Long Beach Opera Celebrates Life Of ‘Frida’ In Upcoming Production

By David Salazar

Throughout her life, Frida Kahlo was a major artistic force whose impact remains to this day.

Long Beach Opera will celebrate her life in a new opera by Robert Xavier Rodríguez, entitled “Frida.” The performances on June 17, 18, 24, and 25, 2017, represent the work’s SoCal premiere. The opera itself has been described “like a mariachi group for which one has mixed mescaline in the tequila.”

Performances will take place at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. There will also be a showcase in downtown Los Angeles on June 23, 2017.

Taking on the title role will be Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella. As her husband, Diego Rivera, audiences will hear Venezuelan-American baritone Bernardo Bermudez.  Kristof Van Grysperre will lead the opera from the pit, while LBO’s Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek will design and direct.

“You learn much more about people by watching them not alone, but in conflict with others,” composer Rodríguez stated in a press release. “It’s that fascinating and unpredictable through-line of their relationship that drives the action. Frida sings as she lived—against the tide from the very first note.”

“Frida” marks the end of the company’s 2017 season, which kicked off on Jan. 22, 2017, with “The Fairy Queen.” Then came “The Perfect American” and “As One.”