A new opera by Dutch composer and poet Micha Hamel, Caruso a Cuba is based on the novel ‘Como un mensajero tuyo’ by Cuban author Mayra Montero. The premiere is on March 3rd….
On the evening that the world famous tenor Enrico Caruso sang Aida in Havana, a bomb exploded in the theatre. He fled out into the street and straight into the arms of the Chinese-Cuban Aida Cheng. In his stage make-up and opera costume, the singer surely raised a few eyebrows. Aida Cheng’s stepfather, a powerful Afro-Cuban Lukumi priest – prophesied not only the explosion but also Aida Cheng’s love affair with Caruso and his untimely death. The story is exciting and rich in metaphors and references. Caruso and Aida are, of course, linked to Radamès and Aida from Verdi’s opera, but they are also incarnations of the ancient Yoruba gods Changó and Yemayá. There is a curse on the love between these two gods, who have been searching for centuries for earthly bodies to inhabit.
Hamel composed Caruso a Cuba as a chamber opera to be accompanied by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. There are eight singers who perform a total of fourteen roles. The colour of the chamber orchestra is enriched with synthesizers, sound effects, a detuned piano and an Aida trumpet.
Musical Director will be Otto Tausk and Stage Director Johannes Erath.
More in the NRC newspaper
Read ‘Micha Hamel on his opera Caruso a Cuba: ‘Caruso is trapped in his star status’ by Thea Derks