LA Opera launches Digital Shorts series on December 11 with The Five Moons of Lorca by Gabriela Lena Frank and Nilo Cruz
(Los Angeles) December 3, 2020 – LA Opera has announced that the new Digital Shorts series will launch with The Five Moons of Lorca (Las cinco lunas de Lorca) by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz, streaming online from December 11 through 25.
Part of the LA Opera On Now platform of digital programming, Digital Shorts pairs today's most in-demand composers with visual artists. To date, ten new works have been commissioned for the series. The first of them, The Five Moons of Lorca, is a newly commissioned revision of a 2016 piece by Ms. Frank and Mr. Cruz about the assassination of poet Federico García Lorca at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
The Five Moons of Lorca conveys the beauty of García Lorca’s life as well as its tragic end, while serving as a commentary for the dangers of political and cultural intolerance.
"The music gives equal importance to the piano and the voices, lending the feeling of a mini-opera," said Ms. Frank. "It is regal and proud, quintessentially Spanish in that way, before bursting into its full strength and power in the fiery middle, and then lyrically poignant in the dying moments of the finale. Throughout, there is virtuosity, whether suppressed or unleashed."
Directed by filmmaker Matthew Diamond, The Five Moons of Lorca was filmed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, marking LA Opera's first performance on that stage since March. The piece features solo dancer Irene Rodríguez, who is also the choreographer. Countertenor Jacob Ingbar and pianist Nicholas Roehler, members of the company's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, are heard in the performance, along with members of the LA Opera Chorus.
Presented free of charge, the stream will be available for two weeks only, beginning at 11am PT on December 11 and running through December 25. For details, visit LAOpera.org/Lorca.
To download press images for The Five Moons of Lorca, please click here.
About the Creators
California native Gabriela Lena Frank is Composer-in-Residence at the Philadelphia Orchestra, and was included in a 2017 Washington Post list of the 35 most significant women composers in history. Her music reflects not only her own personal experience as a multi-racial Latina, but also refracts her studies of Latin American cultures, incorporating native musical styles into a western classical framework. Earlier this year, she was a recipient of the prestigious Heinz Award—with an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000—recognizing her for breaking gender, disability and cultural barriers in the classical music industry, and for her work on behalf of emerging composers of all demographics and aesthetics.
Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz gained international prominence in 2003 when he won the Pulitzer Prize for Anna in the Tropics. His many plays have been produced worldwide. A frequent collaborator with composer Gabriela Lena Frank, he wrote the libretti for her Conquest Requiem and oratorio Saints, as well as the text for her orchestral song cycle The Keeper and the Dove. He wrote the libretto for composer Jimmy López Bellido's Bel Canto, which premiered in 2015 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Matthew Diamond began his career as a director and dance choreographer for film and television in the 1980s. He directed episodes of shows including Designing Women, Family Ties and The Golden Girls. In 1998 he made the documentary Dancemaker, nominated for an Academy Award. He enjoyed further success with Great Performances: Dance in America, for which he won Emmy and Directors Guild Awards. He continues to intertwine dance, music, comedy, and dramatic storytelling, directing episodes of shows including So You Think You Can Dance. Other recent credits include The Wiz Live!, Great Performances at the Met, Live from Lincoln Center, and numerous LA Opera simulcasts.
Irene Rodríguez is the leading figure of Spanish dance in Cuba. She is a dancer, professor and choreographer, and has worked as a dancer and choreography consultant for the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. She has performed at the Montalvo Art Center, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Moore Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, WTTW Studios, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and the Kennedy Center. She founded her own company, Compañía Irene Rodríguez, and the Irene Rodríguez Spanish Dance Academy. She is the Artistic Director of the International Festival “La Huella de España.”
About LA Opera On Now
LA Opera was the first major American opera company to create a weekly schedule of original new online programming to bring opera to audiences during the coronavirus crisis. As the company awaits its cue to return to the stage with world-class productions in theaters, it is offering a multitude of online content including newly commissioned performances, live recitals, opera broadcasts and learning opportunities via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which have accumulated over 787,000 views since its launch on March 17, 2020.
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 with thrilling performances, thought-provoking productions and innovative programming. The communal and curative power of opera is needed now more than ever before, given the extraordinary challenges of the time. The company is grateful to its supporters for helping to ensure that it has the resources needed to get through this unprecedented period through the LA Opera Relief Fund. Those wanting to support LA Opera can visit LAOpera.org/donate.
LA Opera Media Contact
Vanessa Flores Waite
Director of Communications
LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program is generously underwritten by the Colburn Foundation, Eugene and Marilyn Stein, and Richard and Lenore Wayne. Additional support from Jerry and Terri Kohl.
LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.