the Caserío, Guridi, opens the opera season at the Teatro de la Zarzuela

The season begins 2019/2020 of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, and with her the music and theater festival, art in its broadest sense. The celebration of our heritage. For it is not worth any proposal; the title chosen should be special, a excellent cover letter of all that remains to come. And this role corresponds to 'The village' of Jesus Guridi, a musical treasure to turn 93 years of its premiere on this same stage from the Plazuela de Jovellanos –in November 1926–, arrives to compensate the public for a absence of 42 years. And the remedy it cannot have better protagonists: the expected musical direction of the teacher Juanjo Mena –No doubt one of our heavyweights in conducting–, the scene of Pablo Viar, full of meaning and poetry, Y two deals that include many of the most desired Spanish voices of the moment. They offer 14 functions 3 al 20 October.

Not for less the expectation that this season opening has raised with ‘The farmhouse’, And not only for that almost half a century that has passed since he last went on stage in the same theater where he was born.; or because in front of the Community of Madrid Orchestra (Titular del Teatro) occupy the podium of the pit none other than Juanjo Mena. And it is the teacher who precisely gives us some of the keys to the importance of Guridi's work in time and space: “As a composer, as an orchestrator, it's exquisite; beauty is at the beginning of everything. Guridi is one of the undisputed centers of music between wars –The World Cups and the Spanish Civil War–. Of those musicians who were forced to work without materials and almost without references”, affirms the director, that before the weight of popular music in the composer's score, Vitorian like him, adds that this "is a lord of folklore, that he addresses with all respect, elegance and discretion”.

And all that that Guridi captures in the score, It is collected in the most respectful way by Pablo Viar from Bilbao to assemble a staging full of knowledge and poetry that takes place in Arrigorri, that imagined place, dreamed up by Jesús Guridi and the librettists Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw, "where, as it could not be otherwise, All the problems, no matter how complex, they will have a happy ending ".

And on the tables, accompanied by the Coro del Teatro de la Zarzuela, two casts with many of the Spanish voices that today triumph in lyrical theaters. The sopranos Raquel Lojendio Y Carmen Solis will give life to the young Ana Mari - niece of Uncle Santi, owner of the Sasibil farmhouse–, with whom Txomin is in love without being reciprocated. The baritones angel Ódena Y José Antonio López will play Uncle Santi, who adopted Ana Mari when she was orphaned in America and hatches a plan with Don Leoncio –the village priest– so that Ana Mari and her nephew José Miguel fall in love. The tenors Andeka Gorrotxategi Y José Luis Sola they will play the role of José Miguel, also in love with Ana Mari (and Ana Mari from him), but whoever leaves the village knowing that it is going to marry his uncle, with which he will lose his inheritance and love at a stroke. The mezzo-sopranos Marifé Nogales Y Ana Cristina Marco they will play Inosensia, daughter of Eutasia - owner of the cider house -, that is successfully declared to Txomin, servant of the farmhouse represented by the tenors Pablo Garcia-Lopez Y Jorge Rodríguez-Norton. The role of Eutasia will be assumed by the mezzo-soprano hope Mentxaka, that of her husband Manu the actor Eduardo Carranza, and that of Don Leoncio, also an actor José Luis Martínez.

The scenery Daniel Bianco, inspired and beautiful, represents a pediment as the center of the events of Arrigorri, as a kind of town square behind which the hegemony of the land is sensed; the supremacy of nature. The wardrobe Jesus Ruiz, lighting Juan Gómez-Cornejo and choreography Eduardo Muruamendiaraz complete the unique artistic proposal of this production of the Arriaga Theater in Bilbao and Teatro Campoamor of Oviedo.

Three will also attend the stage extras, four children and eight dancers of the Optional Dance Company Directed by Muruamendiaraz himself.

And as the occasion demands, the role of the Thursday 17 October will be issued live through the sites of Facebook Y YouTube of the theater, and its Web page. Equally, the role of the Saturday 19 October will be broadcast live through RTVE Classic Radio.

The village ': Basque soul and land

'The village' of Jesus Guridi expresses undoubtedly and precisely the soul, the race and the Basque land. After 'Mirentxu’ (1910) and 'Amaya’ (1920), Guridi moved to live in Madrid to boost his career and soon began working on a new Basque setting. To do this, he contacted the librettists Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw. From those purposes and these alliances, ‘El caserío’ was born., a zarzuela - lyric comedy in three acts, according to the score - that supported by a good libretto stands out for an extraordinary score, rich and varied, resolved with an absolute command of musical language.

His success was formidable and went on to become one of the great pieces of the Zarzuelistic repertoire. Not in vain, Arrigorri, "Imaginary village of Vizcaya", it has something of a dream village, from idyllic and happy place, that we contemplate through the poetic gaze of music.

Therefore, the teacher Juanjo Mena talks about the family, the land and the house when referring to ‘El caserío’: "I am Basque and I live in a village ..., I am immersed in the world of Guridi. Having this production is an important way - after more than forty years of absence - of listening to this music here again., at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid where it was heard for the first time”.

The stage manager himself, Pablo Viar —Also Basque, from Bilbao—, comments that "that dreamed Arrigorri magically emerges from the fog for just a few days every long time and its endearing inhabitants, like the characters in the theater, they just wake up, secure, they laugh and cry, for a brief moment every many years ". So let us return to enjoy the poetry of lyrical theater through one of the great works of that unusual talent that was (and it still being) Guridi.

Around ‘The farmhouse’

In addition to the 14 representations, the Teatro de la Zarzuela has organized a series of activities around Guridi's work:

  • Friday 11 October: meeting Master Juanjo Mena with students from the Higher School of Singing of Madrid.
  • Wednesday 16 October: meeting Pablo Viar with students from the Municipal School of Dramatic Art.
  • Thursday 17 October: Broadcasting of the function in ‘streaming’ through the sites of Facebook Y YouTube of the theater, and its Web page.
  • Saturday 19 October: Live broadcast through Classical Radio from
  • Sunday 20 October: Start of the new cycle 'Domingos camera with Ñ', dedicated exclusively to the music of Spanish chamber of hand soloists of the Orchestra of the Teatro Titular de la Zarzuela (BARREL), this time, and coinciding with the last performance of ‘El caserío’, It will be dedicated to 'Cuartetos Basque' with music José María Usandizaga and self Jesus Guridi. Photograph: Enrique Moreno Esquibel