Monday, September 20, 2010

Placido Domingo and the L.A. Opera - creating music of the future?

Hi all,

I found these articles in the LA Times.

L.A. Opera to deliver 'Il Postino' premiere on Thursday

Placido Domingo Says L.A. Opera's 'The Postman' Is Special Delivery for Latinos

Placido Domingo renew contract with L.A. Opera through 2013

The most fascinating thing is the opera premiere, though. It is a new work with a Spanish libretto that draws on popular culture (it is based on the 1994 film "The Postman"), and it is no accident that Domingo (like Gustavo Dudamel with the LA Phil) is trying to appeal to the heavily Latino population of L.A. I would also guess that this target community is not prone to listening to lots of classical music.

Daniel Catán, the composer of "Il Postino," has a fascinating history:
"An almost preternaturally amiable chap, Catán is the product of a mixed Anglo-Latin cultural upbringing. Descended from Russian-Turkish-Jewish immigrants, he was born and raised in Mexico City and later studied philosophy at the University of Sussex in England and music at Princeton University with Milton Babbitt. Among his influences he cites Stravinsky, Ravel and Alban Berg. He and his wife, a professional harpist, have two grown children and make their home in South Pasadena."

This sounds like the future of classical music to me: music that is rooted in the tradition of Western art music, but is nevertheless forging out in new directions and trying to reach new audiences in exciting ways!

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