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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
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
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Spring 2005
Living La Vida 'Lorca'

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Evan Hughes
Tenor Kalil Wilson
Tenor Jesus Leon
Evan Hughes (top) as Federico García Lorca; tenors Kalil Wilson (middle) and Jesús León (bottom) share the role of Leonardo.

LORCA CAST MEMBERS WON THEIR ROLES in November, and twice-weekly rehearsals started after winter break. All but two of the singers are UCLA students, and most are enrolled in the university’s small, highly selective voice program. Juliana Gondek, the chair of the voice and opera division and a soprano with an international reputation, sings a role; León is her private student. All of the musicians in the orchestra are currently enrolled Bruins. The choreographer is Mari Sandoval M.A. ’80, who has brought in several professional dancers to lend their footwork to the flamenco dancing.

Many in the cast have long lists of credits. Dastoor has been on stage since she was 9; Ralph Cato, 50, a doctoral student in music, spent many years on stage in Europe. “But a lot of these kids are fresh out of high school, and maybe they’ve been in a musical or two,” Gondek says. “Not only are they having to learn very difficult music that hasn’t been performed before, but they’re also being asked to dance and act. So it’s really a baptism by fire.”

Lorca is a production of Opera UCLA and a showcase event for UCLA’s 2004-’05 Year of the Arts. With its blend of literature, dance, theater, opera and folklore, Lorca shows off the university’s multidisciplinary offerings to grand effect. But the opera traces its origins to a nonprofit theater called the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA). Now located in the old Lincoln Heights jail near downtown Los Angeles, the BFA brings classic Hispanic theatrical works to Los Angeles audiences. The Cuban-born Galbán, an actress and director, started the group in 1973 with two theater friends, the Mexican film and television actress Carmen Zapata, and Estela Scarlata, a set designer born in Argentina.

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