardines de Sabatini, not far from the centre. The open air stage will host two different zarzuelas, Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente, (Water, Sugar and Brandy) and La Verbena de la Paloma (the Virgin of Paloma Festival), both set in 19th century Madrid.  The former paints a picture of the inhabitants of Madrid of all classes, all mingling together during some celebrations in July. While the latter one tells the story of the old wealthy man wanting to find a young wife, while the young lad in love with the lady does all in his power to stop him.

These zarzuelas are among the best known of all, a great way of finishing a wonderful sightseeing day in Madrid.

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