Category Culture

Edición Instituto Cervantes at FAS - Harvard University

Estudios del Observatorio/Observatorio Studies. 068-02/2021EN (Trans.)

Abstract: This study offers a broad overview of the Spanish musicians who traveled to the United States in the early 20th century, and, more specifically, describes the reception of Spanish opera and zarzuela on the East Coast of the U.S. at that time. It reviews the studies on the reception of Hispanic music in North America from the 19th century onward and contextualizes the debuts of Enrique Granados’s opera Goyescas (1916) and Quinito Valverde’s zarzuela The Land of Joy (1917), as these two works, whose New York debuts took place only twenty-one months apart, played a key role in developing a taste for Hispanic lyric theatre in the U.S. Granados’s opera is associated with prestige and the cultural elite, and it presented a modern image of Spain linked to the so-called Generation of ’98, whereas Valverde’s zarzuela is a light, accessible, easy-to-digest revue built on Spanish stereotypes. These debuts marked the definitive establishment of a lyric theatre in New York City that was Spanish in both language and themes.

Keywords: Hispanic music, zarzuela, reception, Enrique Granados, Goyescas, Quinito Valverde, The Land of Joy

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