Ainadamar means “fountain of tears” in Arabic. It’s a real fountain that witnessed beautiful harmony in the 12th century; it’s a fountain to which Arab poets quoted by Federico Garcia Lorca wrote poems to the beauty, to the peace, to the inspiration, that fountain provided to people, when these three cultures coexisted in the soul of Spain: the Moslem, the Jewish and the Christian. And it’s a fountain that –eight centuries later – witnessed the murder of this great poet, so that’s why we called it “fountain of tears”. It’s a fountain that is the witness of harmony and the witness of barbarity. (Osvaldo Golijov)
As revised, the large proscenium stage of the Terrace is draped in white fabric through most of the performance, the better to display the partially improvised "real time" video projections of Frieder Weiss. At the center, a small playing area contains a chair where Margarita Xirgu speaks of the poet one last time. The 8-woman chorus rises and falls, Rhinemaidenlike, from the pit. (The large orchestra, conducted by Stephen Osgood, is secreted at the rear of the stage, unseen until time for curtain calls.) García Lorca's final days play out around the remaining stage space.
In the closing minutes, as Xirgu leaves the material world behind, the dead poet pulls down the the fabric at the rear of the playing area to reveal a Paradisal vista of gently glowing chandeliers.–– A Fool in the Forest
Long Beach Opera presents stunning production of Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ainadamar”. This “Ainadamar” was a moving, beautiful experience.
Smart direction and production design by Mitisek, the company's man-of-all-trades, offered one startling tableau after another. Having Lorca crowd-surf on a sea of dead partisans was brilliant, if grotesque. An aesthetic and musical success, offering a strong artistic vision and sound execution throughout. More to the point, it illustrated in stark relief the clearly defined role LBO plays in the Southern California cultural landscape.
Conductor: Steven R. Osgood
Director/Production Designer: Andreas Mitisek
Choreographer: Nannette Brodie
Video Designer: Frieder Weiss
Lighting Designer: Dan Weingarten
Sound Designer: Bob Christian
Chorus Master/Assistant Conductor: Benjamin Makino
Margarita Xirgu: Suzan Hanson
Federico Garcia Lorca: Peabody Southwell
Nuria: Ani Maldjian
José Tripaldi: Nicholas Shelton
Maestro: Roberto Perlas Gomez
Torero: John Atkins