Lontano, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez, will record Ethel Smyth’s seminal opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Retrospect Opera in September 2015.
Martinez is a known champion of Smyth’s work, having previously conducted a highly acclaimed recording of her opera The Wreckers, the only of Smyth’s operas to be recorded in its entirety.
This new recording will provide an opportunity to bring Smyth’s work to a wider audience and allow her work to receive the recognition it deserves.
Odaline de la Martinez has received a prestigious Opera America Award to fund the production of a film based on her opera Imoinda.
Imoinda (2005-2008) tells the story of the history of slavery and birth of Afro-Caribbean culture and was originally commissioned by the Caribbean Women Writers’ Alliance of the United Kingdom (CWWA), with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It represents the first part of de la Martinez’s Slavery Trilogy with the sequel The Crossing premiered in 2014. All parts of the trilogy have a libretto written by Joan Anim-Addo.
Fringe Opera interview Odaline de la Martinez about the world’s first Afro-Cuban opera.
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Our conductor talks about her composing method and how her Cuban roots helped her find her voice again:
“I went through a dry period from about 1987-97 when I was trying to write avant-garde music. I wrote some really experimental pieces, but the more I wrote in that style the more I realised that I had nothing to do with that, what I wanted to write had nothing to do with the European avant-garde or basically with Europeans. That’s when I started to go back to my Cuban roots.”
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