Sunday, November 18, 2007

Immigrant Opera in Houston

The Houston Grand Opera has put on what sounds like -- well, I haven't heard it, so I guess it's more accurate to say it reads like -- an interesting new opera called "The Refuge," by composer Christopher Theofandis. It has seven tableaus that recount the immigrant experiences of Africans, Vietnamese, Mexican, Pakistani, Indian, Russian and other immigrants, as told to Houston writer Leah Lax, the librettist. It's billed as an attempt to reach beyond the usual opera audience and to establish a connection to recent immigrants in a city where one in four residents is "not from here." How cities change in a dynamic society!

A lot of these good-hearted efforts turn out not have really great music, and I don't know if this one does or not. And plenty of "classical" music outreach efforts fail. But it's encouraging to see music presenters try. It will be interesting to see if this one endures beyond a first few performances.

2 comments:

Christopher said...

The music, composed by Christopher Theofanitis is amazing. Be sure to catch it again in Mid May when the Houston Grand Opera does two performance for free in the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston.

Anonymous said...

The reviews are in...

New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/arts/music/12hous.html?_r=1&ref=music&oref=slogin

Houston Chronicle:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/arts/classicalmusic/5292977.html

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/5283973.html