Florida Grand Opera’s First Zarzuela: Luisa Fernanda

Many people think that it takes a certain type of person to enjoy and appreciate Opera.  Mostly because not too many people are familiar with this specific art form, partially because of the more commonality of musicals or concerts.  But what makes the Opera stand out is what the actors bring to the stage, to their characters, as well as to the lives of the patrons who get a little taste of magic during each performance.

Florida Grand Opera is bringing to life their first zarzuela after seventy plus seasons.  The background of zarzuela’s come from Spanish roots, which focuses on musical theater as well as the spoken word.  This zarzuela is extra special, being brought to FGO from Madrid’s Teatro Real in Spain.  There is nothing more authentic then a Spanish Opera being performed in the States with the sets and costumes being imported in specifically for the occasion. The cast is set to arrive in Miami on October 26th, with the production scheduled to begin on November 12th Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.

One thing that makes Opera so intriguing is not only the story the actors tell on the stage but the heartwarming stories their lives bring off the stage.  After years apart, Musical Director Ramon Tebar of the Florida Grand Opera is reuniting once again with Amparo Navarro; who will be singing the lead role of Luisa Fernanda.  The two operatic artists were first acquainted in Spain while studying at the same music conservatory and performing concerts together while students.  What each brings to their respective roles in this production of Luisa Fernanda will make this Opera nothing short of extraordinary.

Luisa Fernanda is a story taking place in Spain 1868 during the republican-monarchist conflict. In such trying times it takes the story out of the dilemmas of the time and revolves it around the heroin, Luisa; and the love triangle she finds herself in with Javier an attractive young army officer and Vidal; a prominent landowner in the village.  The renowned Placido Domingo will join the Fernanda cast reviving the lead role of Vidal Hernando for one special nights’ performance on November 15th.

Like Placido, who got his start following his fathers’ lead at a zarzuela company in Mexico; many people who go into Opera or follow the art form, are lead to its creative outlet by someone.  But what keeps people coming back is the captivating stories, breathtaking set designs and the awe-inspiring operatic range of the cast.