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February 2011 - Nr. 2

Toronto…A champion of music theatre in all it’s diversity, Toronto Operetta Theatre presents the Canadian Premiere of the Spanish zarzuela, LUISA FERNANDA by Moreno Torroba on March 9, 2011 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts with further performances on March 11, 12, and 13 (mat). “As a native born Puerto Rican, it is a great pleasure for me to be instrumental in bringing this great example of Iberian music theatre to Toronto” said TOT’s General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin. “Our production will be marked by a new twist for TOT…the musical portions of the zarzuela will be in Spanish and the dialogue will be in English”.

LUISA FERNANDA premiered at Teatro Calderon in Madrid in 1932 and was an instant hit. Librettists Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernandez Shaw provided Torroba with characters that move easily between the sophistication of Madrid and the simplicity of the Spanish countryside, between revolutionary politics and an elegant comedy of manners. With over 10,000 performances since 1932, the work musically embodies Torroba’s ideals of El casticismo, an effort to foster the tradition of pure, popular nationalism. His music offers colourful Spanish charm and also alludes to Italian verismo and the suavity of operetta from Vienna’s Silver Age.

The zarzuela will be conducted by José Hernandez. Originally from Andalusia in southern Spain, Hernandez received his musical education in Madrid and began his professional career there as a conductor and pianist. Tenor Edgar Ernesto Ramirez is Mexican born and will make his TOT debut as the ardent but fickle Javier. Michele Bogdanowicz, remembered as Yum Yum in TOT’s MIKADO, returns as his fiancé Luisa Fernanda and Miriam Khalil, recently hailed as Musetta in Edmonton Opera’s LA BOHEME, will be heard as the scheming Countess Carolina. Eugenia Dermentzis, one of TOT’s young artists, is featured as Mariana, the Innkeeper. Guillermo Silva-Marin takes the role of Vidal, a rich landowner come to Madrid in search of a young wife. With full orchestra, chorus and Elena la Comadre’s Arte Flamenco Spanish Dance Company, LUISA FERNANDA will blaze with power and passion straight from the heart of Spanish operetta.

All performances at the wheelchair accessible St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 27 Front St. East. Call 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754. Online sales: The theatre is convenient to public transportation and parking. For further information, call TOT at 416-922-2912 or visit us at

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