Category:Operas set in Mexico
Pages in category "Operas set in Mexico"
The following 13 pages are in this category, out of 13 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 13 pages are in this category, out of 13 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Opera – Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. In traditional opera, singers do two types of singing, recitative, a style and arias, a more melodic style. Opera incorporates many of the elements of theatre, such as acting, scenery. The performance is given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble. Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition, in the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his operas in the 1760s. The first third of the 19th century saw the point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti. It also saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer, the mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera, led and dominated by Richard Wagner in Germany and Giuseppe Verdi in Italy. The popularity of opera continued through the era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini. During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe, the 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism, Neoclassicism, and Minimalism. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso, since the invention of radio and television, operas were also performed on these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. In 2009, an opera company offered a download of a complete performance. The words of an opera are known as the libretto, some composers, notably Wagner, have written their own libretti, others have worked in close collaboration with their librettists, e. g. Mozart with Lorenzo Da Ponte. Vocal duets, trios and other ensembles often occur, and choruses are used to comment on the action, in some forms of opera, such as singspiel, opéra comique, operetta, and semi-opera, the recitative is mostly replaced by spoken dialogue. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occurring in the midst of, or instead of, the terminology of the various kinds of operatic voices is described in detail below. Over the 18th century, arias were accompanied by the orchestra. Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagners example, though some, the changing role of the orchestra in opera is described in more detail below
2. Aztec – The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries. The Nahuatl words aztecatl and aztecah mean people from Aztlan, a place for the Nahuatl-speaking culture of the time. Often the term Aztec refers exclusively to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, situated on an island in Lake Texcoco, who referred to themselves as Mēxihcah Tenochcah or Cōlhuah Mexihcah. From the 13th century, the Valley of Mexico was the heart of Aztec civilization, here the capital of the Aztec Triple Alliance, the Triple Alliance formed a tributary empire expanding its political hegemony far beyond the Valley of Mexico, conquering other city states throughout Mesoamerica. At its pinnacle, Aztec culture had rich and complex mythological and religious traditions, as well as achieving remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments. Subsequently, the Spanish founded the new settlement of Mexico City on the site of the ruined Aztec capital, the term extends to further ethnic groups associated with the Aztec empire such as the Acolhua and Tepanec and others that were incorporated into the empire. In older usage the term was used about modern Nahuatl speaking ethnic groups. In recent usage these ethnic groups are referred to as the Nahua peoples. Linguistically the term Aztecan is still used about the branch of the Uto-Aztecan languages that includes the Nahuatl language and its closest relatives Pochutec, to the Aztecs themselves the word aztec was not an endonym for any particular ethnic group. Rather it was a term used to refer to several ethnic groups, not all of them Nahuatl speaking. In the Nahuatl language aztecatl means person from Aztlan and this usage has been the subject of debate in more recent years, but the term Aztec is still more common. For the same reason the notion of Aztec civilization is best understood as a horizon of a general Mesoamerican civilization. Particular to the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan was the Mexica patron God Huitzilopochtli, twin pyramids, the Aztec Empire was a tribute empire based in Tenochtitlan that extended its power throughout Mesoamerica in the late postclassic period. Soon Texcoco and Tlacopan became junior partners in the alliance, which was de facto led by the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, the empire extended its power by a combination of trade and military conquest. The political clout of the empire reached far south into Mesoamerica conquering cities as far south as Chiapas and Guatemala, the Nahua peoples began to migrate into Mesoamerica from northern Mexico in the 6th century. They populated central Mexico, dislocating speakers of Oto-Manguean languages as they spread their influence south. As the former nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples mixed with the civilizations of Mesoamerica, adopting religious and cultural practices. During the Postclassic period they rose to power at such sites as Tula, in the 12th century the Nahua power center was in Azcapotzalco, from where the Tepanecs dominated the valley of Mexico
