Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pulse of Ainadamar, an astonishing explosion of love, loss, poetry, music, dance, war and the power of memory.
Ainadamar (Arabic for ‘Fountain of Tears’) brilliantly reimagines the life of Spanish poet, playwright, and national icon Federico García Lorca, whose politics and sexuality led to his brutal execution by facists during the Spanish Civil War. His story comes to life with startling beauty in this electrifying show.
Osvaldo Golijov’s cinematic, Grammy-award winning score grabs you from the very first beat – weaving together influences from around the world in a mesmerizing mixture of opera and the traditional song and dance of Andalusia, including flamenco and rumba rhythms.
Olivier Award-winning choreographer and director Deborah Colker, renowned for her work with Cirque du Soleil and for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, makes her hotly anticipated opera debut, bringing her signature grit, energy and passion to the stage.
‘Golijov’s masterpiece, destined to be among the great musical achievements of our time.’
— Pierre Ruhe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Deborah Colker on helping Scottish Opera embrace the spirit of flamenco for Ainadamar – The Scotsman
‘It’s a simultaneous hit on all the senses, combining the noble passions of opera with the instant-fix adrenaline of a West End musical.’ – The Scotsman
Ainadamar is a ‘triumph. Much of that comes down to Golijov’s foot-tapping, shoulder swaying music… the score is full of flamenco rhythms and Spanish dances that crackle irresistibly with energy.’ – The Times and The Sunday Times
‘This darkly compelling work is a visual feast – The Stage
*DETROIT OPERA PREMIERE*
Music: Osvaldo Golijov
Libretto: David Henry Hwang
Performed in Spanish with English Titles
Run Time: 1 hour 20 minutes with no intermission
Stage Director: Deborah Colker
Conductor: Paolo Bortolameolli
Set & Costume Designer: Jon Bauser
Projection Designer: Tal Rosner
Lighting Designer: Paul Keogan
A Co-Production of Detroit Opera, Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera.
Federico Garcia Lorca
Deborah Colker trained in classical piano and volleyball before dance. In 1979, she joined the contemporary dance group Coringa in Rio de Janeiro. These years forged her interest in working with professionals from different backgrounds and creating dance that synthesizes art and everyday life. In 1984, she began specializing in devising movement for scenic and visual arts. She worked on over forty plays including A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Werner Herzog. Deborah’s work resists homogeneity and embraces diversity. When founding the Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker in1994, she gathered a troupe of two classical dancers, three contemporary dancers, a break-dance champion, an Olympic gymnast, a model, and an actress. The company won the 2001 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and has performed across four different continents. Deborah became the first woman to create and direct a show for Cirque du Soleil with Ovo (2009). She was the movement director of the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony, commanding over 3000 people. Deborah won the 2018 Prix Benois de la Danse for Cão Sem Plumas. Her newest work, Cura, is currently touring Brazil.
Paolo Bortolameolli is Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional Esperanza Azteca (México) and Principal Guest Conductor of Filarmónica de Santiago (Chile). Having conducted every significant orchestra in his Chilean homeland, Paolo has regular conducting relationships across Latin and North America, Europe and Asia. His recent activity has included return engagements in Poland with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, in Italy with the Orchestra Haydn, in Venezuela with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolivar and in the United States with the San Francisco Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Charlotte Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.Paolo’s relationship with the LA Philharmonic continues through 2022, where he will conduct concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. Having conducted subscription concerts every season since his arrival in LA, past notable performances include a landmark new production of Meredith Monk’s inventive opera, ATLAS, performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2019.Paolo brings his insatiable artistic curiosity to his varied operatic work. Upcoming projects include appearances at the Opera de Paris for performances of “Tosca”, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu for “Die Zauberflöte”, as well as in Chile for concerts with the Filarmónica de Santiago of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. He will also make his debut with Detroit Opera in Golijov’s “Ainadamar”.Paolo is passionately committed to new music and audiences. Recent new commissions include the world premiere of Miguel Farías’s Estallido with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which was dedicated to Paolo. He is currently Artistic Director of the Esperanza Azteca National Symphony Orchestra as part of an educational residency run by the Fundación Azteca de Grupo Salinas in Mexico. Paolo has also developed innovative projects such as “Ponle Pausa”, a project that seeks to rethink the concept of music education through the implementation of short videos and concerts targeting social network users. In 2018, he was a guest-lecturer for a TED Talk in New York and in 2020, he released his first book: RUBATO Procesos musicales y una playlist personal.Paolo holds a Master of Music degree (Yale School of Music, 2013), a Graduate Performance Diploma (Peabody Institute, 2015), a Piano Performance Diploma(Universidad Católica de Chile, 2006), and a Conducting Diploma (Universidad de Chile, 2011).
With a voice described as “lusciously-colored” by Opera News and chosen as one of WQXR’s ’20 for 20’ Artists to Watch, soprano Gabriella Reyes is a rising star on the operatic stage. A former member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, Gabriella returns to the Met in the 2021/22 season as both Liu Turandot and Musetta La Boheme. She also makes her Paris Opera debut, appearing as Cio-Cio San Seven Deaths of Maria Callas before debuting with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Rosalba Florencia en los Amazonas, and with Glyndebourne this summer for her role debut as Mimi La bohème. In concert. she appears with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Marzelline Fidelio and Musetta with the Jacksonville Symphony.
