El Caserío of Guridi in the scenic version of Pablo Viar, starts the season of the Teatro de la Zarzuela

El Caserío © Enrique Moreno Esquibel – Teatro de la Zarzuela

With 14 functions, the zarzuela The hamlet of Jesús Guridi returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela after 42 years. Account with the direction of scene of Pablo Viar and under the baton of Juanjo Mena, next to two casts of outstanding Spanish singers.



The 2019/2020 Season of the Teatro de la Zarzuela begins , and with it the festival of music and theater, of art in its broadest sense. This is not worth any proposal; The chosen title must be special, an excellent cover letter of everything that remains to come. And this role corresponds to El Caserío de Jesús Guridi, a musical treasure that about to turn 93 years of its premiere on this same stage of the square of Jovellanos – in November 1926 – arrives to compensate the public for an absence of 42 years . And the remedy cannot have better protagonists: the expected musical direction of maestro Juanjo Mena– undoubtedly one of our heavyweights of the orchestra direction – the scene of Pablo Viar , full of meaning and poetry, and two deals that include many of the most desired Spanish voices of the moment. 14 functions will be offered from October 3 to 20 .

It is not for less the expectation that has raised this opening season with El Caserío , and not only for that almost half a century since he last took the stage in the same theater that saw him born; or because at the head of the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid occupy the pit podium no less than Juanjo Mena . And it is the teacher who precisely gives us some of the keys to the importance that Guridi’s work has in time and space: “As a composer, as an orchestrator, it is exquisite; Beauty is at the beginning of everything. Guridi is one of the undisputed centers of music between wars – the world and the Spanish Civil War. Of those musicians who were forced to work without materials and almost without references, ”says the director, who before the weight of popular music on the score of the composer, Vitorian like him, adds that this“ is a lord of folklore, that address with all due respect, elegance and discretion. ”

And all that Guridi captures in the score, is collected in the most respectful way by Pablo Viar from Bilbao to put together a staging full of knowledge and poetry that takes place in Arrigorri, that imagined place, dreamed by Jesús Guridi and the librettists Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw, “where, how could it be otherwise, all problems, however complex, will have a happy ending.”

El Caserío © Enrique Moreno Esquibel – Teatro de la Zarzuela

And on the tables, accompanied by the Choir of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, two casts with many of the Spanish voices that today triumph in the Lyric Theaters. The sopranos Raquel Lojendio and Carmen Solís will give life to the young Ana Mari – niece of Uncle Santi, owner of the Sasibil farmhouse – of whom Txomin is in love without being reciprocated. Baritones Ángel Ódena and José Antonio López will play Uncle Santi, who adopted Ana Mari when she was orphaned in America and draws up a plan with Don Leoncio – the priest of the town – so that Ana Mari and her nephew José Miguel fall in love. Tenors Andeka Gorrotxategi and José Luis Sola will play the role of José Miguel, also in love with Ana Mari (and Ana Mari of him), but who leaves the village knowing that she is going to marry her uncle, which will lose her I stroke the inheritance and love. The mezzo-sopranos Marifé Nogales and Ana Cristina Marco will play Inosensia, daughter of Eutasia – owner of the cider house -, who successfully declares Txomin, servant of the village represented by the tenors Pablo García-López and Jorge Rodríguez-Norton. The role of Eutasia will be assumed by the mezzo-soprano Itxaro Mentxaka , that of her husband Manu the actor Eduardo Carranza , and that of Don Leoncio also the actor José Luis Martínez .

The scenography of Daniel Bianco , inspired and beautiful, represents a pediment as the center of the events of Arrigorri, like a sort of town square behind which the hegemony of the land is intuited; the supremacy of nature. The costumes of Jesús Ruiz , the lighting of Juan Gómez-Cornejo and the choreography of Eduardo Muruamendiaraz complete the unique artistic proposal of this production of the Arriaga Theater in Bilbao and the Campoamor Theater in Oviedo.

Also on stage they will attend three figurantes four children eight dancers of Aukeran Dantza Konpainia directed by Muruamendiaraz own .

And as the occasion claims, the function on Thursday, October 17 will be broadcast live through the Theater’s Facebook and YouTube sites , and its website . Likewise, the show on Saturday October 19 will be broadcast live on RTVE Classic Radio.


“El Caserío”: Basque soul and land

El Caserío of Jesús Guridi undoubtedly expresses the soul, the race and the Basque land. After Mirentxu (1910) and Amaya (1920), Guridi moved to live in Madrid to boost his career and soon began working on a new Basque setting project. For this he contacted the librettists Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw. From those purposes and these alliances was born El caserío , a zarzuela – lyrical comedy in three acts, as it is said in the score – which, supported by a good script, stands out for an extraordinary score, rich and varied, resolved with an absolute mastery of musical language.

His success was formidable and became one of the great pieces of the zarzuelistic repertoire. Not surprisingly, Arrigorri, “imaginary village of Biscay”, has some dream village, idyllic and happy place, which we contemplate through the poetic gaze of music.

El Caserío © Enrique Moreno Esquibel – Teatro de la Zarzuela

Therefore, the teacher Juanjo Mena talks about the family, the land and the house when referring to El Caserío : “I am Basque and I live in a hamlet…, I am immersed in the world of Guridi. Having this production is an important way – after more than forty years of absence – to listen to this music again here, at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid where it was first heard. ”

The stage director, Pablo Viar – also Basque, from Bilbao – comments that “that dream Arrigorri magically emerges in the fog for just a few days every so long and its endearing inhabitants, like the characters in the theater, just wake up, love, they laugh and cry, for a brief moment every many years. ” Let us return to enjoy the poetry of the lyric theater through one of the great works of that unusual talent that was (and still is) Guridi.


Around ‘El Caserío’

In addition to the 14 performances, the Teatro de la Zarzuela has organized a series of activities around the work of Guridi:

● Friday, October 11 : Meeting of Master Juanjo Mena with students from the Higher School of Singing in Madrid.

● Wednesday, October 16 : Meeting of Pablo Viar with students of the Municipal School of Dramatic Arts.

● Saturday October 19 : Live broadcast through RTVE Classic Radio.

● Sunday, October 20 : Start of the new cycle ‘Sundays of camera with Ñ’, dedicated exclusively to Spanish chamber music by the soloists of the Orquesta Titular del Teatro de la Zarzuela (ORCAM), which this time, and coinciding with the last function of El caserío, it will be dedicated to ‘Basque Quartets’ with music by José María Usandizaga and Jesús Guridi himself.