FEDERICO IBARRA (b.1945): Alicia.
Catalogue Number: 01R066
Label: Tempus Classico
Description: An appropriately incongruous and logic-defying pleasure; an operatic Mexican take on 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass'. José Ramón Enríquez' libretto takes considerable liberties with the stories, introducing the familiar characters who behave according to their nature in Lewis Carroll's original and in similar scenes, but otherwise often appearing in new combinations and with different dialogue. A great deal of the dream logic and surreal, slightly disturbing character of the original is preserved, though. The opera is more a comedy than the books, in great part because of Ibarra's emphasis of the ridiculous through his musical accompaniment of the text. One reason the humor works so well is that the characters seem to take themselves entirely seriously in their musical presentation of their nonsense texts, Ibarra supplying pitch-perfect parodies of the standard formulae of opera; portentous solos, impassioned duets, dramatic choral commentaries on the scene, and so on. The music is tonal throughout and thoroughly approachable and attractive on its own terms, gleefully polystylistic, though the predominant stylistic borrowing is from the operatic tradition which is gently being sent up throughout. It's all great fun and a clever and affectionate 'transcription' of a familiar classic. Spanish-English libretto. Edwarda Gurrola (actress), Leonardo Villeda, Victor Hernández (tenors), Violeta Dávalos (soprano), Grace Echauri (mezzo), Coro del Magisterio, “Carlos Chávez” Youth Orchestra; Enríque Barrios.