3. Viceroyalty of New Spain – New Spain was a colonial territory of the Spanish Empire, in the New World north of the Isthmus of Panama. It was established following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, after 1535 the colony was governed by the Viceroy of New Spain, an appointed minister of the King of Spain, who ruled as monarch over the colony. The capital of New Spain was Mexico City and it developed highly regional divisions, which reflect the impact of climate, topography, the presence or absence of dense indigenous populations, and the presence or absence of mineral resources. The areas of central and southern Mexico had dense indigenous populations with complex social, political, silver mining not only became the engine of the economy of New Spain, but vastly enriched Spain, and transformed the global economy. New Spain was the New World terminus of the Philippine trade, although New Spain was a dependency of Spain, it was a kingdom not a colony, subject to the presiding monarch on the Iberian Peninsula. Every privilege and position, economic political, or religious came from him and it was on this basis that the conquest, occupation, and government of the New World was achieved. The Viceroyalty of New Spain was established in 1535 in the Kingdom of New Spain and it was the first New World viceroyalty and one of only two in the Spanish empire until the 18th century Bourbon Reforms. The Spanish Empire comprised the territories in the north overseas Septentrion, from North America, to the west of the continent, New Spain also included the Spanish East Indies. To the east of the continent, it included the Spanish West Indies and this was not occupied by many Spanish settlers and were considered more marginal to Spanish interests than the most densely populated and lucrative areas of central Mexico. To shore up its claims in North America starting in the late 18th century, Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest explored and claimed the coast of what is now British Columbia and Alaska. The indigenous societies of Mesoamerica brought under Spanish control were of unprecedented complexity, the societies could provide the conquistadors, especially Hernán Cortés, a base from which the conquerors could become autonomous, or even independent, of the Crown. As a result, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, since the time of the Catholic Monarchs, central Iberia was governed through councils appointed by the monarch with particular jurisdictions. Thus, the creation of the Council of the Indies became another, the crown had set up the Casa de Contratación in 1503 to regulate contacts between Spain and its overseas possessions. A key function was to gather information about navigation to make trips less risky and they were accompanied by maps of the area discussed, many of which were drawn by indigenous artists. The Francisco Hernández Expedition, the first scientific expedition to the New World, was sent to gather information medicinal plants, an earlier Audiencia had been established in Santo Domingo in 1526 to deal with the Caribbean settlements. That Audiencia, housed in the Casa Reales in Santo Domingo, was charged with encouraging further exploration, management by the Audiencia, which was expected to make executive decisions as a body, proved unwieldy. Therefore, in 1535, King Charles V named Don Antonio de Mendoza as the first Viceroy of New Spain. After the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532 opened up the vast territories of South America to further conquests, the Crown established an independent Viceroyalty of Peru there in 1540
4. Azora, the Daughter of Montezuma – Azora, The Daughter of Montezuma is an opera in 3 acts by American composer Henry Kimball Hadley to a libretto in English by author David Stevens. The story takes place at the time of the conquest of the Aztecs by Cortez, the Tlascalan Prince Xalca and Ramatzin, General of Montezumas Army, vie for the hand of Montezumas daughter Azora, the former having prevailed, Montezuma condemns the lovers to death. In a scene set at dawn in a cavern, all gather by the stone, but before the execution can proceed Cortez and his priests appear. Although all members of the cast were promoted as young American singers, Lamont, there were further performances given the same season in Boston and St. Louis. The New York Times offered mostly praise for the fresh, young, powerful voices of the cast, only Goddard was out of voice, nonetheless, it deemed the setting appropriately atmospheric for the dramas purposes. After the performance, both Hadley and Stevens appeared for curtain calls, fitziu presented Hadley with a large silk American flag, and the representative audience of New York musicians and society folk joined in singing as the orchestra played The Star Spangled Banner
