Before Night Falls
Composer: Jorge Martín
Composer Bio: Jorge Martín, composer & co-librettist, has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and a Cintas Fellowship (for creative artists of Cuban descent); his works have been performed across the US and in Europe; he has received numerous commissions, most recently from Concert Artists Guild, Close Encounters With Music, and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. New York City Opera has presented his work on "VOX: Showcasing American Composers." His opera Tobermory received the top National Opera Association Prize for chamber opera, and his full-length opera Beast and Superbeast was received with press and audience raves. The recording of The Glass Hammer with Sanford Sylvan is available on Koch; this fall Albany Records released "Steps," a CD of Jeanne Golan playing his piano music. Mr. Martín was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1959 and came to the US in 1965. For more on Jorge Martín, visit
Librettist: Jorge Martín with Dolores M. Ko
Librettist Bio: Dolores M. Koch, co-librettist, first met Reinaldo Arenas professionally, and then became a close friend. She has translated three books by Arenas in English: Before Night Falls, The Doorman, and Mona and Other Tales.
Other Artistic Personnel: David Gately (director)
John de los Santos (choreographer)
Claudia Stephens (costume designer)
Riccardo Hernandez (scenic designer)
Joe Illick (conductor)
Stephen Dubberly (chorus master)
Original Cast: Wes Mason (Reinaldo Arenas)
Jesus Garcia (Ovidio)
Seth Mease Carico (Victor)
Javier Abreu (Pepe)
Janice Hall (Mother/The Sea)
Courtney Ross (The Moon)
Corey Trahan (Port/Visa Official)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: May 29, 2010
Producing Company: Forth Worth Opera
Description: Before Night Falls is the story of Rey, a Cuban writer who faces a terrifying situation in his homeland: neither is he free to be and to express himself artistically, nor is he free to leave. He is persecuted and silenced, but he resolves to escape. Through deceit and luck, he successfully flees the island. Once outside that "island prison," he realizes the irony that although he is now "free," he forever carries within him the sense of persecution, and in addition, he suddenly faces his own premature death. Rey hastens to write his memoir (which is the substance of this opera) before he dies-- "before night falls"-- to give witness to his struggle for personal, political, and artistic freedom, a universal and perennial struggle. His character is both irrepressible and joyful; his story at once tragic and uplifting-- a perfect combination for opera.
Character List (Major): Reinaldo Arenas (bar)
Janice Hall(s)
The Moon(s)
Port/Visa Official(t)
Reviews: Bass Hall resounds with bravos for 'Before Night Falls' - The Dallas Morning News 5/30/2010
Video Clip:
Length: 02:30
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Full Chorus
Musical Style: Tonal; lyrical; dramatic; joyful; picaresque; terrifying
Contact: Jorge Martín or Jay K. Hoffmann & Associates
Address: P.O. Box 1040
Middlebury, VT 05753

136 E. 57th Street, #801
New York, NY 10022
E-mail Address:
Phone: 802-758-2085
Composer Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Before Night Falls (Martin)
Saturday, May 29, 2010 - Fort Worth Opera
Before Night Falls (Martin)
Monday, May 2, 2005 - American Opera Projects
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