The Teatro de la Zarzuela presents its 2022/2023 season with premieres and new own productions

Imagen del Teatro de la Zarzuela en el lanzamiento de su temporada 22 23

10 musical theater titles will be presented with four absolute premieres, of which two are commissions for new compositions on stage and two recoveries of Spanish lyrical heritage: one in concert and the other on stage. There will also be three lyrical titles from the great zarzuela repertoire, with a total of seven new productions. In addition, the Teatro de la Zarzuela continues its commitment to the educational project with a new title of the Zarza Project, a show for the little ones and master classes for young artists.


The Teatro de la Zarzuela has today presented the 2022/2023 Season, in which it will offer a total of 161 performances and which will include 4 absolute premieres and 7 new own productions.


This is the 163rd season since the theater raised the curtain for the first time in 1856 with the sole purpose of becoming the privileged stage of Spanish musical theater and that, in the words of Daniel Bianco, its director, “now has the inalienable vocation to be a public theatre, supported and protected by the State so that it remains accessible and affordable, open to anyone who wants to discover and enjoy the Spanish lyrical heritage”. These are the reasons, assures the manager, “why –as our statutes say– this is and will continue to be the national lyrical theater par excellence”.

For his part, the general director of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM), Joan Francesc Marco, pointed out during the presentation that “we should be very proud of the significant work that, for yet another season, the Teatro de la Zarzuela is carrying out to recover, protect and spread among citizens the richness of our heritage” and highlighted that in the programming “the protection of heritage coexists with the support and promotion of new Spanish musical creation, through premieres for creators and creators of our country.



Bianco anticipates that the recently presented season “opens the door to emotions; promises a future in such difficult times in which it seems that the conflict can to the understanding”. And he always argues positively, saying that “theatre and music feed the soul, soften hearts and infuse strength to the spirit, therefore culture is a necessary asset that makes us better people.” And as a man of theater that he is, he firmly believes that “music and the stage are capable of improving the world, and that miracle arises when the public and artists breathe and vibrate together”.


This is how the director points out, who claims once again and with all conviction the Teatro de la Zarzuela: “it is much more than a building or an institution, it is a house, a rite, a tradition, a meeting place, of pleasure, of dialogue, of creation, to hear, see and think”. And he returns for the umpteenth time to thank the public that every night is part of the life of this theater, “who has accompanied us in each function and without whom we would not exist”.



The season


This one that is presented is the seventh season since Daniel Bianco arrived at the Theater (although, as we said, it could also be presented as the 163rd season since its foundation in 1856).


In the new course, 10 musical theater titles will be presented with 4 absolute premieres, of which 2 are recoveries of the Spanish lyrical heritage: one in concert and the other on stage. And three lyrical titles from the great zarzuela repertoire.


The Concerts with cycle will come with 11 proposals for all kinds of audiences and the Notes from Ambigú cycle with as many recitals.


In addition, the Theater will continue betting on its educational project with a new title of the already traditional, successful and award-winning Zarza Project, with a show for the little ones and with master classes for young artists.


They will also continue the cycle ‘Domingos de Cámara. Mujeres con Ñ’ dedicated to Spanish female creators, and the cycle ‘About…’, by the musical director of the house, Guillermo García Calvo.


Likewise, the long-standing collaborations continue with the National Center for Musical Diffusion (CNDM) in the Lied cycle, and with the Juan March Foundation in the Chamber Musical Theater cycle.


Regarding tickets, Daniel Bianco highlights INAEM’s effort to maintain the numerous discounts “that allow the Teatro de la Zarzuela to continue to be accessible and affordable for everyone, taking special care of those who may have more difficulty affording it ”.


In this way, those over 65 years of age, large or single-parent families, unemployed people, people with disabilities and those under 30 years of age will have a 50% discount, all of whom can find tickets from €2 and a half to €25. In addition, those under 30 years of age can benefit from last minute tickets for only €5.


