If you’ve never heard the word zarzuela, you aren’t alone. But in Spain, it’s a popular (typically satirical) form of opera that alternates between speaking and singing. For the first time in it’s 71-year history, Florida Grand Opera will perform a zarzuela called Luisa Fernanda to kick off its 2011-12 season. The story takes place during the republican-monarchist conflicts of 1868. The heroine finds herself in a dangerous love triangle with Javier, a young army officer, and Vidal, a wealthy landowner. In collaboration with SaludArte Foundation, FGO presents Luisa Fernanda with Madrid’s famous Teatro Real’s set pieces, costumes, and actors (Spanish soprano Amparo Navarro stars in the title role). Later in the season, FGO will perform more traditional productions: Puccini’s La Rondine, Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. See Luisa Fernanda this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House. The zarzuela closes November 26 and will be sung in Spanish with projected translations.
Sat., Nov. 12, 7 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 20, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 12. Continues through Nov. 26, 2011