OK, the long awaited sequel to my post on 19th-Century Opera in México!
It would come as no surprise to anyone who has been following this journey of writing The Mapmaker’s Opera Musical, as an adaptation of Béa Gonzalez’s novel, that Opera in México went through some pretty drastic changes in the first decade of the 20th-Century – this coinciding with our own story setting.
After the expulsion of the eighty-one-year-old President Porfirio Díaz in 1911, new opera works created during his régime; including perhaps not unsurprisingly the opera composers who attracted Díaz’s favourable attention, were sentenced to obloquy by the succeeding generation of revolutionary composers – if only for the crime of having won Díaz’s approval.
But is this a fair indictment of the operas written during this period? Well, again, it is hard to evaluate when there is no easy access to materials for operas such as Gustavo E. Campa’s 1901 Le Roi Poète – dealing as it does with the life of a 15th-Century poet-King, ‘Nezahualcoyotl’ of Texuco – or for that matter Ricardo Castro’s La Légende de Rudel. What does make you wonder is why Castro decided a Mexican opera should concern itself with a twelfth century troubadour? Just to make the point, this is the briefest synopsis of this opera’s unlikely storyline: Continue Reading →