Opera & zarzuela


The statutes that govern the spirit and functioning of the Teatro de la Zarzuela make it very clear: the coliseum erected in 1856 must, without any pretext, safeguard and spread the Spanish lyrical genre. For this reason, it will open the season with the absolute premiere of a Spanish opera. We are talking about ‘La Celestina’ by Felipe Pedrell, a mature work by the Catalan composer that will be played for the first time because, despite the fact that it was scheduled to premiere at the Liceo in 1902, it never saw the light of day.


The only thing that was heard were a couple of scenes that Pau Casal included in a concert in 1921 to honor the composer. It is a work of great importance that influenced later composers, in which Pedrell expresses his idea of ​​national opera.


In ‘La Celestina’ the enormous respect of the composer for the original work of Rojas from the 15th century is evident and joins the recoveries that with this season already add up to 16 titles rescued from oblivion. It will be directed by Guillermo García Calvo and will feature the voices of Ketevan Kemoklidze, Miren Urbieta-Vega, Andeka Gorrotxategi, Juan Jesús Rodríguez, Simón Orfila, Sofía Esparza, Lucía Tavira, Gemma Coma-Alabert, Javier Castañeda, Mar Esteve and Isaac Galán. There will be 2 performances in concert version on September 9 and 11.


After 21 years without being performed at the Teatro de la Zarzuela (since 2001), one of the most beloved and celebrated titles by Zarzuela lovers returns:


‘Bread and bulls’. Premiered on this same stage on December 22, 1864, it is perhaps one of Francisco Asenjo Barbieri’s most important contributions to the genre and one of the masterpieces of the great zarzuela. The work takes us to Goya’s Madrid at the end of the 18th century, between conspiracies and confrontations between the two Spains represented as liberals and reformists.


With this monument of our heritage we want to celebrate with the public the 200th anniversary of the birth of the master Barbieri, to whom this house owes so much for being the main promoter of this theater and of the genre. This new production of the Teatro de la Zarzuela will have Guillermo García Calvo as musical director and Juan Echanove as stage director, a great lover of zarzuela who is making his directorial debut in the genre.


14 functions have been scheduled from October 6 to 23, and will feature the participation of Yolanda Auyanet, Raquel Lojendio, Carol García, Cristina Faus, Borja Quiza, César San Martín, Milagros Martín, Gerardo Bullón, María Rodríguez, Enrique Viana, Pedro Mari Sánchez, Carlos Daza, Pablo Gálvez, José Manuel Díaz, Pablo López, Lara Chaves, Sandro Cordero, Alberto Frías, César Sánchez and Julen Alba. The scenery and costumes will be by Ana Garay, the lighting by Juan Gómez Cornejo and the scenery by Manuela Barrero.


In November, the absolute premiere of ‘Policías y ladrones’ is finally scheduled, a newly composed zarzuela, written by Tomás Marco and Álvaro del Amo, which was not only affected by the 2020 confinement, but also by the strikes of 2018. In both circumstances it was not possible to release. And if, as the popular saying goes, the third time’s the charm, the public will be able to enjoy five performances of this zarzuela that deals with current affairs of political corruption with a tragicomic tone and sarcastic skepticism.


There will be 5 performances from November 18 to 27, with musical direction by José Ramón Encinar, stage by Carme Portaceli, scenery by Montse Amenós, costumes by Antonio Belart and lighting by Pedro Yagüe. Manuel Lanza, Miguel Ángel Arias, Alba Chantar, César Arrieta and María Hinojosa will participate in the casts.


And an emblematic title of Spanish lyric that premiered in this same theater in 1895 returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela, and since 1937 it has not been performed on this stage. ‘La Dolores’ by Tomás Bretón, who marks the 100th anniversary of his death. Another monument of our heritage this season, the importance of which lies not only in the drama of its argument or in its brilliant score, but also in the fact that with this work Bretón finally manages to compose a purely Spanish opera, in which he shows us the constant struggle and survival of a woman of great strength in a hostile and very masculine environment that rejects her for lacking the honor that they themselves took from her.