Highlights of previous seasons include the roles of Liù Turandot, First Lady The Magic Flute, Nella Gianna Schicchi and the High Priestess Aida for the Metropolitan Opera, the latter of which was described as “hair-raising” by the New York Classical Review. Gabriella also made her highly acclaimed Santa Fe Opera debut in the summer of 2019 as Musetta La bohème. In concert, previous seasons also include appearances in Die Zauberflöte (excerpts) and Bachianas Brasileiras with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel, alongside appearances as a soloist with the New York Choral Society, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She also appeared with the Montclair Orchestra and David Chan in Behzad Ranjbaran’s Songs of Eternity and with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in a programme of Mozart.
In the 2022/23 season, Gabriella will return to The Metropolitan Opera to perform as Rosalba Florencia en los Amazonas before making her Dresden Semperoper debut as Musetta La bohème. Further to this, she will appear with the San Francisco Symphony for a series of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Concerts before making debuts with Detroit Opera as Margarita Xirgu Ainadamar, and with Washington National Opera as Mimi La Boheme.
A 2019 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist (Metropolitan Opera), she was a recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation in 2018 and was also a grand finalist in the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory.
Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez, winner of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, recently completed a four-year residency at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she has been heard as Mimì in La bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Violetta in La traviata.
This season Ms. Vasquez makes her debut at the Paris Opera singing Liu in Turandot. She also performs for the first time at Seattle Opera as Mimi in La bohème. She returns to The Santa Fe Opera to sing the Countess in a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Her additional return engagements include Washington National Opera and Arizona Opera to sing her first performances of Micaëla in Carmen.
In the 2019-2020 season, Vanesa Vasquez made her debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the role of Liù in Turandot, and with Washington National Opera singing her first performances of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Previously, she debuted with Arizona Opera as Violetta in La traviata, and with The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia, both as Mimi in La bohème.
She made her professional opera debut in summer 2017 as Liù in Turandot with Des Moines Metro Opera. With Oberlin in Italy, she performed Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s cantata Nach dir,Herr, verlanget mich and with the New York Choral Society in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and she was soprano soloist in Honneger’s King David and Poulenc’s Gloria with Voices of Ascension. She was a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the Academy of Music 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball.
Federico Garcia Lorca
Daniela Mack delivers a fiery Rosina in a punchy, vibrant mezzo that’s deeply satisfying.
Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack has been acclaimed for her “caramel timbre, flickering vibrato, and crisp articulation” (Opernwelt) as she “hurls fast notes like a Teresa Berganza or a Frederica von Stade” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Recently Daniela created the role of Elizabeth Cree in the world premiere of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Elizabeth Cree at Opera Philadelphia and returned for Carmen. She returned to the Washington National Opera as Bradamante in Alcina, and debuted at the Seattle Opera as Berlioz’s Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict.
Emerging from darkness, the mythic world of Federico García Lorca comes into being. The sound of horses on the wind, the endless flow of the fountain of tears (“Ainadamar”), the trumpet call of wounded freedom, and the aspiration and determination that have been denied generation after generation echo across the hills.
First Image: Mariana
Teatro Solís, Montevideo, Uruguay, April 1969. The voices of little girls sing the opening ballad of Lorca’s play Mariana Pineda. The actress Margarita Xirgu looks back across 40 years since she gave the premiere of this daring play by a brilliant young author. In the last minutes of her life, she tries to convey to her brilliant young student Nuria the fire, the passion, and the hope of her generation that gave birth to the Spanish Republic. She flashes back to her first meeting with Lorca in a bar in Madrid.
Lorca tells her that the freedom in his play is not only political freedom, and sings a rhapsodic aria that opens the world of imagination, a world inspired by the sight of the statue of Mariana Pineda that he saw as a child in Granada. Mariana was martyred in 1831 for sewing a revolutionary flag and refusing to reveal the names of the revolutionary leaders, including her lover. Her lover deserted her, and she wrote a serenely composed final letter to her children explaining her need to die with dignity.
Margarita reflects on the parallel fates of Mariana and Federico. The reverie is shattered by the call of Ramón Ruiz Alonso, the Falangist who arrested and executed Lorca in August 1936.
Second Image: Federico
The ballad of Mariana Pineda sounds again, taking Margarita back to the summer of 1936, the last time she saw Federico. The young Spanish Republic is under attack: the rising of the right wing generals has begun, there are daily strikes and massacres. Margarita’s theatre company is embarking on a tour of Cuba. She begs Federico to come. He decides to go home to Granada instead, to work on new plays and poetry.
No one knows the details of Lorca’s murder. Margarita has a vision of his final hour: the opportunist Ruiz Alonso arresting Lorca in Granada and leading him to the solitary place of execution, Ainadamar, the fountain of tears, together with a bullfighter and a teacher. The three of them are made to confess their sins. Then they are shot. 2137 people were murdered in Granada between 26 July 1936 and 1 March 1939. The death of Lorca was an early signal to the world.
Third Image: Margarita
For the third time we hear the ballad of Mariana Pineda. One more time the play is about to begin, the story retold for the generation of Margarita’s Latin American students. Margarita knows she is dying. She cannot make her entrance, others must go on. As her heart gives way, she tells Nuria that an actor lives for a moment, that the individual voice is silenced, but that the hope of a people will not die. The Fascists have ruled Spain for more than 30 years. Franco has never permitted Margarita Xirgu, the image of freedom, to set foot on Spanish soil. Margarita has kept the plays of Lorca alive in Latin America while they were forbidden in Spain.
The spirit of Lorca enters the room. He takes Margarita’s hand, and he takes Nuria’s hand. Together they enter a blazing sunset of delirious, visionary transformation. Margarita dies, offering her life to Mariana Pineda’s final lines: “I am freedom.” Her courage, her clarity, and her humanity are passed on to Nuria, her students, and the generations that follow. She sings “I am the source, the fountain from which you drink.” We drink deeply.