AN OPERA IN TWO ACTS AND A PROLOGUE
Music: Daron Hagen | Words: Paul Muldoon
Touch of Evil is crossed with Under the Volcano in this searing, "soaringly eclectic" post-verismo retelling of the Bard's Othello set in the spiritual, physical, and ethical "liminal zone" of the Texas-Mexican border on the "Day of the Dead" in 1968.
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.
- Duration: 2 Acts / 120 mins.
- Premiere: 25 February 1999 / McCullough Theater, Austin, Texas / University of Texas Opera Theater / Michael Haithcock
- Notable Performances: American Concert Premiere: 3 March 2000 / Ham Concert Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada / UNLV Opera Theater and Orchestra / Daron Hagen; European Concert Premiere: 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.
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- Miguel Morales (tenor)
- James Kane (dramatic baritone)
- Jake Lopez (baritone)
- Mona Morales (soprano)
- Cassidy (bass-baritone)
- Emily (mezzo-soprano)
supporting roles (drawn from the chorus)
- Leader (tenor)
- Two Mariachi Singers (men or women)
mixed chorus (12+ voices)
Band Version (29 players)
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
Large Orchestra Version (44 players)
Small Orchestra Version (34 players)