Living La Vida 'Lorca'
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Dastoor (left) and Kalil Wilson rehearse the love duet. Above:
chorus member Matthias Metternich with dancer Nicole Tafralian.
Krouse, in a dark knit top that sets off his silvery-white
hair, stands alongside Mona Lands, the accompanist, who is at a
black Steinway piano that has been rolled into a corner of the room.
Krouse’s eyes are fixed on León and Dastoor. The music
is lusty, virile and has moments of soaring abandon; the conductor
Jonathan Stockhammer ’92 says Krouse “jumps naked into
the ocean” in this particular scene. It is definitely the
work of the composer’s younger self. Now age 49, Krouse wrote
it more than 20 years ago.
At the end of the love duet, Dastoor remains in León’s
embrace, but her left arm falls slack at her side. There is dead
silence in the room, then an eruption of applause.
The response delights Krouse. The love scene comes
in the third and final act of the opera, and there’s a lot
riding on it. If audiences like it, they’ll walk out of the
Freud Playhouse having had a nice evening at the opera. If they
love it — if it gives them chills in the way that
great opera does — then Lorca might have a life beyond
the UCLA campus, which is Krouse’s fervent hope.
“If it doesn’t go to the next level,
then I’ve failed, to some degree,” Krouse says after
That may be exhaustion talking. Krouse has been running
on fumes for weeks. But there is no denying that he has invested
a huge part of his life in bringing Lorca to the stage. And while
he and Galbán gave life to Lorca, neither of them
has any idea how it will turn out. In the world of opera, anything
With just three weeks to go before opening night,
Aren Der Hacopian, 28, one of the opera’s stars, pulls himself
out of the cast because of a health issue. The singer’s departure
leaves Evan Hughes, 21 — a bass baritone to Der Hacopian’s
lyric baritone — to handle the physically stressful role of
Lorca four performances in a row. It’s a big job with a lot
of pressure, especially for such a young singer. “I guess
all I can try to do is be in the moment about it,” says Hughes.