Between Madrid and Berlin, between the kitchen garden and the cabaret, between the traditional and the cosmopolitan, Barbiàn proposes an unorthodox journey through a genre that is no less unorthodox. The zarzuela, a form of Spanish musical theatre, takes its name from a royal residence but soon links its history to the streets, theatres and popular characters.
Ever morphing, playwright Fernando Carmena and his team take a further step in the metamorphosis of the genre by contrasting the music of Penella, Chueca and Sorozábal with a liberating contemporary sensibility. The result is a repertoire brimming with popular and suggestive essences, performed by Rodrigo Cuevas, who builds bridges between tradition and the underground, discovers links where others insist on creating divisions, and travels gracefully through the communicating vessels that form the dramaturgy of Barbiàn, halfway between history, legend, anecdote and social commentary
Performance: Rodrigo Cuevas
Artistic Direction and Dramaturgy: Fernando Carmena
Performance and Arrangements: Frank Merfort y Richard Veenstra
Costumes: Constantino Menéndez (Made by Kös)
Photography: Lukasz Michalak @EstudioPerplejo
Constantino Menéndez (Made by Kös)
He defines himself as a cultural worker who works in various fields: dramaturgy, research, management, dissemination and audiovisual creation. His interest in zarzuela is reflected both in his work as a researcher and populariser and on the stage. He experimented with the genre for the first time in 2004 with the pianist Javier Pérez de Azpeitia at the Fundación Canal, where they recontextualised zarzuela songs and modernist pieces in films by Émile Cohl and Georges Méliès. This experience sets a happy precedent for more ambitious projects with zarzuela at their core, all of them selected by Veranos de la Villa as part of its programme between 2017 and 2019, such as Zarzuelas embrujadas con Segundo de Chomón, with the electronic musician Kevin Toma and the illusionist Armando Magia; or Númenes Inmortales, in collaboration with Eduardo López Banzo and Al Ayre Español.
Spearhead of Electrocuplé, sex symbol of copla music and all-round artist, Rodrigo Cuevas (Oviedo, 1985) is a phenomenon of the performing arts as well as communication in its broadest sense, whose professional development continues to progress steadily.
He has formal musical training: intermediate piano degree and tuba studies at the Oviedo Conservatory as well as three years of Sonology in Barcelona. He likes to mix traditional song with cabaret and cuplé, he enjoys making electronic music converse with humour, sensuality and social criticism, turning his shows into a unique cultural and sensorial experience that only he could offer.
During 2020, this singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and folk rabble-rouser performed his third stage show “Trópico de Covadonga” all over the country, and received the MIN Awards for “New Artist” and “Best Fusion and World Music Album”. At the end of 2019 he released his latest album, “Manual de Cortejo” (Aris Música/Altafonte), produced by Raül Refree. The album has received unbeatable reviews and is on the top of the Best Of lists (in 2019 and 2020) for mainstream media (El País, El Mundo, Radio 3…) as well as for the music press (Rockdelux, Mondosonoro…).