Teatro de la Zarzuela (Seating capacity: 1242) Calle/Jovellanos, 4 - Metro stops: Sevilla & Banco de España

Latest update: October, 2008
Zarzuela StageThe Teatro de la Zarzuela was built in 1856 near the beginning of the golden age of zarzuela. Zarzuela, for those not familiar with it, is Spain's own brand of lyric opera or operetta. The singing is operatic in character, but, unlike opera, there are narrative sections as in operettas. But read about the history of this art form.

I never walked past this theater in all my ramblings in Madrid; therefore, I don't have a photo of it. I made the graphic from clip-art and two sets of dolls I bought at Escudo de Toledo across the paseo from the Prado Museum. La Verbena de la Paloma is one of the all-time favorite zarzuelas. It premiered in 1894 and has been going strong ever since. The last time it was presented in the United States (as far as I know) was May, 2004 at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. It was also presented during the summer of 2002 by Middlebury College's excellent language school. And La Verbena de la Paloma was one of the first presentations of the Jarvis Conservatory who presented a zarzuela show at the end of June each year from 1996 through 2005.

The Jarvis Conservatory show for 2004 was a combination of two zarzuelas called Luis Alonzo plus a one-hour anthology of the best zarzuela songs and dances. In 2005 Jarvis presented one of the great full-length zarzuelas: El barberillo de Lavapiés (The Little Barber of Lavapiés), Lavapiés being a working-class neighborhood in Madrid to the south of Puerta del Sol. This zarzuela is a parody on Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."

If you have any interest in learning more about zarzuela, please go to the encyclopedic work in Christopher Webber's zarzuela page.

Last but not least, if you read Spanish reasonably well, you might like to visit the Madrid Zarzuela Club.

Go back to the OLD-MADRID page.