Two Mexican Operas on Two Mexican Drug Traffickers


Composer Jorge Sosa

Composer Jorge Sosa

The last full opera performed in American Lyric Theater‘s InsightALT opera fest is Jorge Sosa‘s “La Reina”, about a Mexican drug queenpin, performed on Monday at 7pm (buy tickets here).  You can actually hear a sample aria on Sosa‘s site (under “listen”), so good way to prep.  Here’s ALT‘s trailer for the new opera:


This actually reminded me of another Mexican composer’s chamber opera about a lady drug trafficker: Gabriela Ortiz‘s “¡Unicamente La Verdad!” (“only the truth”), premiered in 2008 at Indiana University and recently performed at Long Beach Opera, California.  This video is from the 2008 IU performance:


You can still  buy tickets for the remaining InsightALT operas (“La Reina” on Monday and “The Long Walk” tomorrow, at 7pm), and if you can’t make it in person, they’ll also be live-streamed here.


AltOpera Fest, now actually accurate…

Next week is InsightALT, American Lyric Theater‘s mini-fest of new opera.  The centerpiece of the event are three concert readings of new operas, running the thematic gamut of Alan Turing, war vets returning home, and a Mexican drug “queenpin”.  Click here for full descriptions, and a special code for $5 off single tickets!

The composers being featured are Jeremy Howard Beck, Justine Chen, and Jorge Sosa (triple J’s, nice), a pretty diverse crew, which is nice to see in the world of opera.  Today I’ll start with Jeremy Howard Beck.

MASSIVE EDIT: Turns out there are two composers named “Jeremy Beck” and the one in InsightALT is Jeremy Howard Beck.  I feel like an idiot, but seriously, what are the odds!  Well as it turns out, they’re pretty high…  Anyway, here’s my revised post:

Based on the memoir of the same name by Brian Castner, former Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit member in Iraq, The Long Walk is about veterans’ struggles on adjusting to life back home after returning from war.  Should be interesting stuff…

Here’s a performance of Beck‘s 2009 piece Awakening, by it’s commissioners, trombone quartet The Guidonian Hand.  A trombonist himself, Beck says the piece was inspired by the then-recent passing of Proposition 8 in California (overturning the legalization of gay marriage there) and its concurrence with the Jewish high holidays, with their use of the shofar horn.

And here’s the InsightALT trailer, reproducing an interview with Castner by BBC.  Their YouTube channel, has features from past events too, so good way to get a feel for InsightALT generally.