zar·​zue·​la | \ ˌzär-zə-ˈwā-lə How to pronounce zarzuela (audio) , ˌzär-ˈzwā- \

Definition of zarzuela

: a usually comic Spanish operetta

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Did You Know?

Zarzuela is connected with the Spanish opera La Zarzuela, which entranced audiences with its different vocal and musical styles. The word toured into English in the 18th century. Alfred Einstein (the musicologist cousin of Albert) assisted in its establishment in the language by including it in his 1947 work Music in the Romantic Era. More recently, the word has begun to appear on the Spanish culinary stage as a term for a rich and savory seafood dish. A couple of the specific entrées that have emerged are the piebald "zarzuela de maiscos," a mixture of seafood, and the "zarzuela de pescados," a potpourri of fish.

Examples of zarzuela in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Orchestra of New Spain continues its sampling of zarzuela, Spanish baroque opera-lite mixing speech and song, with a staging of Sebastián Durón’s Love Conquers Impossible Love. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Plan your listening with upcoming classical music performances," 13 Feb. 2020 Pacific Lyric started out performing zarzuela, a Spanish-language style of opera, in Los Angeles in 2009. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Revamped Pacific Lyric opera company returns with ‘Romeo and Juliet’," 29 Sep. 2019 Born in Spain, Domingo grew up singing zarzuelas onstage in Mexico with his parents. Los Angeles Times, "Plácido Domingo, a sexual harassment investigation and the threat to his 60-year legacy," 13 Aug. 2019 Martínez Casado, who played mother Juana, was stage-trained in opera and zarzuelas. Carlos Frías, miamiherald, "‘¿Qué Pasa, USA?’ cashes in, but cast feels left out: ‘They want to steal the whole thing’," 21 Dec. 2017 Rodriguez also pulls in more disparate strands from Frida’s time and place, including tangos and elements of zarzuela, ragtime, vaudeville and 1930s jazz. Paul Hodgins, Orange County Register, "Frida Kahlo’s life was an opera, so why not turn it into one?," 8 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zarzuela.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zarzuela

1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zarzuela

Spanish, probably from La Zarzuela, royal residence near Madrid where it was first performed

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Time Traveler for zarzuela

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The first known use of zarzuela was in 1770

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zarzuela.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zarzuela

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zarzuela

Spanish Central: Translation of zarzuela Encyclopedia article about zarzuela

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