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Final Ainadamar is Thrilling

February 19, 2013

Final scene, with Marnie Breckenridge as Margarita Xirgu Photo by Steve Barto No previous Opera Parallèle — or really any other recent production by a small company I can think of — had the all-around excellence of the last performance of Ainadamar on Sunday afternoon at the Yerba Buena Center.

But for the backdrop projection of a building that kept moving (please don't tell me it was intentional!), everything was impressively right, terrific really, especially if you're a fan of Osvaldo Goijov. I've been, ever since his 2000 La Pasión Según San Marcos. In Ainadamar, as in his other works, the fascinating mix of Hispanic, Arab, and Jewish influences works extraordinarily well.

The intensity and relentless tragedy of the memory of Lorca's execution at the "fountain of tears" is hard to take, but the musicbrings catharsis. The silence following the final curtain, and the subsequent ovation were both telling and in the right. 

Adding to Georgia Rowe's review of the vocal-musical splendor, the production team headed by stage director Brian Staufenbiel well deserves acknowledgment, especially Matthew Antaky, scenic and lighting design (kudos on both accounts), and Christine Crook, costume design.

From a small company such a big, spectacular and successful production is something to treasure.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].