Fort Worth Texas might be the most conservative area of the country after Orange County California. Last June one of its few gay bars, the Rainbow Lounge, was raided by members of the Fort Worth Police Department and Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission.
Seven people were arrested for drunkenness, though numerous reports say that the individuals were pulled from the crowd randomly and violently. A 26-year old man was hospitalized with head injuries.
The event occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York.
The one of the city’s premiere arts organizations, the Fort Worth Opera is gay, gay, gay.
And that’s not a redundancy. Just look at what they’re putting on stage.
In 2008 FWO presented the first full American staging of the operatic version of Tony Kushner’s landmark “Angels in America,” composed by Peter Eotvos. A concurrent series of events throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area was titled: “More Life: The Art & Science of AIDS.”
And on Saturday night the Fort Worth Opera presents the world premiere of Jorge Martin’s “Before Night Falls,” based on the autobiography of Reinaldo Arenas. The gay Cuban writer died of AIDS in 1990 at age 47. His memoir was published in English in 1993. A 2000 film version was directed by Julian Schnabel and starred Javier Bardem, who was nominated for an Academy Award.
Here’s composer Jorge Martin – a gay Cuban American who lives in Vermont – talking about writing an opera about a gay Cuban:
Other coverage: Opera News: “Long Night of the Soul” by Adam Wasserman.
Synposis, biographies, background in FWO’s newsletter “Libretto”
“Before Night Falls” runs for two performances (May 29, June 6) in repertoire with the Fort Worth Opera’s other 2010 productions, “Don Giovani” (May 30, June 4) and “The Elixir of Love” (May 28, June 5). Look for a review on this site after the June 6 performance.
Previously on MyBigGayEars:
Darren K. Woods, Administrative star and “turn around master”