The article addresses zarzuela, a musical and theatrical genre that was very popular in Spain at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, in which we can see plentiful examples of a “utopian impulse.” In its comical way it portrayed society by satirically turning it on its head, a tradition that dates back to Swift, among others, and gave vent to social criticism against the liberal order of the mid-nineteenth century. Years later, zarzuelas trumpeted an ideal of national and social harmony, although they simultaneously warned of potentially dystopian situations caused by workers’ and gender demands or breakaway tendencies in some regions.