An Opera in Two Acts & a Prologue

Music by Daron Hagen

Words by Paul Muldoon


Miguel Morales (Othello) is the police chief of a small town on the USA-Mexico border. He is married to a mestizo woman named Mona (Desdemona). His lieutenant Jake (Iago) spends his off-duty hours spiriting people across the border illegally; Kane (a Caucasian labor organizer from Chicago) is stirring up trouble. The action centers on the wedding of Jake and Emily (Emilia), and features the unfortunate planting of Mona's bandanna by Kane and Jake in Cassidy's (Cassio) pocket, and the subsequent murder of Mona by her husband. Set on the "Day of the Dead," the opera's unifying concept is the idea of the borderlines between emotional, metaphysical and moral states.

25 February 1999
McCullough Theater, Austin, Texas
University of Texas Opera Theater / Michael Haithcock


  • American Concert Premiere: 3 March 2000  / Ham Concert Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada  / UNLV Opera Theater and Orchestra / Daron Hagen
  • European Concert Premeire / 26 April 2006 / Parr Hall, Warrington, UK / North Cheshire Concert Band; Manchester Chamber Choir; RNCM Soloists / Mark Heron
  • Commissioned by the College Band Directors National Association.


116 minutes, with one intermission


major roles

  • Miguel Morales (tenor)
  • James Kane (dramatic baritone)
  • Jake Lopez (baritone)
  • Mona Morales (soprano)
  • Cassidy (bass-baritone)
  • Emily (mezzo-soprano)

supporting roles (drawn from chorus)

  • Leader (tenor)
  • Two Mariachi Singers (men or women)

mixed chorus (18+ voices)


2 fl (2 picc, afl), 2 ob (Eng hrn), 3 cl (bcl), bcl, 2 bsn, ssax, asax, tsax, barsax, 2 tpt (fglhrn), 2 hrn, euph (opt), 2 tbn, tba, 3 db, timp, perc, pf, hp; onstage mariachi band