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Carlos Arniches

  • Carlos Arniches © EFE

    Carlos Arniches © EFE



Theatre, Zarzuela



Date of birth

Oct 11, 1866

Date of death


"Prolific comedy writer and outstanding exponent of the short sketch and comedy of manners known as the sainete, popular in the 19th century. He wrote about 270 works for the stage, some in collaboration, which led to his reputation as a master of the minor operetta known in Spain as the 'género chico'."

He was born in Alicante. He began his career writing librettos for zarzuelas in the late 19th and early 20th century. He worked in partnership with Gonzalo Cantó, Enrique García Álvarez and Carlos Fernández Shaw. But it was the sainete, a comedy and grotesque tragedy (a genre he himself invented and which was a forerunner of the exaggerated style known as 'esperpento' by Valle Inclán), which earned him his privileged reputation in popular theatre. He had a particular flair for dialogue, which imitated –and criticised at the same time– the style of speech in turn-of-the-century Madrid, and he was also a master of the clever joke. The widespread popularity and breadth of his work took place against a backdrop of theatrical revival as society's preferred cultural recreation. He died in April 1946.

Essential works

  • 'El puñao de rosas' performed in La Zarzuela Theatre. Madrid © Jesús Alcántara. Teatro de La Zarzuela

    El puñao de rosas

    Ruperto Chapí is the author of this zarzuela on love in the mountains of Cordoba.

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  • 'Miss Trevélez' © EFE

    Miss Trevélez

    Comic play by Carlos Arniches which criticises the cruelty and idleness of the young bourgeoisie.

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Other highlighted works

  • El santo de la Isidra
  • El puñao de rosas

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