Resident Conductor Lina González-Granados conducts a production crafted by director Lorena Maza and an all-Mexican creative team
(Los Angeles) October 16, 2023 — From November 18 through December 9, LA Opera will present the company premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego), a new opera by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz. Resident Conductor Lina González-Granados commands a cast packed with international talent, including Daniela Mack, Alfredo Daza and Ana María Martínez, in a tribute to two iconic Mexican artists: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
"Gabriela Lena Frank and Nilo Cruz are the duo that created Las cinco lunas de Lorca (The Five Moons of Lorca), a powerful work that launched our Digital Shorts initiative in 2020, and I’m absolutely thrilled to feature their latest collaboration on our main stage," said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera's president and CEO. "Their extraordinarily beautiful new opera has been cheered by audiences in its recent presentations in San Diego and San Francisco, and so many local opera lovers have been eagerly anticipating its arrival here from the very beginning. It is especially gratifying that the work will be led by Lina González-Granados, a long-standing champion of Gabriela's ensorcelling compositions."
About the Opera
When a desperate wish on Day of the Dead reunites Diego Rivera with his late wife Frida Kahlo, he jumps at the chance to seek forgiveness. But Frida refuses to return to the world that caused her so much pain, until another departed soul inspires her to look back at the art (and the man) she once loved. The artists' own emblematic paintings merge with a folklore-inspired score to breathe new life into the love-hate saga of Frida and Diego.
Argentinian mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack reprises the role of Frida Kahlo after her appearances in that role with San Francisco Opera earlier this year. She made her LA Opera debut in 2012 as Nancy in Albert Herring. This season, she also returns to the Metropolitan Opera for John Adams’ El Niño, the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville as Bradamante in Alcina and the San Francisco Opera as Rosmira in Handel’s Partenope. Recent appearances include Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and her Carnegie Hall debut as Amastre in Handel's Serse with The English Concert.
Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza returns as Diego Rivera, a role he created at the San Diego Opera world premiere of the opera in 2022. This is his seventh role with LA Opera, after his most recent appearance as Zurga in The Pearl Fishers in 2017. He frequently performs with the Berlin State Opera, appearing there in leading roles of Rossini, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Massenet and Puccini. Acclaimed Verdi portrayals in other venues include Ford in Falstaff in Hamburg and Bologna and Germont in La Traviata in Hamburg and Tokyo. He has sung roles as diverse as Dandini in La Cenerentola in Rome, Sir Robert Cecil in Britten’s Gloriana in Hamburg, and both Scarpia in Tosca and Hermann in Catalani’s Loreley in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez performs the role of Catrina, the fascinating keeper of the dead. This will be her tenth leading role at LA Opera, more than any other leading lady in the company's history. The Grammy Award winner has been acclaimed by The New York Times as an artist who creates "theatrical magic." She is a winner of the 15th annual Opera News Awards, and her international career sees performances at the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls. Last season's appearances included a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Donna Elvira in a new production of Don Giovanni.
Countertenor Key’mon Murrah makes his LA Opera debut in the featured role of Leonardo, a role he created for the opera's 2022 world premiere in San Diego. The 2023/24 season will see his debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in El Niño and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare and the New Jersey Symphony in Handel’s Messiah. Recent appearances include the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Hamor in Handel's Jeptha with Komische Oper Berlin and the title role in Handel's Serse for Detroit Opera.
The Creative Team
Stage director Lorena Maza is joined by a design team of scenic designer Jorge Ballina, costume designer Eloise Kazan and lighting designer Victor Zapatero, all of them making their company debuts and all of them hailing from Mexico City. The choreographer is Ruby Tagle, also based in Mexico City. Jeremy Frank is the chorus director.
Click here to download production photos and artist headshots.
Performance Dates, Times and Address
There will be six performances of El último sueño de Frida y Diego at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012:
- Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 7:30pm
- Sunday, November 26, 2023, at 2pm
- Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 7:30pm
- Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 2pm
- Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 7:30pm
- Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 7:30pm
Tickets begin at $14 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at LAOpera.org, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.
More information about the production is available at LAOpera.org/Frida.
The opera is sung in Spanish and will feature projected subtitles in both English and Spanish.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.
In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at LAOpera.org.
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Production made possible by generous support from
The Bernard A. and Lenore S. Greenberg Opera Fund
Additional support provided by a consortium of generous donors to
LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Barry and Nancy Sanders
LA Opera Orchestra generously underwritten by
Terri and Jerry Kohl
LA Opera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.