On March 4th and 6th Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela will offer in concert mode two performances of the opera Tabaré, by the composer Tomás Bretón, considered “an intense and beautiful masterpiece”, after 109 years of silence.
At its premiere, it was a resounding success, absolutely unanimous according to all the press reports of the time, but history would once again surprise locals and strangers with another incomprehensible and sad paradox: after the three performances of that long-awaited premiere, not without obstacles and problems, Tabaré was plunged into a profound silence that condemned it to oblivion, even though it was one of the composer’s favourite works. Exactly 109 years have passed since that premiere.
Tabaré, written in just one year, is a mature composition that synthesises the melodic lyricism of the Italian tradition, the harmonic treatment of Wagnerian opera and the sonorities of impressionism. Breton himself considered it to be his most personal and independent work. The theme of Tabaré’s plot could not be more particular: the struggle between the Charrúa Indians (who inhabited what is now Uruguay in the 16th century) and the Spaniards. An unconventional theme -especially for a Spanish composer- with a libretto by Tomás Bretón himself based on the epic poem of the same name by Juan Zorrilla de San Martín.