The musical director of this new production of the Theater will be Guillermo García Calvo, musical director of the house, and the stage director Amelia Ochandiano. The scenery is by Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda, the costumes by Jesús Ruiz, the lighting by Juan Gómez Cornejo and the choreography by Miguel Ángel Berna. The two casts will feature Saioa Hernández, Carmen Solís, Jorge de León, Andeka Gorrotxategi, José Antonio López, Ángel Ódena, María Luisa Corbacho, Marina Pinchuk, Rubén Amoretti, Ihor Voievodin, Javier Tomé, Santiago Vidal, Gerardo Bullón and Juan Noval Moro.


Continuing with the policy of recovering the Spanish lyrical heritage, an 18th-century work signed by one of the most important composers of his time, José de Nebra, is recovered. ‘La rape de Lucrecia’ ‘Where there is violence there is no guilt’, which was premiered in the private sphere of the Duke of Medinaceli in 1744. Although it was premiered in concert version in 2012, now we have the opportunity to enjoy it on stage as well. The libretto moves away from the rigidity of the mythological zarzuelas, and the value of this work lies especially in its music, which, due to its advanced style for the time, is closer to classicism.


A title that tells us about gender and violence with this theme collected from the sources of Tito Livio and that Shakespeare would later popularize. With a libretto that is a version written by Rosa Montero of the original spoken words by Nicolás González Martínez, this stage premiere in contemporary times will feature the musical direction of Alberto Miguélez Rouco, who will lead the ensemble Los Elementos, stage director Rafael Villalobos , set design by Emanuele Sinisi and lighting by Felipe Ramos. The cast will be made up of María Hinojosa, Carol García, Marina Monzó, Anna Gomà and actress Emma Suárez. There will be 5 performances between March 25 and April 1.


In the month of April there will be another important moment that shows that the zarzuela is still very much alive: The second new composition this season together with ‘Policías y ladrones’. Its title: ‘Trato de favor’, and it has music by Lucas Vidal, libretto by Boris Izaguirre, musical direction by Andres Salado and stage direction by Emilio Sagi. The scenery is signed by Daniel Bianco, the costumes are by Jesús Ruiz and the choreography by Nuria Castejón.


It is a contemporary zarzuela, for women, which due to historical circumstances looks at itself in the mirror of ‘La rosa del Azafrán’, and which has a cast made up of Ainhoa ​​Arteta, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Enrique Ferrer, Amparo Navarro, Amelia Font, María José Suárez, Boris Izaguirre, Gurutze Beitia and Rafaela Chacón. There will be 10 performances from April 29 to May 21.


And we will reach the month of June with another essential title from our repertoire. After the success in 2021 on this stage and after having stopped at the Santander Festival Palace, the lyrical season will close with the revival of ‘Luisa Fernanda’ by Federico Moreno Torroba, a score much loved by the public, full of the most famous ballads of our zarzuela. The stage will revive the Madrid of the mid-19th century (also that Extremadura that closes history) to host the comings and goings of one of the indisputable masterpieces of our poetry, with a libretto by one of the most prolific, successful and illustrated couples of the genre, such as Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw.


The Teatro de la Zarzuela and this work have been closely linked since 1934, two years after its premiere at the Teatro Calderón in Madrid. Musically directed by Miguel Ángel Gómez-Martínez, another of the many attractions of this project is the vision that his work as popular as it is beloved is given by the Turin stage director Davide Livermore. The scenery is by Giò Forma, the costumes by Mariana Fracasso, the lighting by Antonio Castro, the audiovisuals by Pedro Chamizo and the choreography by Nuria Castejón. María José Montiel, Carmen Artaza, Ismael Jordi, Alejandro del Cerro, Juan Jesús Rodríguez, Rubén Amoretti, Sabina Puértolas, Rocío Ignacio, María José Suárez, Nuria García Arrés, Emilio Sánchez, Antonio Torres and Didier Otaola are the performers who make up a double distribution of absolute bells. The 8 programmed functions will go from June 21 to 30.


With the presentation of these 7 titles, the theater will continue to be a unique example in the conservation, dissemination and exhibition of our poetry, as fruitful as it is heterogeneous.


