Before Night Falls
Music by Jorge Martín
Libretto by Jorge Martín and Dolores M. Koch, based on the memoir by Reinaldo Arenas

“[Before Night Falls] bursts with restless passion . . . a gripping tale of individual triumph over repressive brutality, vibrant, compelling characters [and] pulsing, illustrative music, the combination of which was more than enough for this listener and the wildly enthusiastic opening-night audience.” — Opera News

Based on the famous memoir of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls follows Arenas’s life from childhood poverty in the Cuban countryside to his emigration to the United States in the 1980 Mariel boatlift and his last decade suffering from AIDS in New York City. Disillusioned by the Cuban Revolution and persecuted by the Castro regime as a dissident writer and homosexual, the opera follows his trials and tribulations as a political prisoner forced to smuggle his manuscripts abroad for publication. In 2000, Before Night Falls was made into an award-winning feature film directed by Julian Schnabel and starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp.

Before Night Falls is a full-length opera in two acts scored for a full orchestra. The music is by Cuban-born composer Jorge Martín with a libretto by Mr. Martín and Dolores M. Koch. The musical style is melodic and richly textured, full of contrasts with some Cuban inflections along with a chorus of almost Verdian grandeur.

Before Night Falls world premiere, Fort Worth Opera 2010. The work was developed in AOP First Chance with continued development at Fort Worth Opera.
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