La Verbena de la Paloma (Festival of the Dove)
Zarzuela, a traditional Spanish operetta that combines theater with music and reflects the folk culture spirit of Madrid, has experienced a rebirth showcased in performances such as La Verbena de la Paloma at the Toronto Operetta Theatre.
La Verbena de la Paloma
- On Friday, May 5 at 5 pm. Buy tickets.
- On Saturday, May 6 at 5 pm. Buy tickets.
- On Sunday, May 7 at 12 pm. Buy tickets.
- Directed by Guillermo Silva-Marin with Music Direction by Kate Carve. Sung in Spanish with English supertitles and English dialogue.
In the Canadian Premiere of Tomás Bretón’s La Verbena de la Paloma (Festival of the Dove), chaos and merriment merge on one of Madrid’s most picturesque streets where intrigue and romance lead to a gloriously festive transformation.
The story takes place during the annual celebration of the Virgin of La Paloma in Madrid, where the neighborhood comes alive with music, dancing, and joy. The main characters are a young couple named Julian and Susana. Julián is consumed with jealousy when he sees Susana flirting with the old apothecary, Don Hilarión.
About the zarzuela
Zarzuela, which originated in the mid-17th century and has a long tradition, combines theatre with music in Spanish, making it Spain’s lyrical genre par excellence, linked to the most traditional Madrid.
The capital of Spain witnessed the success of this genre during the second half of the 19th century, as it represented the popular and folk culture spirit. For this reason, the lowest social classes were the ones who most appreciated these performances, being reflected in the happy and hopeful endings, thus keeping the optimistic Spanish character, always creative and innovative.
La Verbena de la Paloma is one of the most international works of the genre, and despite the historical ups and downs suffered by zarzuela, this work remained in the popular imagination and rose from the ashes, adapting to film and the new times.
Its performance at the Toronto Operetta Theatre is an example of this rebirth, showcasing the dances (the chotis) and songs so typical of Madrid’s history.