Didactic projects: Zarza Project and master classes


One of the fundamental pillars of the theater’s artistic project is the young audience, which should not only be treated as the audience of the future but also as the audience of the present that it already is.


For this reason, the Teatro de la Zarzuela opens the doors for them to discover their musical heritage through quality shows specially created for them.


It is precisely because of this special attention that young people deserve, the reason why the Theater dedicates a large part of its programming to them, 22% of it. The fruits of this work are already a reality and can be seen in the youth who mix with other generations more and more frequently and in greater numbers in the stalls; because they have “fallen in love” with zarzuela –as most of them recognize– thanks to these proposals, especially the Zarza Project, getting excited about a genre that also belongs to them.


To date, more than 48,000 young people have filled this stalls in the editions of the Zarza project. Collaborations with educational centers increase every year, and almost 70,000 users have seen the 6 productions available on our YouTube channel to date.


In the new Season, a total of 30 performances will be offered among the shows that make up the educational project.


The Zarza Project, a zarzuela made by young people for young people, is the guarantee of resounding success each season. Throughout these years, since its first edition, the award-winning Project has grown as much as the acclaim and recognition of the productions that have been presented in it.


To date, there have been adaptations of emblematic works of the boy genre, a new show with music by various composers and a revue.


This year the Theater is betting once again on another new creation by Lola Blasco, author of the text, and the stage director José Luis Arellano, this time around the figure and legacy of maestro Alonso, with musical direction by Lucia Marin.


“All those who know Alonso’s work will know how much young people will appreciate the musical jewels that the master bequeathed us and that they will be able to enjoy in this show”, says Daniel Bianco.


The new production will bear the name of the duo from ‘¡24 horamente mentiendo!’ ‘Yo te querré’, and in addition to those already mentioned, Pablo Menor Palomo participates in the staging as author of the set design, Ikerne Giménez who signs the costumes and Nuria Castejón, responsible for the choreography. The cast, as usual, will be made up of a group of young singers and actors between the ages of 18 and 30 chosen after an audition process (which is ongoing) and accompanied by a chamber music ensemble. The 14 functions will be offered from February 24 to March 4, 2023.


And the didactic projects stand out for yet another year because, thanks to them, the Ambigú del Teatro once again has the function of a show space for the sixth consecutive year. After the two exciting installments of ‘Perdida en el Bosco’ and the overwhelming success of ‘The incredible story of Juan Latino’, the puppet theater with live music will return to the Ambigú. On this occasion, the proposal will be the revival (since it opens in the next few days this season) of the play ‘El cielo de Sefarad’, co-produced by the Teatro de la Zarzuela and the Claroscvro Company. There will be another 10 performances between November 4 and 9, 2022. It is a story full of music and poetry; a story also full of humor, love, magic and courage, which will reveal to the little ones that our roots go beyond what our eyes can see at first sight.


Although it has not yet been seen because, as we say, it opens precisely tomorrow, Wednesday, the interest of schools and the public has been so high that the Theater has decided to reschedule it.


One more year, also framed in the didactic projects and thinking about the training of those who are called to be the artists of the present and the future, we will have the Master Classes, in this case by Lluís Pasqual, in which the young artists will be able to perfect their interpretive qualities and learn from the experience and knowledge that this great man of theater has acquired throughout his extensive and varied career. From October 10 to 15.


So far the visible part of the educational project of the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Although the scope of this is much greater. The Theater is present in educational centers and institutions offering virtual tours and free talks to learn more about zarzuela and its theatre.


This season 80 of these sessions have been held, which have been enjoyed by more than 2,000 schoolchildren from Spain, Andorra, Canada, the United States and Switzerland. 43 Behind-the-scenes interviews with our artists with more than 100 thousand visualizations. 21 episodes of ‘Viaje por la zarzuela’, available on the Theater’s YouTube channel, which have been seen by more than 65,000 people. Rehearsals are open to students of studies related to the performing arts, music and singing. Internship students are welcomed in various departments of the theater where they learn and live the day to day of a lyrical theater. Because, as Bianco says, “the continuity of theater and zarzuela is also important in the training of those who will one day take over”.