LOS GAVILANES - April 27, 29, 30 & May 1, 2016
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Alexander Dobson, Matthew Zadow, Gisele Fredette and chorus in EL BARBERILLO DE LAVAPIES, 2005 

“I think Guerrero and Kalman knew each other’s music”, Guillermo exclaimed at a rehearsal.  “Or at least Guerrero knew Kalman’s scores. Just listen to LOS GAVILANES' Act I duet I Meet You Once Again for Adriana and Juan or the energetic and danceable Fox-trot Why Cry and Sigh for the women’s chorus and you could easily see them fit in COUNTESS MARITZA!”  Well, maybe if MARITZA were sung in Spanish. The two composers were contemporaries and Guerrero did spend time in the operetta capitals outside Madrid. On top of that, they were all influenced by the jazzy American rhythms that were heard in theatres and dance halls worldwide. After all, it was the roaring twenties and everyone was looking for a respite from World War I.
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Los Gavilanes Touches the Heart

Jacinto Guerrero, the renowned composer of LOS GAVILANES, was born just outside Toledo in Spain and his talent was first recognized when, at the age of six, he wrote a piece for the cathedral where he was a boy chorister. Later sent to Madrid to study music, he became an accomplished violinist. However, success did not come right away and he, like Romberg, put bread on the table by playing piano in bars and taverns. He had a great gift for melody and his music has both immediacy and an elegant sophistication. 

       LOS GAVILANES shows Guerrero at his most inspired and the zarzuela is filled with choruses, arias and ensembles, each more memorable than the last. The show premiered at Teatro de la Zarzuela in December of 1923 and soon spread throughout Spain. 
       The story line is simple, to-the-point and fast-paced. Juan is poor and not allowed to court his sweetheart. He leaves for Peru where he makes a fortune and returns to his village 20 years later as a millionaire, where he falls for his one-time sweetheart’s daughter to the consternation of his friends and the pain to his once-beloved. In the surprise ending, all is well, after some amazing tangos, marches, fox-trots, waltzes and fandangos. 
Our Artists
Soprano Miriam Khalil has gotten a feel for the Hispanic world firsthand. She was in Tampa, one of the areas in Florida where the Latin Heritage is strongest, starring as Donna Elvira, the spurned lover of Don Giovanni in the opera of that name for Opera Tampa. TOT fans will remember Miriam as another titled Spanish lady, Carolina, in our production of LUISA FERNANDA.  Now, if Miriam had just brought us back a good box of cigars!  

Another of our favourite TOT stars is Ernesto Ramirez, who hails from Guadalajara in Mexico.  But when he goes home to sing, it’s Verdi (Requiem), Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE or Bernstein (Tony in WEST SIDE STORY).  Only in Canada does he get to sing zarzuela in his native language. Ahi lo tienes, Ernesto, y ahi esta!! (There you have it and there it is!)
(Left) Miriam Khalil and Ernesto Ramirez in LUISA FERNANDA
Welcome back to the stage Guillermo!  What would a TOT zarzuela be without the man who introduced this great music to Toronto audiences?  Guillermo will sing the role of Juan, a man of much wealth who in his youth lost his beloved for being too poor,  now back in Spain from his adopted home in Peru. He had hoped to rekindle his old love but instead falls for her 18 year old daughter... to the dismay and pain of all in his village!  But the baritone doesn’t get the girl, even in zarzuelas!  He does get the best tunes!
(Right) Guillermo Silva-Marin in LUISA FERNANDA, 2011


On March 19th, TOT invited a few Friends and Volunteers to the Edward Jackman Centre for relaxing afternoon of great singing from our emerging artists, followed by a reception hosted by our Board of Directors.  We enjoyed our afternoon and are grateful to Dan Masse, TOT President, Patricia Gilbert-Sturm, Jay Diament (Treasurer), Secretary Mary Anne Sait and Cora di Pietro for a great spread.  And Patricia, are those Ginger cookies a secret family recipe?? 

Guillermo introduces the program of music to our guests
Michael Rose, pianist, with Fabian Arciniegas, Angela Maria Sanchez, Heather Kozak, Tonatiuh Abrego and Diego Catala
Toronto Operetta Theatre gratefully acknowledges support by:
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