Spanish Operetta to Debut at Mumbai
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 04 Mar 2020

Spanish Operetta to Debut at Mumbai

By Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief (Kolkata), IOP

Kolkata / Mumbai, March 4, 2020: The Neemrana Music Foundation, Embassy of Spain in India, Instituto Cervantes - New Delhi and The Royal Opera House – Mumbai is going to present the legendary zarzuela Syndicate of Seducers for the first time in Mumbai. The event will be hosted by the Royal Opera House on 4th March 2020.

Zarzuela is a popular genre of musical comedy that originated in Spain and uses a mix of songs and spoken scenes, very much like an operetta. It is a unique showcase of the rhythms and traditions of the diverse cultures of Spain. This time, a hilarious Spanish Operetta The Syndicate of Seducers, 1910 by José Serrano, one of the most recognizable zarzuela compositions will occupy center stage.

Originating in Madrid, much like a Bollywood extravaganza, Zarzuela has often been compared to Broadway and Vaudeville, which also serves as keen social commentary and provides light comedic entertainment as opposed to the traditional drama of the Opera.

The present is a hilarious comedy that takes the audience from Madrid (Spain) to India, via Paris and Venice:

The light and slightly naughty plot sees the Chairman of the Syndicate of Seducers hurtling around the world with his wife in tow, to save her from seduction by a vengeful fellow member. This is a pretext for a series of wholly engaging recreation nominally set in Paris, Venice … and a humble India oddly fantasized by the composer Serrano himself!

“The melodious tunes and scenes which will be enacted in English with spectacular costumes and lavish sets will remind the Indian audience of a Bollywood show,” said Priya Wacziarg, Managing Trustee of Neemrana Music Foundation.

El Trust de los Tenorios (the original Spanish version of the present zarzuela) will be performed in Mumbai thanks to Roc Fargas i Castells (brought to India by AC/E’s Program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture) with a chamber orchestra of 18 instrumentalists, and Stage Director Yashraj Jadhav will guide young Indian soloists of Neemrana Music Foundation and 30 choir singers. 

Maharanisaheba Kumud Kumariji of Gondal says, “Our venue was founded as a space to showcase and champion the hauntingly beautiful art form of Opera, and we bear this not only in our name but also our credo.”

The operetta, which made its debut in Delhi on the 27th of February before traveling to Mumbai, will be sung in Spanish with scenes in English.

Asad Lalljee, SVP, Essar Group, CEO of Avid Learning and Curator, Royal Opera House Mumbai, says, “With this production, we are delighted to collaborate with the Neemrana Music Foundation for a second time and we are grateful to the Embassy of Spain in India, Consulate General of Spain in Mumbai and Instituto Cervantes New Delhi for making this program a possibility and which promises to be a visual treat!”

Stage Director Yashraj Jadhav says "It's an incredible experience to stage an opera, as this art form involves so many ingredients - the drama, the singing, the costumes of different styles and the sets. This operetta is exciting because we have to recreate Madrid, Paris, Venice, and India. It is going to be a great challenge, full of fun."

About the Composer: José Serrano Simeón was a Spanish composer born in Sueca (Valencia) in 1873. In 1889 he started studying piano, violin and composition with Salvador Giner. In 1900 after setting famous Alvarez Quintero Brothers’ El Motete to music, he took his place amongst the most prolific zarzuela composers of the present times. His musical personality is robust and often taps a rich vein of melodic inspiration. He kept his harmonies and orchestrations simple, and his strongest suit is undoubtedly a powerful theatrical intuition and unfailing power to touch the heart of the audience.

Photo Courtesy - Embassy of Spanish, New Delhi

(DIDHITI GHOSH is an Entrepreneur & India Columnist at La Agencia Mundial de Prensa, USA. She is the Bureau Chief of Indian Observer Post based in Kolkata. E-mail: | LinkedIn: | Twitter:

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