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Zorro: La Espada y la Rosa

Zorro: La Espada y la Rosa (The Sword and the Rose) is a Spanish-language telenovela based on Johnston McCulley's characters. Telemundo aired it from February 12 to July 23, 2007. This limited-run serial shows the masked crusader as a hero torn between his fight for justice and his love for a beautiful woman. Telemundo president Don Browne called this show "without doubt the best production offered on Hispanic television in the United States today." [*]

This series was produced by Telemundo, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) and RTI Colombia. It was the network's most successful series of 2007 [*] and its biggest seller in international syndication. [*] Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has asked Telemundo to produce a sequel. [*]

Plot summary

The melodrama loosely follows the retcon of Zorro from the 2005 novel by Isabel Allende, yet also uses the major characters from the 1950s Disney series. It shows a fantastic, ahistorical version of colonial Los Angeles full of romance, royal intrigue, and witchcraft, even polygamy. The city is populated with gypsies, slaves, clerics, cannibals, conspirators, rebellious Indians and Amazon warriors, along with Spanish settlers, soldiers, pirates and mestizo peasants.

The hero, Don Diego de la Vega, adopts the secret identity of Zorro, the masked avenger. Instead of being a Spaniard, however, Diego is now a mestizo born in the 1790s to a white father, Don Alejandro de la Vega, and his wife, a Native American warrior named Toypurnia, who was given the name Regina when she married Alejandro.

Diego learned his acrobatics and fencing skills in Spain, under the tutelage of a great swordmaster. Remembering the injustices he saw as a child, he returned to his family's California hacienda. Now he lives as both a nobleman and a vigilante, fighting imperialist oppression. He is backed by the brotherhood of Zorro, a secret society called the Knights of the Broken Thorn.

Since this is a telenovela, much of the drama focuses on romantic melodrama and family intrigue. Here, Zorro falls in love with a beautiful young widow, Esmeralda Sanchez de Moncada. She arrives in California with her sister Mariangel Sanchez de Moncada and her father, Fernando Sanchez de Moncada, the newly appointed governorand villainous dictatorof Los Angeles.

The hero must challenge a host of evildoers, branding them with the distinctive Zorro Z made from three swift scratches. The story arc focuses on mysteries concerning Esmeralda's long-lost mother and the man whose atrocities changed Diego's life forever. Their resolution threatens to shake the Spanish Empire.

In this story Don Diego is sexually active. Much of the show spotlights the two sisters whom he allegedly impregnates outside of wedlock. One of these women is Esmeralda, who winds up imprisoned, starved and tortured. The other, Mariangel, plots to steal the de la Vega fortune. Both pregnancies lead to tragedy.

From Telemundo's promotional copy:

At heart, Zorro is not different from other men in his need to love and to be loved, his desire to fall in love and form a family, and his ambition to find the ideal woman. Will he obtain them?" [*]

The opening sequences show a shot of Diego looking at his mask. "Tu y yo estamos enamorados de la misma mujer," he says. The epigram translates as "you and I are in love with the same woman."


Main Cast in Order of Appearance

Secondary Cast in Order of Appearance

Talu Quintero

Jose Saldarriaga

Fernando Corredor

Alberto Saavedra

Orlando Valenzuela .... Miguel - gypsy

David Norena

Alejandro Tamayo

Catalina Vela

Alejandra Guzman

Lina Angarita

Adriana Martin

Nicolas Nino

Anderson Barbosa

Jesus David Forero

Mauricio Bravo

Jaime Rayo

Julian Alvarez

Gabriel Gonzalez

Ivelyn Giro .... Maria Luisa Burgos de Castilla - Queen of Spain

Teresa Gutierrez .... La Marquesa Carmen Santillana de la Roquette - the Marquessa

Didier Van Der Hove .... Santiago Michelena - friend of Diego, ex-lover of Mariangel

El Frances .... Toronado - ''Zorro's horse

Valentina Acosta .... Selenia


Zorro'' began filming on November 8, 2006 in Bogota, Villa de Leyva and Cartagena, Colombia. [*]

Telemundo and RTI Colombia developed the show with Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), while CPT Holdings is listed as copyright holder. Venezuelan screenwriter Humberto "Kiko" Olivieri, a fan of Disney's Zorro, developed the story. [*] Cardinal Olivieri, a supporting character on the show, has the same last name.

