Agustín de Salazar y Torres' contribution to the zarzuela genre in 17th century Spanish theater.

2018 edition

Adriana Beltran del Rio

Agustín de Salazar y Torres (1642-1675) was a renowned poet and a playwright in the Spanish Court during the Regency of Mariana of Austria, mother of Charles II. An admirer of Pedro Calderón de la Barca, who practically invented baroque zarzuela and introduced opera into Spain, Salazar y Torres dedicated himself almost exclusively to musical theater. Two of his plays, También se ama en el abismo (1670) and Los juegos olímpicos (1673) are categorized as zarzuelas because of their reduced length (two acts instead of the usual three) and the pervasiveness of musical scenes within them. In our flash talk, we shall explain how these plays, although quite representative of the zarzuela of the time, also contributed to the genre’s development by exploring the musical effectiveness of language and trying to fill the breach between the literal meaning of the plays and the emotions conveyed by music, thus transcending the decorative purpose of the latter.