Montezuma (opera)

Montezuma (Opera)

Montezuma (opera)

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Montezuma is an opera in three acts by the American composer Roger Sessions, with an English libretto by Giuseppe Antonio Borgese that incorporates bits of the Aztec language, Nahuatl, as well as Spanish, Latin, and French.

Performance history

Montezuma was first performed on 19 April 1964 at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, in a German translation.

The American premiere (and the first performance with the original English libretto) was given on 31 March 1976 by the Opera Company of Boston, conducted by Sarah Caldwell. The cast included Richard Lewis (Montezuma), Alexander Stevenson (Bernal Díaz del Castillo, the Young), Donald Gramm (Bernal Díaz del Castillo, the Old), Brent Ellis (Cortez), Phyllis Bryn-Julson (Malinche), Alan Crofoot (Jerónimo Aguilar/veteran), and Eunice Alberts as Cuaximatl.

The New York City premiere was given in February, 1982 by the Juilliard American Opera Center, conducted by Frederik Prausnitz. Bernal was sung by Robert Keefe, Cortez by James Dietsch, Alvarado by Cornelius Sullivan, Montezuma by Robert Grayson, and Malinche by Hei-Kyung Hong. The scenery was designed by Ming Cho Lee and the lighting was by Beverly Emmons.



Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, after hearing the US premiere in Boston in 1976, said "I found it fascinating. … I liked...
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