Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

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Composer Osvaldo Golijov, who was born in 1960 in Argentina, fuses the klezmer and Hebraic music of the home he grew up in, Piazzolla's tangos, and myriad other musical traditions. The results are original, organic, impossible to label, and immensely compelling. His one-act opera Ainadamar, or "Fountain of Tears," is set in 1936 in the place where Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca was murdered at the start of the Spanish civil war, and the main character is Margarita Xirgu, an actress who collaborated on several of Garcia Lorca's plays and is haunted by the thought that she might have saved him. It mixes, among other things, the seductive rhythms of flamenco, rumba, and jazz and, occasionally, prerecorded nonmusical sounds. This Chicago-area premiere will be performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert Spano, with Dawn Upshaw as Margarita. These musicians recently released an electrifying recording of the work, in which Upshaw is outstanding. Her upper register can be a little shrill at times, but usually her voice is entrancing, and the risks she takes are powerfully dramatic. Golijov has been called the "hottest classical composer on the planet," and this summer at Ravinia another of his works will be performed by Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which is also taking him on as one of two composers in residence. Wed 6/14, 8 PM, Ravinia Festival, pavilion, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $10-$30.

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