Telemundo aired this novela with English subtitles on the default closed captioning channel, CC1. The network normally broadcast translations on CC3, which is not available on many older TV sets. It also expanded two weeks of March episodes to 90 minutes and several episodes in May were extended to 75 and 90 minutes.

On June 22, Telemundo announced Zorro is in its final chapters. [*] After the July 23 finale, La Esclava Isaura expanded into its time slot. [*]

This series is also known as Zorro: La Telenovela and Zorro: La Novela.


The originally-announced storyline began with Don Diego as the protege of a great English knight, Sir Edmund Kendel.[http://www.nbcumarketplace.com/marketplace2/_broadcast/Telemundo/programming/WeekdayPrime/Zorro/overviewContent.html ] He returns home to California to find his land under dictatorship, then taking up Zorro's mantle. [*]When the show aired, it was the Moncada family that arrived in California, with Esmeralda having become a rich widow.

Theme Song

See also Amor Gitano

Beyonce and Alejandro Fernandez performed Amor Gitano (Gypsy Love), a flamenco-pop track commissioned by Sony for the series. According to the label's translation, Fernandez sings, "I'm your gypsy, your pilgrim. I'm your thief, I'm going to love you even if they tear my heart out." [*] &160; Since Beyonce does not speak Spanish, she sang the lyrics phonetically. The single hit number one on Spain's singles chart.

International airings

Zorro averaged 635,000 core viewers during March, 2007 on Telemundo. The audience jumped 28 percent from February in the network's key demographic, Hispanic adults from age 18 to 49. [*] Overall, the show has had Nielsen ratings of around 0.6, with a 1 share. The network considered expanding the serial's run, [*] but decided against it.

Zorro has been sold to broadcasters in 96 countries. [*] Telemundo and Sony split the international rights, with Sony holding the rights for Latin America. [*] On February 26, 2007, the show started airing in Colombia on Caracol TV. [*]

In Romania, Zorro debuted on Acasa TV on March 5, 2007. The pilot episode aired with hard English subtitles in the USA on Universal HD. It premiered in Argentina on March 26, 2007, on Telefe.

In the Philippines Zorro will debut on ABS-CBN, on September 10, 2007-February 21, 2008, Weekday afternoons at 3 after Wowowee.

In Puerto Rico, the telenovela officially started airing on Telemundo on October 2, 2007 and in Finland on January 10, 2008, Nelonen

In Serbia, the telenovela officially started airing on June 23, 2008 on RTV Pink.

In Hungary: August 25, 2008

In Poland since September 1, 2008 on TV Puls

In People's Republic of China:since October 31, 2008 on CCTV-8

Supporting Characters

Aaron, the exorcist

Agapito, the undertaker

Aguirre, the soldier

Alejandro, Elena and Fernanda, children

Alfonso, the suitor

Camba, the slave

Catalina, Diego's ex-girlfriend

Don Enrique de Castilla y Leon

Fulgencio, the soldier

Hermes, the prisoner

Jacobo Almagro de Castilla, Duke of Albatroz

Javier, the gypsy

Juan, the guard of horses

Judge Quintana

Leroy, the soldier

Macario, the soldier

Maestro Abelardo Samaniego de Villarte

Mejias, the soldier

Miguel, the gypsy

la mujer de la rosa (the lady of the rose)

Selenia, the witch

The Kala-Kala, a tribe of cannibals

White Buffalo, the grandmother of Diego

See also


Character profiles from the 1950s Zorro series.

External links

Telemundo International Zorro page

La espada y la rosa Zorro page with summaries (English)

Telenovela World (bilingual)


Telemundo main Zorro page (Spanish)

Canal Caracol Zorro page (Spanish)
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