Monday, April 11, 2011

Daniel Catán, 1949-2011

Mexican composer Daniel Catán, known for his operas “Il Postino” and “Florencia en el Amazonas,” died Friday, April 8 in Austin. He was 62. Catan was born in 1949 in Mexico City, and was the first Mexican composer to have an opera produced in the United States.
His opera “Il Postino” premiered in Los Angeles in the fall of 2010. The opera was based on the Oscar-winning film, and book by Antonio Skarmeta. Placido Domingo took the role of exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who befriends a young postman.

Catán was to be in Houston this past weekend for the University of Houston Moores School of Music production of "Il Postino." The final performance was scheduled for this evening at 7:30. Earlier this spring, Catán's opera "Rappacini's Daughter" was staged at the University of Texas in Austin.
At the time of his death, Catán was working on another adaptation. His next project was to be an operatic version of Frank Capra’s “Meet John Doe,” commissioned by the University of Texas.

Last fall, KPAC’s James Baker spoke to Catán about “Il Postino” and his orchestral music.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Catán in February, 2011:

You can also listen to an interview with Catán on this page, from KPAC's Classical Spotlight:

1 comment:

James Baker said...

The Mexican writer and critic Juan Arturo Brennan wrote of the death of Daniel Catan, so soon after Mexico had lost another composer, Eugenio Toussaint: "If we keep losing Mexican musicians at such an alarming rate, this country will soon be silent."