Pultizer Prize-Winning Playwright Debuts First Opera Nilo Cruz MDC Hall of Fame alumnus Nilo Cruz is expanding his creative horizons from theater to opera with his latest work, Bel Canto, which aired on PBS in March. Cruz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for his drama Anna in the Tropics, has also written more than a dozen critically acclaimed plays, including Lorca in a Green Dress and Beauty of the Father. In Bel Canto, Cruz recounts the events that unfolded when the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) stormed a private party that the vice president of Peru had organized for high-ranking officials. The libretto is based on Ann Patchett’s novel of the same name, which follows the hostage crisis as it played out over several months in 1996. Through the common language of song, the characters reveal the many conflicts that exist between them. Soprano Renee Fleming commissioned the piece to premiere last year at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, with Peruvian composer Jimmy López creating the score. Most of the opera is in English and Spanish, but there are words in Russian, German and other languages sprinkled in between to add authenticity to the scenes. The star-studded cast includes Rafael Davila, Danielle de Niese and John Irvin.
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