Stage Door News

Toronto: Toronto Operetta Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of “La Verbena de la paloma” May 5-7

Monday, March 27, 2023

Toronto Operetta Theatre closes its first full post-pandemic season with the Canadian Premiere of Tomás Bretón’s La Verbena de la Paloma (The Festival of the Dove). Performances at the St Lawrence Centre May 5, 6, 7 (mat), 2023. May 5 will be in the presence of His Excellency Juan Sáenz de Heredia, Consul General of Spain in Toronto. “Rising to the challenge of a return to live performance was a great risk”, says TOT’s General Director Guillermo Silva-Marín. “Fortunately, we had great success during the holidays with Die Fledermaus and now are excited to present this greatest of Spanish Zarzuelas as our season finale”. La Verbena de la Paloma – one of the most beloved works of the Spanish operetta world - is the undoubted masterpiece of the art form, quickly becoming the hit of the Spanish-speaking world, both old and new!

With La Verbena de la Paloma, TOT will cement the company’s place as a presenter of music theatre from diverse cultures around the world. Toronto’s burgeoning Hispanic community is well represented in the cast which includes Margie Bernal, Tonatiuh Abrego, César Bello Rodríguez, Olivia Maldonado, and some of our Canadian artists fluent in the Spanish language Stuart Graham, Sean Curran, and Karen Bojti. Guillermo Silva-Marín joins as a guest artist and stage director. The orchestra, cast and chorus will be led by Kate Carver, a newly appointed Music Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Myra Malley is our intrepid stage manager.

The verbena celebration of the Virgin of Paloma Street in Madrid quickly spills over into a street carnival with dancing, flirting, tall tales, jealousy and much revelry. The music is alluring and sophisticated showcasing Breton’s appreciation for the works of Wagner and Verdi though his material is purely Spanish in feeling and form. A honky-tonk Mazurka bumps elbows with an unforgettable Habanera while the Cantaora’s stirring Soleá leads the crowd to exhilarating dancing and Don Hilarion’s little Coplas transforms itself into a breathtaking Nocturno. In the end, scores are settled, lovers are reunited, and the festival ends with sublime Seguidillas.

Take advantage of our special discounted prices: 30% off on Friday, May 5 using the Unlock Code DOVE30, 50% off on youths under 16 years of age for any of our performances and a 30% discount for a group of 20 or more. Don’t miss La Verbena de la Paloma! TOT ticket prices are the best value for money in Toronto.

TOT is grateful for support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, the Jackman Foundation, the Dalglish Family Foundation, Bedolfe Foundation, Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation, and media sponsor Classical 96.3 FM. All performances take place at the wheelchair-accessible St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, situated in the downtown theatre district, close to public transit and municipal parking. For information, call the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 416-366-7723, 1–800-708-6754 |

Illustration: Poster for the film of La Verbena de la paloma. © 1963 Producciones Benito Perojo.