Last night I had the pleasure of going to see my friend, Paul, perform the title role in Daniel Catan’s opera, Il postino, based on the film of the same name. It was also a bittersweet moment… this past weekend the composer passed away in Austin, Texas at the age of 62.
That’s my friend!!!!!
I was only marginally aware of his work (a scene from another of his operas, Florencia en el Amazonas, was performed at U of M) but Houston and the opera world will suffer greatly from his loss. The score to Il postino was lush and gorgeous in a Puccini/Debussy kind of way and it was such a treat to hear the first production mounted since its premier at L.A. Opera last year.
The cast, crew and orchestra appearing before the show to announce the performance would be given in memory of Daniel Catan
As the opera centers around the friendship between famed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and an illiterate postman, I thought it would be fitting to post one of my favorite Neruda poems:
Amor mio si muero tu no mueres
My love, should I die and you don’t,
let us give grief no more ground:
my love, should you die and I don’t,
there is no piece of land like this on which we've lived.
Dust in the wheat, sand in the desert sands,
time, errant water, the wandering wind
carried us away like a navigator seed.
In such times, we may well not have met.
The meadow in which we did meet,
oh tiny infinity, we give back.
But this love, Love, has had no end,
and so, as it had no birth,
it has no death. It is like a long river
that changes only its shores and its banks.
(Translation: Terence Clarke)
Artist: Peter Lieberson, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson/ Album: Neruda Songs