Under the baton of Placido Domingo, acclaimed Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s short story “Una Venganza” (“An Act of Vengeance”) emerges from the printed page as the opera “Dulce Rosa,” a production with a Latin heart and Greek tragedy in its soul that premieres Friday in Los Angeles.
“Dulce Rosa” is a further effort by the L.A. Opera, directed by Domingo, to bring lyric opera to a wider audience.
“We’re always looking to create new works,” the Spanish tenor told Efe.
Domingo got behind the adaptation of “Una Venganza” when the idea was proposed to him by composer Lee Holdridge and librettist Richard Sparks, to whom Allende gave the go-ahead years ago without really expecting anything to come of it, she told Efe.
“It finally emerged, to my surprise,” the author of “The House of the Spirits” said, adding that she often receives requests from artists to stage her stories but “only about 10 percent are used as proposed, the rest get lost somewhere along the way.”
Allende, who will attend Friday’s premiere, chose to remain on the sidelines of the project and leave the work “to people who know the field.”
“Dulce Rosa” relates the traumatic experience of young Rosa Orellano, played by Uruguayan soprano Maria Antunez, who, after a political uprising takes the life of her father, a powerful senator of a Latin American country, is raped by a guerrilla with whom she will later attempt to settle scores.
The opera is in English, though Domingo said he plans its translation into the language of Cervantes in order to export the production to Spanish-speaking countries.
“There are some contacts with the Miami Opera, and I believe with the Santiago Opera in Chile. I also want it to be a work that can be produced with young singers. I would love to take it to Valencia (Spain) and it will almost certainly go to Washington,” the tenor said.