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An evening of Zarzuela: Ukrainians discover the passion of Spain's Zarzuela musical theatre

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06.02.2016
ua_today
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A first ever Zarzuela concert is being held in Kyiv. This is Spain’s traditional musical theatre, it combines elements of opera as well as popular tunes. You may not have heard of it but it’s been around for hundreds of years. Spain’s passion for Zarzuela is sometimes compared to the emotions felt by football fans during high-stakes matches.

Zarzuela alternates between diaolgue and song. It also includes elements of dance and opera. For the majority of tonight's audience, the performance is a first ever taste of the art form. The show is supported by the Spanish embassy in Ukraine. It hopes to cultivate closer cultural relations.

Zarzuela’s roots stem from Spain’s nationalistic sentiment. It often portrays Spanish legends and glorifies traditions. Many believe this is an important time for the country’s arts. Spain is currently hanging in political limbo after an inconclusive December poll.

The Spanish ambassador believes music is a universal language. He says Zarzuela is often seen as a uniting factor in Spain. He suggests Ukraine can also harness nationalist sentiment in a positive way.

Gerardo Angel Bugallo Ottone, Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine:
“Ukraine has healthy nationalistic sentiment…”

Cultural exchanges such as this one enjoy plenty of support from foreign dignitaries. They're often working to organise similar events.

GEOFFREY PYATT, US AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE V2 43.17-43.37
“Like Ukraine Spain is a very….. Bring these talented artists here.”

The show includes excerpts from the world famous ‘Carmen’ opera. Tenor Israel Lozano tells us more about the performance.

Israel Lozano, Spanish tenor:
“It’s about love….you have to bring the Spanish passion otherwise it’s not Spanish music.”

And a passionate performance they certainly did bring.

The show finishes with a grand cross-cultural collaboration. Together with Lozano Ukraine’s Olga Chubareba sings the classical Ukrainian folk song "Black Eyebrows, Brown eyes."

During the cold Ukrainian winter, this was a night of fiery Spanish passion. For Ukraine Today this is Tamara Rozouvan in Kyiv.

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