Ainadamar – Arabic for “fountain of tears” – refers to the place in Granada, Spain, where poet Federico García Lorca was executed by Fascist solders in 1936 for the simple, but heroic act of speaking his mind. What a privilege to work on an opera that focuses on an artist that had such convictions and self-respect – certainly true heroism.
It is however, not only because of the subject matter that I chose this opera as our next production in February. So many elements attracted me to this opera. First, the music is exquisite – true lyricism coexists with powerful rhythmic drive. Those of you that are familiar with Osvaldo Golijov’s music know the impact of his musical style. A true musical polyglot with a worldly background, Golijov brings this powerful story to life with an ability to capture the essence of 1936 Spain. By blending age-old musical traditions with his own personal style he creates an incredibly original soundscape. His use of pre-recorded sound effects – water, gun shots, galloping horses, children and fascists voices – are cleverly integrated in the orchestra texture to heighten the dramatic impact of the piece. The audience will be both transported to a new level of lyricism while being also riveted to its seat.
I was also very attracted to the way playwright David Henry Hwang presented the story in the libretto. Rather than a chronological rendering of the story, we experience Lorca’s final years through actress Margarita Xirgu’s eyes – a very close friend of Lorca – who left Spain and dedicated her life to spreading awareness of the poet’s powerful texts. The whole narrative of the opera is presented in a series of flashbacks. This original way of presenting the story opens the door to interesting staging possibilities and concepts. As with our past productions, OP’s production team, with concept designer Brian Staufenbiel at the helm, has had a wonderful time creating a fiery and innovative production. See you at YBCA in February!
Artistic Director, Opera Parallèle