MARCELA RODRÍGUEZ (b.1951): Cartas de Frida (Chamber Opera).
Catalogue Number: 08S053
Description: Sometimes it almost seems that the great Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is better known for works of art about her than her actual powerful, hard-hitting, often disturbing paintings. So, here we go again, this time in an opera every word of which (apart from a poem which she copied into her diary) is taken from her own writings - letters, diary entries - which in their own way are as nakedly revealing about her pained, tortured, self-doubting yet adventurous-minded character as her obsessive, melancholy, wounded self-portraits. Rodríguez' score skillfully suggests the characteristics of Kahlo's visual style by combining confrontational post-modernism, obsessive non-process repetitive post-minimalism - much of the music is like this - and naïve folk art and motifs in Mexican folk music-derived material. The nature of the writings is reflected in the music; we find her complaining about André Breton and the Surrealists in different voices surreally commenting on each other; attempting Futurist poetry in amplified and distorted timbres; describing or discussing her work in a combination of idioms that reflect the paintings' styles, atmospheres and meanings, and finally summing up her life and bidding it farewell in soaring, emotionally direct arias of Romantic eloquence. Spanish-English texts. Catalina Pereda (mezzo), chamber ensemble; Christian Gohmer.