Could you believe it? "The organ grinder and light operas called zarzuelas are considered quaint among Madrid’s young sophisticates." And that's supposed to be a sign that "Madrid is rapidly becoming as culturally cosmopolitan as other great European cities" and that the nation's capital is "certainly musically coming of age." That, at least, is what Guidepost had observed on 11 December 1970.
Here are some of the places you could still go to and have a taste of the new normal in the nation’s capital with the lingering good old Madrid spirit to underpin it. Surely, the lousy corona can’t put that great spirit down! (Maybe there’s a little sadness, but it won’t be there forever.)
Round about 40 years ago I arrived in Spain as a young thing, enamored of the guitar and Flamenco music. I had been fiddling around with the guitar since my teen years, and never quite got the hang of it, but carrying around a guitar got me into some circles of people who were more expert than I. I love the guitar too much to murder it with my unprofessional playing. Well, after all my experiences with the guitar in Spain, where the heart and soul of this iconic musical instrument will always be, I gave away my original guitar.
Rodney Ward, like many back-packing ‘cowboys’ of the mid-seventies, first arrived in Madrid in 1975 and was at once struck by Spain’s fine old capital city. Although planning to move on within a few days, the Magic of Madrid compelled him to stay for two years. Only then did Rodney Ward set off back to Australia. Does he miss Madrid? “It’s always nice to come home,"he says, but Madrid gets in the blood.
When I received an email from Jim Furlong, Director of Arts for the Hudson Guild, seeking community members for “Romanzas de Zarzuela,” I knew I had to try out for it. Furlong explained that he was a big fan of a recording called “Romanzas de Zarzuela” sung by Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé and they pretty much honored the structure and flow of the original recording. “However, I did interject five piano solo numbers," Furlong said. The show is divided into 13 Scenes, with dance numbers for children, youth, elders, males, females and the entire company -- "an experience that's joyful." Furlong and Westerby of the Matthew Westerby Company are already planning their next projects!
Nobody can take the reader from the chotis, so popular in Spain since the 19th century, to “American Idol” in the States today like Ms Foran can !