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On 3 June 2007, Los Angeles Opera presented Federico Moreno Torroba's Luisa Fernanda in a lively performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. The libretto for this zarzuela is by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw who produced versions of works by Goethe, Schiller and Rostand for the Spanish stage as well as lyrics for Zarzuelas. Both the music and the text are worthy of more performances than they are given these days.

Placido Domingo as Vidal Hernando and Daniel Montenegro as Anibal in 'Luisa Fernanda'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Placido Domingo as Vidal Hernando and Daniel Montenegro as Anibal in 'Luisa Fernanda'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

Making her Los Angeles Opera début at this première performance was Yali Marie Williiams who substituted for the indisposed Maria José Montiel. Williams' Luisa was a honey-voiced village girl who came close to matching super star Placido Domingo in romantic fervor and vocal power. On this evening, Domingo played a role which his father had often played, that of Vidal Hernando who steps aside so that Luisa can marry a younger lover. His rendition of the character's melodic music was enthralling and his interpretation will be remembered for years to come.

Elena de la Merced as Carolina and Antonio Gandia as Javier. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Elena de la Merced as Carolina and Antonio Gandia as Javier. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

 

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Copyright © 22 July 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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