The University of Texas at Austin's Butler Opera Center premiered the chamber version of Daniel Catán's opera La Hija de Rappaccini
. Robert D. Simone directed; performances ran from February 25 through March 6, 2011.
The new scoring for two pianos, two percussion, and harp accompanies the cast of soprano, mezzo, 2 tenors, baritone, and 3 offstage female voices.
Catán's setting of La Hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter)
is based on the Nathaniel Hawthorne story and retold by Nobel Prize-winning Mexican author Octavio Paz. Set during the Italian Renaissance, La Hija de Rappaccini
is a multi-layered story that deals not only with the scientific struggle of good and evil, but also with the blurring gray lines created as both good and evil merge.
"The Butler Opera Center is honored to present the world premiere of the new chamber orchestration of Daniel Catán's extraordinary opera La Hija de Rappaccini
. For the first time the opera is accessible to all performing venues. Amazingly the two pianos, harp and percussion ensemble enhances the chamber quality of the opera, story and characters. While a more intimate sound has been achieved, all the color, inventiveness and theatrical integrity of the original score remains. The new orchestration is a tonal feast and a natural in any setting."
Robert DeSimone, Director, Butler Opera Center, University of Texas Butler School of Music, www.music.utexas.edu
Photo: set design by Richard M. Isackes