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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
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Spring 2005
Living La Vida 'Lorca'

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Composer Ian Krouse
Soprano Alison England with student Kyung Chy
Composer Ian Krouse (top) gestures during a Royce Hall rehearsal; soprano Alison England (right) works with student Kyung Chy.

Two decades in the making, composer Ian Krouse's 'Lorca, Child of the Moon' prepares for its world premiere

by Anne Burke
Photography by Mark Berndt

JESÚS LEÓN HAS THE KIND OF MATINEE-IDOL LOOKS that compel little old ladies to fan themselves briskly with their theater programs. A 28-year-old tenor from Hermosillo, Mexico, he has symmetrical features, perfectly straight, white teeth and a dark, curly forelock, loose strands of which fall coyly across his forehead.

León sings the role of Leonardo, a star-crossed lover, in UCLA’s world premiere of Lorca, Child of the Moon, a full-length opera composed by Ian Krouse, the chair of the UCLA Department of Music, and directed by Margarita Galbán, the Los Angeles stage director who wrote the libretto. The Lorca in Lorca is Federico García Lorca, the Spanish poet and dramatist.

Thirteen days before the curtain is scheduled to rise for the first of four performances at the Freud Playhouse Theater in March, León and five other members of the Lorca cast perform at an invitation-only preview for UCLA neighbors in the James West Alumni Center on campus. León wears a dark suit jacket over a black mock turtleneck. He is to sing the opera’s love duet with the soprano Khori Dastoor, 24, a half-Indian, half-Indonesian beauty with a glass-shattering top note and a waistline unusually tiny for the opera stage. It is 10:30 a.m., by Dastoor’s reckoning “a little early” for a hot love scene. But the preview is important, especially for Krouse. Dastoor pops a throat lozenge in her mouth and smoothes the skirt of her dress.


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