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Community Comment

Words of the Day— zarzuela

Good morning, Netizens…

January 21, 2013

Words of the Day

  • zarzuela
  • audio pronunciation
  • \zahr-ZWAY-luh\


: a usually comic Spanish operetta

“The first major trip was leaving Spain, with my sister and our aunt, to travel by ship to Mexico, where my parents had set up their own zarzuela company.” — From an interview with Placido Domingo in the Chicago Tribune, October 14, 2012

“In Napa, Calif., the Jarvis Conservatory presents one or two zarzuelas during the month of June and produces the only DVD of zarzuelas.” — From an article by Alicia Garcia Clark in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, October 23, 2006


“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.


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