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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
The Ransom of Red Chief
Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Robert Xavier Rodríguez was born on 28 June 1946 in San Antonio, Texas, where he received his earliest training in piano and harmony. Subsequent musical education included study in composition with Hunter Johnson, Halsey Stevens, Jacob Druckman, and Nadia Boulanger. He gained international recognition in 1971 when awarded the Prix de Composition Musicale Prince Pierre de Monaco by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace at the Palais Princier in Monte Carlo. Other honors include the Prix Lili Boulanger, a Guggenheim Fellowship, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, and the Goddard Lieberson Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Rodríguez's music embraces all genres and often combines Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque techniques with ethnic and contemporary materials. He has had particular success with his seven operas. His most recent opera, Frida, based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, has enjoyed successful runs at the American Music Theatre Festival, The American Repertory Theatre in Boston, the Brooklyn Academy's Next Wave Festival, and the Houston Grand Opera. John Rockwell of The New York Times termed Frida, "the best opera/musical theater of 1991...a fascinating, magically engrossing evening...Mr. Rodríguez's music is genuinely original and genuinely accessible, a neat combination not that often achieved." Rodríguez's charming children's opera Monkey See, Monkey Do has had more than 1,000 performances since its premiere in 1986, making it one of the most often performed contemporary American operas in the repertory. The ensemble Voices of Change received a 1999 Grammy nomination in the Best Small Ensemble Performance category for the Rodríguez work Les Niaïs Amoureux.

Rodríguez's orchestral music also encompasses wide-ranging styles, from challenging works for large orchestra such as Oktoechos and Favola Boccaccesca to ballets such as Estampie and The Seven Deadly Sins to music for children such as the popular Colorful Symphony (with a text from Norton Juster's The Phantom Toll Booth) and the circus story, Trunks.

Conductors who have commissioned Rodríguez include Eduardo Mata, Neville Marriner, and Antal Dorati. Rodríguez's music is regularly performed by leading orchestras and opera companies such as the Dallas Opera, National Opera of Mexico, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra among many others. His music is published by G. Schirmer.
Daniel Dibbern
Ronald Luchsinger (Stage Director)
John Burrows (Music Director)
Kathy Weiss-Smith
Landon Bowie
October 10, 1986
Lyric Opera of Dallas and NEA
Sam and his partner Bill, two Yankee con men, kidnap the son of a small-town banker, hoping to hold him for ransom. The boy is more than a match for these two, and they quickly realize they have their hands full. Johnny talks incessantly, asking thousands of questions and obviously having a wonderful time. As the men write the ransom note, Johnny stages a mock attack as the Indian warrior “Red Chief." After “Red Chief” inflicts further terrors and humiliations on Sam and Bill, they agree to pay his father money just to take him back.
Wayne Lee Gay, Musical America; Olin Chism, Dallas Times Herald; Mark Lynch, Opera for Youth
00:55
1
Off-Stage Chorus
1 fl(picc), 1 cl - 1 tpt, 1 btbn - perc - bjo, can, pf - vln, vc
G. Schirmer, Inc.
257 Park Avenue South, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10010
pm@schirmer.com
RobertXavierRodríguez@tx.rr.com
212-254-2100
http://www.robertxavierrodriguez.com/
http://www.schirmer.com

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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