Il Postino is an opera in three acts by Daniel Catán with a Spanish libretto by the composer. Based on the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta and the film Il Postino by Michael Radford.


Il Postino is an opera in three acts by Daniel Catán with a Spanish libretto by the composer. Based on the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta and the film Il Postino by Michael Radford, the work contains elements of drama and comedy, integrating themes of love and friendship along with political and spiritual conflict. The opera premiered at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion by Los Angeles Opera on 23 September 2010.

Set on a small Italian island, exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda receives so much fan mail that a personal postman, Mario Ruoppolo, is hired to deliver his letters. Mario, smitten by Beatrice Russo, turns to Pablo for help writing poetry that would help him win the heart of the woman he longs for. Soon after, Mario and the barmaid fall in love and wed. In the third act, influenced by Pablo's works, Mario begins writing political poems and while reciting at a communist demonstration, violence breaks out and he receives a gunshot wound, killing him.

Il Postino was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera who co-produced the premiere production with the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Daniel Catán wrote the role of Pablo Neruda for Plácido Domingo, who sang it at the Los Angeles premiere and in subsequent performances in Vienna and Paris.

Background and performance history

Il Postino was the fifth and last of Daniel Catán's operas and the first one for which he had also written the libretto. His route to creating the work began when he first saw the 1994 film Il Postino and thought it would make a good opera. However, at the time he was in the midst of composing Florencia en el Amazonas and then received a commission from Houston Grand Opera for his fourth opera Salsipuedes which premiered in 2004. After completing that work, he returned to the Postino project. In an interview shortly before the premiere Catán said:

It's rare that an idea I had 15 years ago resurfaces, then I take it on, because one changes so much in that time. But when I came back to this idea, in fact I was still interested in it, but for different reasons. Instead of identifying with the Mario character, with the young aspiring poet, in fact now I could see the story from the other point of view, which was of the older poet.

Discussions with Plácido Domingo who had become the General Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 led to a commission from the company which was announced in 2005. The premiere was to have taken place in the 2009 season starring Domingo as the poet Neruda and Rolando Villazón as Mario. However, financial difficulties at Los Angeles Opera caused the postponement of the premiere until the following season. In the interim, Villazón, who was recovering from surgery on his vocal chords, withdrew from the production and was eventually replaced by Charles Castronovo.

The opera finally premiered on 23 September 2010 as the opening production of the 2010 season. It was conducted by Grant Gershon and directed by Ron Daniels with sets and costumes designed by Riccardo Hernandez. The staging also included projections designed by Philip Bussmann that created a Mediterranean atmosphere and at various points showed old footage of political unrest in Chile and a blackboard with poetry written on it. Following the premiere, the Chilean government conferred the Orden al Mérito Pablo Neruda (es) on Daniel Catán, Antonio Skármeta, Plácido Domingo and Cristina Gallardo-Domâs who sang the role of Neruda's wife Matilde.

The Los Angeles production ran for six performances, ending on 16 October and was filmed for a later broadcast on PBS television. The following December the production went to Vienna's Theater an der Wien with largely the same cast, including Domingo as Neruda. He also sang the role when the production travelled to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in June 2011 and to Santiago, Chile, in July 2012. Domingo was to have sung the role in July 2013 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, again in the same production, but was forced to withdraw when he suffered a pulmonary embolism and was replaced by the Spanish tenor Vicente Ombuena. Ombuena also sang the role of Neruda when the production travelled to Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes for the opera's Mexico premiere in October 2011.

Il Postino had its US East Coast premiere in a separate production at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia in May 2012, performed by Center City Opera Theater, a chamber opera company. On that occasion the orchestral scoring was reduced to 21 players. The opera was also given a new production in July 2016 performed by Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York. Student performances have included the University of Houston's Moores School of Music in 2011 and the Mannes School of Music in 2014 (the opera's New York City premiere).

卡坦 - 歌剧《邮差》
Composer: Catán 2010
Duration: 2:30:00 ( Average )
Genre :Opera


Update Time:2018-04-14 23:34