A typically Spanish musical genre, the zarzuela is a Spanish-language opera with spoken dialogues and filled with pleasant-sounding, often folkloric tunes cast in arias, duets, four-part choruses and dances. While zarzuelas never really made it into the repertoires of theaters outside the Spanish-speaking countries, the many passionate, fiery, or lyrical vocal pieces have continued to thrive in concerts and recitals all over the world. One of the most renowned and ardent supporters of zarzuela melodies is the world-famous tenor Plácido Domingo, who is featured here in a concert given at the 2007 Salzburg Festival. Delicately painted character studies enhanced with occasional harmonic slides, sighing motifs and castanet laughter - Domingo transports the enraptured listener to the calles and plazas of Madrid and Seville. His phrasing is "subtly shaded, with the wisdom of an older man; the voice is always perfectly focused and led both dazzlingly and intelligently... The audience cheers." (F.A.Z.). Domingo is accompanied by the Mozarteum Orchestra under Jesús López Cobos and, above all, by his partner for the evening, soprano Ana María Martínez, "a beautiful woman with a fascinating voice, full of velvety mezzoish half-tints in the middle and bottom ranges, with a gleaming top." (London Times)


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