Fort Worth Opera To World Premiere ‘Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World’

By David Salazar

Fort Worth Opera has announced that it will be world premiering Joe Illick and Mark Campbell’s one-act children’s opera “Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World” on Nov. 16, 2019 at the Rose Marine Theater.

The new work will be directed by Octavio Cardenas. It will feature singers from Fort Worth Opera’s Lesley Resident and Studio Programs. This is the seventh world premiere for the company since 2007 and the first time that it ventures into newly commissioned operas for families and children.

The opera tells the story of Marianna, a young girl in Mexico City. Her family encourages her to go have her portrait painted by Frida Kahlo, but she is afraid of the idea as there are rumors of Frida as a frightening figure or even a witch. But what results is a friendship and Marianna learns of Friday’s dark secrets.

“The idea for ‘Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World’ came from our General Director Tuomas Hiltunen,” Illick, who is also FWO Artistic Director, told OperaWire. “He suggested the book as a basis for a family opera, and when Mark and I saw that the story was about empowering young women and the universal reach of art, we were thrilled to create the piece.”

This is Illick and Campbell’s first collaboration together.