5 April, Madrid - The Teatro de la Zarzuela's press conference announced the full programme for 2004/5, which in the main follow the conservative lines of the current season. Director José Antonio Campos made it clear that an adventurous 2006/7 season celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Teatro is the goal at which his policy aims. Nonetheless in a very positive step forward the Teatro will be open to the public for an extra month during 2004/5. What's more there is only one revival - Pablo Sorozábal's La del manojo de rosas in Emilio Sagi's famous production (10 Sept-10 Oct 2004.)
The second relative innovation is the inclusion of contemporary opera - a double bill by the Italian Sylvano Bussotti, La passion selon Sade and Sylvano, Sylvano, this latter a world premiere (4-6 Nov 2004.) Thirdly, most positively, there is a joint programming initiative between the Teatro and the "rival" Teatro Real, where La Dolores (Tomás Bretón) opens the season, and the Christmas revival of El dúo de La africana will be repeated. A concert version of Elena e Costantino (Ramón Carnicer) augments the Hispanic operatic fare at the Real.
The Caja Madrid-sponsored series of Lieder recitals is to be continued - one highlight is the farewell recital of Dame Felicity Lott. There is live "cinema in concert": Jorge Fernández Guerra has composed an orchestral sound track to accompany Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Don Quixotte (1933.) The Ballet Nacional de España and Compañía Nacional de Danza retain their place in the schedules, and the Festival de Otoño will see the theatre play host to Nederlands Dans Theater in works by Jan Kylian, and La Comedie Française in Moliere's Le Malade Imaginaire.
The Don Quixote theme - appropriate to the 400th Anniversary of the novel's publication - is continued in a fascinating opera/ zarzuela double bill, yoking Chapí's La venta de Don Quijote with de Falla's short puppet-opera El retablo de maese Pedro (11 Mar-10 Apr 2005.) The second new zarzuela production will be El asombro de Damasco (10 Dec 2004-16 Jan 2005) in which director Jesús Castejón continues his exploration of the "oriental trilogy" of Pablo Luna, begun so successfully with El niño judío. Finally, there will be a new production by Emilio Sagi of Francisco Alonso's colourful, Murcian zarzuela La Parranda (10 June-17 July 2005.)
Perhaps the most positive aspect of all is the increase in touring commitments to other Spanish cities. Without doubt the Oviedo Festival is the prime gainer - with eight productions, exceeding the number to be seen in the capital itself! Aside from the Cervantes double bill, El asombro de Damasco and La del manojo de rosas, Ovideo plays host to La chulapona, a revival of this year's Serrano double bill, and Barbieri's El barberillo de Lavapiés. Seville, Valladolid and Pamplona will also certainly be visited during 2004/5, and other provincial revivals are also possible. The Chapí/de Falla double bill will also be seen at the Cervantes Festival in Guanajuato (Mexico) which marks the Teatro's first visit to Central America.
© Ignacio Jassa Haro 2004