This year, Stockholm Early Music Festival focuses on music from Spain and has invited several artists to perform different genres of Spanish music.

"I am happy to be one of the first to introduce this genre to Swedish audiences. It is a special program with Baroque-zarzuela by José de Nebra. He was one of Spain's foremost composers of the 1700s," says conductor Alberto Miguélez Rouco

Alberto Miguélez Rouco began studying piano and singing at an early age. But there were no parts for him to sing because historically the main roles were often performed by women in Spain.

Was forgotten

"When we were playing zarzuela, I couldn't sing anything, the music is written for women. Men sang in churches, while women sang the lead roles in public theaters.

Baroque zarzuela is very reminiscent of Italian operetta, with strong elements of Spanish folk music, theater and song. The art form bears several similarities to the opera of Italy and France, but never conquered the world in the same way as Italian opera. On the contrary, it became outdated and forgotten in the 1700s.

In the 1800s, Spanish composers sought a Spanish distinctiveness and gave the forgotten music genre new life.

Receives more requests

Now the world may not be conquered, but at least the classical music world by the young countertenor, pianist and conductor Alberto Miguélez Rouco and his orchestra Ensemble Los Elementos.

"It's probably always been a problem to sing in Spanish. However, more and more people are learning Spanish and are interested in Spanish culture. The music is not performed very often even in Spain, but it is growing slowly, and every year we get more and more requests.