Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reverend's Previews: Il Postino Delivers an Opera

When a shy young postman meets a famous poet-in-exile in a small Italian fishing village, a beautiful, inspirational friendship begins. So goes the plot of Il Postino (The Postman). It was first a 1985 novel, then an Academy Award-winning 1994 movie. Now, Il Postino is an opera that will be having its world premiere in Los Angeles September 23-October 16 courtesy of LA Opera.

The film was nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay, and won the Oscar for Best Music Score. Funny, dramatic and romantic, it was an unexpected foreign-language hit in the US and around the world. Acclaimed opera composer and librettist Daniel Catan saw Il Postino as the perfect subject for his next work.

“I realized, from the very first time I saw the film, that it was a suitable theme for an opera,” Catan says. “It deals with art and love: the foundations upon which we build our lives. Love is what makes us human, and art is our most sophisticated tool for achieving that humanity.”


World-renowned tenor and LA Opera General Director Placido Domingo will portray exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Il Postino. Domingo stated, “I am very excited to participate in the world premiere of an opera by one of today’s most important composers.” Catan and Domingo had spoken for several years about one day collaborating on a new work.

According to Catan, “Opera is one of the most complete art forms ever imagined, for it includes music and poetry.” It is little wonder, then, that so many gay men have been attracted to opera over the centuries, both as performers and as patrons.


Il Postino is the first production of LA Opera’s 25th anniversary season. Other, classic operas scheduled through Spring 2011 include Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Verdi’s Rigoletto and the ghost story The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.

All LA Opera productions are performed at the world-famous Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Individual tickets and subscriptions for the entire 2010/2011 season are available by phone at (213) 972-8001. Information is also available at their website.

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.

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