NEA Grants San Diego Opera $25,000 Grant For ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego’

By David Salazar

The San Diego Opera has been awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the world premiere of the new opera “The Last Dream of Frida and Diego.”

Per a press release, the National Endowment of the Arts has awarded the company with $25,000 for the work, which is a  co-commission between San Diego Opera, Fort Worth Opera, DePauw University School of Music, and The University of Texas at Austin.

The work is set to world premiere at Fort Worth in April 2020 before heading out west to appear in San Diego during the 2019-20 season. “The Last Dream of Frida and Diego” is written by librettist Nilo Cruz with music by Gabriela Lena Frank. The work is set in 1957 during the Day of the Dead and sees Diego Rivera reunited with his beloved and deceased Friday Kahlo for just one day.

“The commission of ‘The Last Dream of Frida and Diego’ is important to San Diego Opera, both to demonstrate opera’s continued relevance to our community and to show that our company is committed to new visions of what opera can be in the 21st century,” stated David Bennett, San Diego Opera’s General Director, in the press release. “It also responds to San Diego’s growing Spanish-speaking population. One can reach Tijuana within 15 minutes from downtown, and we anticipate that a new opera in Spanish will attract not only attendees from San Diego County and beyond, but also from across the border. We have proven that diversifying our product attracts and serves new audiences and increases ticket revenue which is vital for the health of San Diego Opera.”