Three Chinese maidens become bored in their gynaeceum. The unexpected arrival of a young man who has just come back from a trip to Europe leads to a hilarious game of competing passions and ill-concealed jealousy. The idea of an opera within an opera forms the nucleus of this salon opera Manuel García, set to a libretto by Metastasio.
A salon opera composed for piano and four voices in 1831, Le cinesi refers to the fascination that Europeans have had for Oriental culture for centuries. A Chinese-inspired aesthetic impregnates the entire production, from the furniture and the costumes to characterization and body language.
In 2014 the Fundación Juan March launched the series Chamber Music Theatre, which was soon joined by the Teatro de la Zarzuela. The intention of the series was to defend an important repertory of stage music whose characteristics (small-scale works involving only a few performers) mean it is rarely performed in conventional theatres. In its first four years, nine works have been performed, several of them unpublished, which reveal connections and links between the works and their composers. Apart from teacher-pupil relationships (between Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky) and family ties (between García y Viardot), the series has covered the continued existence of a genre like the tonadilla (Trilogía de tonadillas and El pelele), the French influence on Spanish theatre (Une éducation manquée and Los dos ciegos) and the neoclassical aesthetic of the twentieth century (Fantochines, Mavra and El pelele); a history of marginalised and invisible chamber music theatre, which this project seeks to revive.