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How the Amigos de la Zarzuela Began

In 1983, at a literary gathering at the Spanish Center on 14th Street in Manhattan, when the Andalusian poet Antonio García Topado gave a recital, the future founders of the Amigos de la Zarzuela met for the first time: the Spanish married couple Antonio Pérez Outeiral and Carmina Lombas García with the Colombian Graciela Hurtado de Soto. In the conversation the subject of the Zarzuela came up, and this sowed the seed of the Amigos de la Zarzuela. Antonio's knowledge of the Zarzuela and the dynamism of the two ladies who counted upon the support of a group of friends led to their founding the Amigos de la Zarzuela in the spring of 1985. The first concert took place at the Café San Martín, the second at the Casa de España which was almost home to the Zarzuela (with concert, lectures, dances, etc., until its unfortunate disappearance. At the same time another Zarzuela center was established in Long Island (New Hyde Park) at the Pérez Outeiral-Lombas García residence and the first Long Island concert took place in Brentwood.