The Complutense Institute of Musical Sciences recovers ‘Tabaré’, the last opera by Tomás Bretón.
March 8, 2022

Tabaré, the last opera premiered by Tomás Bretón in 1913, which was revived in concert at the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid on 4 and 6 March 2022.

The revival of the opera was made possible as part of the research project MadMusic-CM by Víctor Sánchez, Professor of Music History in the Department of Musicology at the University of Complutense. The work is also led by the Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (ICCMU) Institute.

Composer Tomás Bretón is best known for his jazz music La verbena de la Paloma, but in fact he is mainly dedicated to opera. One of his last works, Tabaré, based on the mythical epic of this mestizo Indian called Tabaré in the early stages of his conquest of Uruguay, premiered at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 1913 and has since been forgotten by history.

What Professor Víctor Sánchez did in this work was to find the manuscript and to “carry out a long and complex process of musical editing”. To this end, over two years ago he collected the manuscript from the National Library and copied, revised and corrected it in order to provide a more complete score. It has now been performed at the Teatro Revolucionario Español as part of its programme to restore historical Spanish opera.

The restoration work has brought the work back to life, just as it was then. The basic philosophy of musicology and the ICCMU, “is to recover the musical heritage, to recover works that have been forgotten because they have not received attention in the musical repertoire and that can be performed thanks to the musical material provided by the editing process. “