5. La Conquista (opera) – La Conquista is an opera in two acts by Lorenzo Ferrero set to a trilingual libretto by the composer and Frances Karttunen, based on a concept by Alessandro Baricco. It depicts the major episodes of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, the libretto is a blend of historical and literary sources drawn from transcriptions of indigenous and European literature, both kept, with some exceptions, in their original languages. The premiere directed by Nicholas Muni and conducted by Zbyněk Müller took place at the Prague National Theatre on 12 March 2005. Place, Cortés camp at Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz and Tenochtitlan Time, one day, the prayer of Emperor Moctezuma in the temple is interrupted by the entrance of a group of messengers who bring him the news of the Spanish landing on the Gulf coast. Moctezuma is visibly worried and asks the men to keep their knowledge secret, the Emperor makes an offering to the gods and a priest sprinkles the messengers with the blood of the victim, then they are sent back carrying a message and laden with gifts for the newcomers. Left alone, Moctezuma is scrutinizing the uncertain future, in contemporary Mexico City a woman called Marina has strange dreams of a distant past. She decides to confront these recurring nightmares, moctezumas emissaries arrive at the camp and lay out their presents before Cortés and his companions. The soldiers tie them up and frighten them by firing their guns in the air, Alvarado and Cortés argue about the priorities of the conquest, whether it should be a search for gold or the evangelization of indigenous peoples. When Cortés tries to force an Aztec to worship the cross, Father Olmedo advises against such violence, Cortés orders Alvarado to sink the ships, as a precaution against mutiny. While watching the ships burn Cortés laments that stepmother Spain ignores her true sons, during the fire Marina passes by and she and Cortés notice each other. She expresses conflicting thoughts and feelings about meeting this strange man, Cortés leads his troops inland towards Tenochtitlan. Act 2 The long-standing attempts to dissuade Cortés from coming to Tenochtitlan had failed, Moctezuma and Cortés meet on the Great Causeway leading into the capital. Coming from opposite sides in a long and complex ceremony the cortège of Moctezuma, the Emperor dresses Cortés with flowers from his own gardens, the highest honour he could give. In turn, Cortés attempts to him but is restrained by a courtier. Marina is at the time inside and outside the picture. She pantomimes the translating of the conversation while her offstage voice describes the scene, finally Moctezuma invites the Spaniards into the city. In the absence of Cortés, taking advantage of the ceremonies of the Aztecs in the Great Temple, Alvarado. Cortés, away, thinks, writes, prays, but cannot decide upon the final act, news about the massacre reaches him and he returns to Tenochtitlan
6. Fernand Cortez – Fernand Cortez, ou La conquête du Mexique is an opéra in three acts by Gaspare Spontini with a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Joseph-Alphonse d’Esmenard. It was first performed on 28 November 1809 by the Académie Impériale de Musique at the Salle Montansier, the opera was originally intended as political propaganda to support the Emperor Napoleons invasion of Spain in 1808. Cortez symbolises Napoleon while the bloodthirsty Aztec priests are meant to represent the Spanish Inquisition, the emperor himself is said to have suggested the theme of the opera to Spontini and the premiere was held in his presence. The popularity of the piece declined with the waning of the French armys fortunes in Spain, the 1809 premiere was famous for its spectacular effects, including the appearance of 17 live horses on stage. Critics complained about the harmony and the loudness of the music. The richness of the staging, extensive use of dance and the treatment of an historical subject make Spontinis work the precursor of French Grand Opera and it was greatly admired by Hector Berlioz. Spontini substantially revised the opera for a revival in Paris on 28 May 1817, two further revisions were made for performances in Berlin in 1824 and 1832. This is based on the version of 1809. The opera is based on the story of the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, at the beginning of the opera, Cortez persuades his mutinous troops not to embark for home. His brother, Alvaro, is a prisoner of the Aztecs and Cortez is also in love with the Aztec princess, amazilys brother, Télasco, arrives and tells the Spaniards to leave Mexico. Cortez responds by setting fire to his own ships, the Spaniards advance on the Aztec temple with Télasco their prisoner. Télasco accuses his sister Amazily of being a traitor and the Aztecs threaten to behead her if Alvaro is not returned to them, Amazily decides to sacrifice herself and hands herself over to the Aztecs. Cortez orders his men to attack the temple, in the temple, the priests prepare to sacrifice Alvaro when Amazily arrives. An oracle from the god announces that he wants the blood of his enemies, news arrives that the Aztec emperor Montezuma has been captured by the Spaniards. The high priest decides to go ahead with the sacrifice of Amazily, the Spaniards arrive just in time to save her. Amazily and Cortez are united in marriage, de Jouy et Esmenard, Mise en Musique et Dédiée à Son Excellence Monsieur le Comte de Pradel. Par G. Spontini, Paris, Hanry, ca 1817 Holden, Amanda, The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York, Penguin Putnam,2001. ISBN 0-14-029312-4 Del Teatro Amadeus Online Other sources Faul, Michel, Les aventures militaires, littéraires et autres dEtienne de Jouy, Editions Seguier, France,2009
