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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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Conductor Jonathan Stockhammer
Conductor Jonathan Stockhammer rehearses the orchestra in the Schoenberg Music Building.

Galbán’s libretto for Lorca reflects the author’s obsession with themes of death and violence, but also passion and lust. It’s new territory for a lot of cast members, even those who have grown up at Hollywood’s front door, where such things might seem old hat.

In January, the soprano Alison England, who lives in Paris, came to UCLA to give a master class for the Lorca cast in Schoenberg Hall. England, who has spiky red hair and a personality like that of a lunatic aunt, knows Lorca well, having performed all three principal female roles in a 1987 workshop production. England is encouraging the singers to use their bodies more. “Physicalize it, don’t conceptualize it,” she tells them, setting the tone by rolling on the floor and laughing like Carol Burnett.

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 can happen.

In Act II, which is drawn from the play Yerma, Hughes, as Lorca, has a tender but complicated scene with Kyung Chy, 30, a soprano from Seoul, Korea. Chy, who plays the barren Yerma, has a heart-shaped face, dewy complexion and a beauty mark above her upper lip. In the scene, love and lust are mixed with yearning for children and childhood. England wants the two singers to let passion take over, but that’s easier said than done when your classmates are watching and the lights are turned up. England reassures them: “Go ahead.” As the scene plays out, the hall grows quiet. A photographer who has been shooting pictures of the rehearsal sets down his camera. When the singing stops, England congratulates Hughes and Chy on a wonderful performance. Chy, who is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, and married, walks off stage, her head bowed.

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