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Onstage: Ainadamar

By Anne Arenstein · July 7th, 2009 · CityBeat Recommends
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Ainadamar is an old well located north of Granada. The name is Arabic for Fountain of Tears, and it was there that Spain’s preeminent poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca was murdered by Falangists in August 1936. Less than a decade earlier, Lorca eerily foretold his death in his play about Mariana Pineda, the Spanish national heroine whose political activities led to her execution in 1831. The title role was performed by Margarita Xingu, Lorca’s close friend and artistic collaborator who devoted herself to staging Lorca’s works until her death in 1969.

Lorca and his death are at the core of Osvaldo Gulijov’s opera Ainadamar, but it is Margarita who weaves the stories together as she stands in the wings of a theater in Montevideo waiting to play Mariana one last time. Ainadamar doesn’t try to explain why Lorca was murdered. Lorca was a gay man, an artist envied for his talent and success. Such a man would not be tolerated in Franco’s Spain. But even as Spain retreated into a dark age, the self-exiled Margarita Xirgu kept Lorca’s words vividly alive.

Ainadamar will be performed by Cincinnati Opera at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at Music Hall. $26-$152.

Read Anne Arenstein's preview of Ainadamar and get tickets here.

 
 
 
 

 

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