SMU Meadows' Ignite/Arts Dallas Presents Touring Bilingual Rock Opera at the Texas Theatre
"Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance"
Ignite/Arts Dallas at SMU Meadows School of the Arts will present the touring bilingual rock opera Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance in a one-night performance on Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Dallas (75208). The concert is presented in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and De Colores Radio.
Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance explores the life and lore of Pancho Villa, the enigmatic general, legendary bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution. Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the project is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by visionary composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. Exploring facts from Villa’s biography while also examining the mythology surrounding him, the opera asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict. The opera brings together artistic collaborators from both sides of the Rio Grande to provide an insightful examination of the Mexican and Mexican-American impact on the culture and politics of West Texas, contributing to the current and timely conversation about borders and the limitations of the concept of delineated states.
Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance is sung partly in Spanish, partly in English, with accompanying projected translations along with film clips and historic photos. The ensemble features LOLA’s (Local Opera Local Artists) Liz Cass and Austin Lyric Opera’s Paul Sanchez as mezzo-soprano and tenor vocalists, as well as six exceptional instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The music is part Mexican- and Tejano-inspired, part rock opera, part chamber music suite, part sonic experimentation. The libretto was written by Mexico City-based theater collective Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol, based on stories, testimonies, interviews, films, folk songs, novels, news articles and biographies on Villa. Additional lyrics were contributed by award-winning poet and novelist Carrie Fountain. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.
“Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance represents the kind of aesthetic and cultural hybridity that makes Texas such a unique place, which is why we present work like this for our students and the city,” said Clyde Valentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.
Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show. For more information, visit here.