B ut why is Luisa Fernanda not an opera? And other things you may want to know about zarzuela, Spanish opera, and Plácido Domingo’s hopes for the art form…
In the video below, Plácido Domingo fields questions from his listeners, following a duet from Luisa Fernanda performed by artists from the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. In the process, Domingo cites with obvious satisfaction the growing popularity of zarzuela among young singers from all over the world, discusses the difference between zarzuela and opera, shares his hopes for the art form, and delves a bit into the history of Spanish opera.
For our part, we learn some things of uncommon knowledge, to wit: the spoken dialogue, more than the music, carries much of the drama in zarzuela, but too much of it can cause serious production problems; it is no accident that Spanish opera has historically been disadvantaged in favor of Italian opera; the great Spanish composer Albéniz wrote an operatic trilogy in the fashion of Wagner’s Ring.
There’s more. But again… Basta! Let’s instead listen to Domingo articulating his thoughts and dreams.
Music clip: duet from Luisa Fernanda, sung by tenor David Lomeli and soprano Karen Vuong with piano accompaniment by Nino Sanikidze. The three artists are participantsin LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. David Lomeli is the 2006 winner of Operalia, the international vocal competition founded by Plácido Domingo; he sings the roles of Savoyard and Javier Moreno (June 5 performance) in Luisa Fernanda.