7. Guatimotzin – Guatimotzin is an opera in one act and nine scenes composed by Aniceto Ortega del Villar to a libretto in Spanish by José Tomás de Cuéllar. It premiered on 13 September 1871 at the Gran Teatro Nacional in Mexico City, described as an episodio musical, its plot is based on the defense of Mexico by its last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc. It was one of the earliest Mexican operas to use a native subject, Aniceto Ortega, who was also a prominent physician and surgeon, worked on the composition in his free time between patients and late at night. His references to music can be seen especially in the dances Tlaxcalteca. His fictional works often had an element and dealt with themes from native Mexican culture. When de Cuéllar became ill at one point, Ortega also worked on parts of the libretto, guatimotzin premiered on 13 September 1871 at the Gran Teatro Nacional in Mexico City. It was performed as a benefit for the conductor, Enrico Moderati, the sets and costumes were designed by Riccardo Fontana, based on drawings in the Mendoza Codex and advice from prominent historians. According to the art historian, Christopher Fulton, the premiere was its sole performance. However, its staging may have influenced the depiction of Cuauhtémocs torture, princess Malintzin created by Ángela Peralta Cuauhtémoc created by Enrico Tamberlik Hernán Cortés created by Louis Gassier Bonaparte, Roland, Le Mexique au début du 20e siècle, C. ISBN 968-6038-72-8 Grout, Donald Jay and Williams, Hermine Weigel, A short history of opera, ISBN 0-231-11958-5 International Musicological Society, Report of the International Musicological Society Congress, Vol.1, Bärenreiter,1993 Price, Curtis Alexander et al. Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-century London, The Kings Theatre, Haymarket, 1778-1791, velázquez, Guillermo Orta, Breve historia de la música en México, Librería de M. Porrúa,1971 Werner, Michael S. Concise encyclopedia of Mexico, Taylor & Francis,2001
8. Montezuma (Graun) – Montezuma is an opera seria in three acts by the German composer Carl Heinrich Graun. The libretto was written in French by Grauns patron, Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia, the works plot concerns Hernán Cortéss conquest of Mexico and the defeat of the Aztec emperor Montezuma. Itwas first performed at the Königliches Opernhaus in Berlin on 6 January 1755, the title role was originally performed by a castrato, but today is performed by either a male countertenor or a female mezzo-soprano. The seven roles are Erissena, Eupaforice, Montezuma, Tezeuco, Pilpatoè, john Minor conducted, with scenery by William Fregosi. Montezuma was performed in Montpellier in 1990 and in Edinburgh and Madrid in 2010, the first studio recording of the complete opera was made in 1991 and released on the Capriccio label. It was conducted by Johannes Goritzki, another complete recording had been made live the previous year in Montpellier and broadcast by Radio France. One of the 2010 Madrid performances was recorded, too, and later broadcast by Czech Radio and possibly other broadcasters
9. Motezuma – Motezuma is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi with an Italian libretto by Alvise Giusti. The libretto is loosely based on the life of the Aztec ruler Montezuma who died in 1520. The first performance was given in the Teatro SantAngelo in Venice on 14 November 1733, the music was thought to have been lost, but was discovered in 2002 in the archive of the music library of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. Its first fully staged performance in modern times took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, vivaldis librettist was the Venetian lawyer Girolamo Giusti. His libretto was a fictionalised account of an episode in the life of the Aztec ruler Montezuma. The opera has an ending, unlike the real Montezuma who was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The opera, which premiered on 14 November 1733 at the Teatro SantAngelo in Venice, was one of the earliest to be based on a subject from the Americas. According to Michael Talbot in The Vivaldi Compendium, for its time Giustis libretto evinces a degree of sympathy for the Mexican emperor. At the premiere the role of Mirena was sung by Anna Girò, who was a protégée of Vivaldi, the title role was sung by the German