Fort Worth Opera To World Premiere ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego’ For 2020

By Francisco Salazar

Fort Worth Opera is set to announce an intriguing world premiere.

The company stated that on August 24, 2017, it will formally announce the 2020 world premiere of “The Last Dream of Frida and Diego,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and Latin Grammy winner, pianist, and classical composer Gabriela Lena Frank.

The opera will be set in 1957 and opens in a cemetery, as Mexico celebrates the annual festival of El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The great muralist Diego Rivera walks among the worshipers as they prepare for the return of the spirits to the world, singing with joy and anticipation. Surrounded by sugar-coated skulls, candles, and fragrant marigold flowers, he longs to see his deceased lover Frida Kahlo once again before he passes on.

The creative process will be generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and service organization OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers to promote greater diversity in the creation of new operatic works.

The work will feature a Spanish libretto by the acclaimed author of “Anna in the Tropics” and will be unveiled during the company’s forth year of Noches de Ópera, concluding its historic, 10-year commitment to contemporary work, entitled Opera of the Americas.

The opera will be a co-commission with San Diego Opera, the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, and DePauw University. Finally, “The Last Dream of Frida and Diego” will be introduced to the world in Mexico City at the opulent concert hall and cultural arts center, Palacio de Bellas Artes.

FW Opera’s General Director Tuomas Hiltunen said, “I am honored to be joining the Fort Worth Opera in this exciting new era, as we collaborate with San Diego Opera, the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, and DePauw University to co-commission ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego.’ Kahlo and Rivera greatly influenced American art and visual artists, muralists, graphic designers, and sculptors. Their idiosyncratic style and commitment to social equality continue to inspire artists and art enthusiasts around the globe. This compelling new work, featuring Nilo Cruz’s haunting libretto set to music by one of the most innovative composers working today, Gabriela Lena Frank, perfectly embodies FWOpera’s commitment to community-driven storytelling and programming. We look forward to presenting the world premiere in 2020.”