Trying Out Zarzuela - Translatability and Topicality in Music Theatre

Trying Out Zarzuela - Translatability and Topicality in Music Theatre 

Zarzuela (Spanish operetta) is not known outside the Spanish-speaking world. We are aiming to change that by taking zarzuelas from the Golden Age (c. 1850-1936) which deal with perennial social issues, such as poverty and migration, translating them into English and transposing them onto the British stage. These zarzuelas have a high proportion of dialogue which is often as relevant to today’s environment as it was back then.


The soprano Rosa Montesinos in the role of Tordiyo in Emigrantes, Teatro de la Zarzuela, July 1905. 


New Zarzuela

After many years of neglect, zarzuela is now undergoing a revival in Spain. Period pieces are being produced in contemporary contexts and non-traditional stagings and young composers are returning to the genre. Our collaborator Sergio Camacho is preparing a new topical zarzuela for performance in the near future.

Current projects by our Collaborators

El Dúo de la Africana at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, March 2017 

Beyond the Milestone by Sergio Camacho

Centro de Investigación y Documentación Musical - Juan José Pastor Comín


Research team


Acting Workshop - 24 November 

In this workshop, explore ways of adapting the dialogues from the original zarzuela for an English theatre audience, ways of blending the dialogues into the musical numbers and ways of finding a ‘voice’ for these people from different parts of Spain in an English translation.

Led by Dr Jean Andrews and Dr Simon Breden.

Book tickets here  







Trying Out Zarzuela - Translatability and Topicality in Music Theatre

The University of Nottingham
Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66359