FEDERICO IBARRA (b.1945): Antonieta.
Catalogue Number: 01R065
Label: Tempus Classico
Description: Ibarra's 2010 opera to a libretto by Verónica Musalém, tells the story of an interesting figure in Mexican history: Antonieta Rivas Mercado (1900-31), a significant intellectual and feminist, active in the arts and politics. The work opens with Antonieta's death - by suicide inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, her despairing soliloquy presented against the background of powerful choruses from the Dies irae of an imaginary requiem, which leaves one wanting to hear a complete such work from the composer - a striking dramatic touch which sets the tone of the entire piece. Antonieta's world is explored through her dialogue with allegorical figures representing Love, Arts and Politics and scenes illustrative of her relationships to important figures and events in history. The music is tonal throughout, the idiom conventionally operatic in the romantic tradition, though the non-linear, symbolic presentation of events is clearly of our time. This 'highlights' approach to the character's biography admits a fast-paced presentation of musical tableaux, each strongly characterized and effective in its own right, leading to a very accessible, attractive whole entirely devoid of longeurs, with a succinct and potent dramatic structure. Spanish-English libretto. Grace Echauri (mezzo), Guillermo Ruiz (bass), Zaira Soria (soprano), Gerardo Reynoso (tenor), Aguascalientes Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Román Revueltas.