Monday, April 11, 2011

In Memoriam: Daniel Catán

Seattle Opera is very saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mexican composer Daniel Catán, whose Florencia en el Amazonas was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by major American opera companies. It was co-commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Seattle Opera, and was first performed here in Seattle in 1998, and again in 2005. When Speight Jenkins was asked in 2005 why he chose to bring back Florencia after only a few years, he replied: "The reason simply is that I have received more audience requests to bring back Florencia by letter, by chance encounters in the theater, and in my after-opera sessions than for any other opera."

Aside from that particular audience favorite, Catán composed several other pieces, including Il Postino--based on the life of Chilean author Pablo Neruda--which had its premiere this season at LA Opera. The Los Angeles Times has more information and LA Opera has posted a tribute page on its website.

Below, we present our own tribute to this very special composer and person.

For more information on Florencia and the last time it was performed here at Seattle Opera, click here.