Kyiv, February 1, 2016. “Zarzuela is more than a Spanish operetta, it’s a style of music closely connected with the culture and traditions of Spain. I believe it’s the best way to appreciate Spain, said Gerardo Ángel Bugallo Ottone, Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine, presenting the “Evening of Spanish Zarzuela at Philharmonic” concert at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The concert will take place on February 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine in Kyiv. This musical form was especially popular in the late XIX – early XX century. Zarzuela combines the sensuality and spirit of the Spanish nation, said the ambassador.
Jose Hernandez, deputy director for international relations, National Philharmonic of Ukraine, said that instrumental pieces, arias and duets from the most popular Spanish zarzuelas will be the centerpiece of the program. The first part will feature the theme of Spain in the music of European composers, such as arias and duets from the world famous Carmen opera. “This will be a top-level, purely Spanish night. Culture and arts will certainly bond our nations,” said Hernandez. According to the Spanish tenor Israel Lozano, zarzuela straddles numerous styles. “It is popular music, but it comprises elements of opera,” said the tenor. It is Lozano’s second visit to Ukraine, and being an artist, he is sensible of responsibility before the audience, as “music is a universal language”. He expressed his support to Ukraine in difficult times and appealed for support for music and arts in general. Lozano commented Ukrainian culture and music are beautiful. “Material things disappear, but culture, tradition, language, values and classic art are education for the generations to come, so they are worth supporting,” said the tenor. Maestro Ricardo Casero, symphonic orchestra director, said that the concert in Kyiv will be a splendid experience for him, for this music is more complicated than it seems at first sight. “I agreed to come to Ukraine to express my support. You continue organizing top-level concerts, which is a wonderful decision,” said Casero.
Olha Chubareva, a soprano, a principal performer of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, said she had been working with Spanish musicians for a year now. This is her first experience of performing zarzuela. “Zarzuela is quite difficult to perform, but it’s extremely emotional, which suits my spirit,” said the singer. She plans to add zarzuela pieces to her repertoire and make this music popular in our country. “This concert on February 5 will start promoting Spanish zarzuela in Ukraine,” she believes. According to Chubareva, sometimes music can say more than politicians. Moreover, it is a unique possibility of cooperation not only for the musicians themselves, but for agencies too, said Tamara Zavala Utrillas, Counselor on cultural issues of the Spanish Embassy. She emphasized that cultural exchange between countries is extremely important.
“We brought zarzuela here, for we want to help bring the situation in Ukraine back to normal. We want everyone to admit that Ukraine is a beautiful European country and it may live a normal European life. It is exactly what is going to happen in this country in future, for the people have already chosen their way,” summarized the Spanish ambassador.