Zarzuela is the Spanish lyrical opera. The classic pieces of zarzuela are a combination of sophisticated musical ensembles, including speaking and singing, popular songs, and lowlife comedy characters. Some can compare more to traditional Italian opera in their length and style. Others are short with less dignified plots and characters. There are also many types of Zarzuelas in between the two with a variety of musical flavors.
Placido Domingo's parents were zarzuela singers, part of what inspired him to sing.