Post Cards from the Edge FEDERICO MORENO TORROBA’S LUISA FERNANDA - November 12, 2011, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera | Welcome to Fred’s Home Page

FEDERICO MORENO TORROBA’S LUISA FERNANDA - November 12, 2011, 7 pm - Florida Grand Opera 

My first zarzuela!  Apparently this is the version of Spanish opera very much like an operetta with more dialog interspersed with the singing.  It has been compared with Gilbert and Sullivan operettas but with Cuban, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic influences.  This particular opera was first performed in 1932 in Madrid.  The current version which opened at the Adrienne Arsht Center is a more modern version. 

When the FGO director asked Placido Domingo for a recommendation of a zarzuela, this was what he recommended and said if FGO produced it, he would volunteer to sing one performance (to be done November 15th).  It was an excellent opening night production.  The stage was sparse (they brought back those damned chairs from Carmen two years ago) but the voices were magnificent.

Apparently Spanish opera (and culture) has singing and dancing go hand-in-hand.  According to the opera bill, one would not think of singing with out dancing and vice versa.  They dances in Luisa Fernanda take two forms according to the bill: habanera and bombaHabanera comes from Cuban tradition and  bomba from Puerto Rican tradition.  The music with both is very melodic. 

Some members of the audience were overcome with memories and begin singing the arias along with the performers which would normally irritate me but the one behind me had a beautiful voice. 

All the principals had excellent voices but Àngel Òdena as Vidal Hernandez really stood out.  An excellent production for the Florida Grand Opera!

Image from Florida Grand Opera web site.

© Fred Searcy 2017