bass Massimiliano Miler. Unusually for Vivaldi who preferred castrato singers with contralto voices, he wrote two roles for soprano castrati—Fernando and Asperano, the Mexican general, the choreographer at the premiere was Giovanni Gallo. The sets were designed by Antonio Mauro, although the libretto printed at the time of the premiere survived, the music was thought to have been lost until it was rediscovered in 2002. After World War II, the Sing-Akademies library was captured by the Red Army and taken to the Soviet Union, eventually ending up in Kiev, following the restitution of the Sing-Akademie collection to Germany, the fragmentary score of Motezuma was identified by the musicologist Steffen Voss. Musicologists began working on reconstructing a version suitable for performance, the Sing-Akademie then asserted that they had a publication right, including derivative rights such as performing rights, to the opera. A concert version of the opera, apparently the first performance since the 18th century, was performed on 11 June 2005 in the Concert Hall De Doelen in Rotterdam conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli. On 18 July 2005, a version of Motezuma was to have performed by the Opera Barga Festival in Italy. The Rotterdam performance had gone ahead only after a payment to the Sing-Akademie. However, the Barga performance was halted by an injunction, with a potential €250,000 penalty for non-compliance, the reason given was that German law offers copyright protection to entities such as the Sing-Akademie that publish previously inaccessible works. Because the injunction was issued one week before the date of the Barga performance, the Motezuma libretto recitatives were spoken, and other Vivaldi arias sung between them
10. Tata Vasco (opera) – Tata Vasco is an opera in five scenes composed by Miguel Bernal Jiménez to a Spanish libretto with nationalistic and devoutly Roman Catholic themes by the Mexican priest and poet, Manuel Muñoz. It premiered in Pátzcuaro, Mexico on 15 February 1941, the opera is based on the life of Vasco de Quiroga, the first Bishop of Michoacán and known to the Indians of the region as Tata Vasco. Considered one of Bernal Jiménezs most emblematic scores, the music incorporates native melodies, dances, described as a drama sinfónico, Tata Vasco was the first and only opera by Bernal Jiménez and composed when he was 30 years old. The world premiere was planned for 1940 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City but was postponed due to fears that it would provoke religious controversy. Instead, it premiered on 15 February 1941 in a performance conducted by the composer in the ruins of the Franciscan monastery chapel in Pátzcuaro. The opera had its Mexico City premiere at the Teatro Arbeu on 15 March 1941 and it was performed in 1943 at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara and in 1948 had its Spanish premiere, when at the invitation of General Franco, a reduced oratorio version was performed in Madrid. Part of Spains commemorations for the 400th anniversary of the death of Hernán Cortés, the Madrid performance met with considerable success. On 29 September 1949, eight years after its premiere, Tata Vasco was finally staged at the Palacio de Bellas Artes where it was given a run of two performances, both conducted by the composer. The opera was revived there in 1975,1992, and in 2006 to mark the 50th anniversary of the composers death, Vasco de Quiroga, baritone – Gilberto Cerda Coyuva, soprano – Leonor Caden Ticátame, tenor – Ricardo C. At night in a forest where the Purépecha kings are buried and they have sworn revenge for the death of their king who was burnt at the stake by the Spanish conquistador, Nuño de Guzmán. Princess Coyuva, the daughter, arrives bearing his ashes. Her betrothed, Prince Ticátame, expresses his hatred for the Spanish, Coyuva, who has become a Christian, tells him to forgive his enemies and to follow the teachings of Tata Vasco, Don Vasco de Quiroga, a priest and the Spanish judge for the territory. When Ticátame is persuaded by Coyuvas words, Petámuti tries to kill him, in a fury, Petámuti curses the young lovers. In the sacristy of the Franciscan church in Tzintzuntzan, Indian children play while waiting for their lesson, a jovial friar arrives and after the lesson tells the children a story and asks them to sing like minstrels. Don Vasco assures them of his desire to help them and urges them to give up nomadic life and polygamy, Ticátame and Coyuva then arrive for an audience and ask Vasco to marry them in a Christian ceremony. At dawn in the courtyard of the Franciscan church, Indians can be heard singing as they work in the fields and they then come to the courtyard bringing gifts. Vasco and his entourage arrive for the wedding of Ticátame and Coyuva, before entering the church, he speaks to the couple about the sacrament of marriage and they promise to be faithful to each other. The doors of the church swing open and a choir is heard singing, as the wedding party are about to enter the church, the sorcer Petámuti arrives, dagger in hand, to murder Ticátame and Coyuva