David Henry Hwang’s 'Ainadamar' Featured in Met Opera’s 24-25 Season

Lillian Mottern
April 05, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera recently announced their 2024-2025 season, a lineup which will include Theatre Professor David Henry Hwang’s opera Ainadamar

Composed by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov with direction by Brazilian director and choreographer Deborah Colker, the Grammy Award-winning opera explores the storied life of gay Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, whose socialist politics and homosexuality led to his assassination by Fascist forces in 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil War. 

Hwang's libretto explores Lorca's life story through the memories of Catalan actress Margarita Xirgu, who was Lorca’s muse, played by Angel Blue and Gabriella Reyes. Lorca is portrayed by Daniela Mac in a trouser role, and Alfredo Tejada plays the facilitator of Lorca’s assassination, Falangist politician Ramón Ruiz Alonso. 

The opera originally premiered in 2003 at Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts, with its second iteration performed at the Santa Fe Opera in 2005. Since then, Ainadamar  has been performed in multiple countries and recently had its first UK production in 2022, led by Scottish Opera. The opera was most recently part of Detroit Opera’s 2022-2023 season.

Told in reverse through a series of flashbacks, the opera begins with Xirgu preparing to perform a role written for her by Lorca, which she’s spent her career doing. As the opera progresses, we learn more about Lorca’s life, his homosexuality, and eventual murder. The piece has elements of both an opera and a passion play.

Ainadamar runs from October 15 through November 9, 2024 at the Metropolitan Opera. More information is available here.

David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, Chinglish, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (revival, upcoming), Flower Drum Song and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang was a Spotlight Playwright at Signature Theatre, which produced a season of his plays, and M. Butterfly was revived on Broadway in 2017, directed by Julie Taymor. His newest musical, Soft Power, written with composer Jeanine Tesori, opened in 2019 at New York’s Public Theatre, where it received four Outer Critics Honors, eleven Drama Desk Nominations, a 2021 Grammy Nomination, and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Hwang has written fourteen opera libretti; Opera News called him America’s most-produced living opera librettist.