Opera Hispánica Introduces Spanish-Language Opera to New York City Audiences

Opera Hispánica announced that it will devote its second season by paying tribute to the music of Daniel Catán who was praised by Fanfare for his “dramatic orchestration and melodic language”, in operas such as Florencia en el Amazonas and Il Postino (most recently seen on PBS starring Plácido Domingo).  Opera Hispánica will present a special concert honoring Catán on March 16, 2012 and the opera, La Hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter), which will be presented in New York City this summer. This opera will mark the first-ever fully staged production by the new company – whose mission is to promote operas that are inspired by the Latin American and Spanish cultures.

During a time when major opera companies across the country are closing their doors, Opera Hispánica has found a niche among the New York City public having already performed to packed houses such as The Heckscher Theater at El Museo del Barrio, Americas Society and Barnard College, during its 2010-2011 inaugural season. As the Hispanic and Latino population continues to grow, with Spanish as an essential language in America, Founding Executive Director Daniel Frost Hernández felt it was the perfect time to create an opera company that performed predominantly in Spanish. “Opera Hispánica’s mission is to present works that are either in the Spanish language, written by a Hispanic composer, and/or inspired by Latino topics.  Our goal is to offer all audiences an alternate choice of cultural entertainment and promote this important genre, which is of universal importance and interest.  These operas are not only meant for the Hispanic community but rather for the entire New York City community to enjoy”, says Hernández.

To further make its case, the company will present a new production of La Hija de Rappaccini, based on the American classic Rappaccini’s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and play by Octavio Paz. The production will serve as the New York City premiere of the newly orchestrated chamber version of the opera and will run three performances on June 14th, 15th & 16th.  Further enhancing its production value, Opera Hispánica has also brought on leading opera manager, Ken Benson – who served as Vice President of Columbia Artists Management, Inc. for twenty-five years – to help cast the opera.  The production will be directed by Beth Greenberg who has staged operas internationally and for New York City Opera for over twenty seasons. “I became involved with this production because the music and story are so compelling. It gives me great pride to see an innovative company like Opera Hispánica take the lead to ensure this repertory is heard by the public.”, says Greenberg. The nonprofit organization is currently increasing its fundraising efforts and is seeking donors and sponsors to help mount the production.

To kick off its season, Opera Hispáncia will present a one-night-only concert fundraiser titled, “Siempre Catán, Always Catán” on Friday, March 16, 2012 at the Lighthouse International featuring excerpts from several of Catán’s most popular operas including La Hija de Rappaccini. The acclaimed Argentinean soprano, Fabiana Bravo will, also, give a special performance singing excerpts from the new opera, Oh My Son by Spanish composer Marcos Galvany.

To learn more about Opera Hispánica’s mission and ticket information for “Siempre Catán, Always Catán” visit www.OperaHispanica.org