Jorge Martin's BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, Approaches Opening at Florida Grand Opera

Jorge Martin's BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, Approaches Opening at Florida Grand Opera

March 18 is opening night of Florida Grand Opera's (FGO) production of Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls-one of the most provocative and dramatic operas of the twenty-first century. FGO's staging marks the regional premiere of a work that National Review called "a worthy work of art" and Gay City News dubbed "one of the most admirable American operas of recent years."

Based on the critically praised memoir of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls traces Arenas's impoverished background in Cuba, his struggles under the Castro regime, which branded him as a dissident writer, and his flight to the U.S. in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift.

Before Night Falls was warmly received upon its publication in 1992. Recently it was listed by The New York Times Book Review as one of the "25 Great Books by Refugees in America." It was made into a popular film in 2000, directed by painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel and starring Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, and Hector Babenco. Jorge Martín's opera adaptation, with a libretto co-authored by Dolores M. Koch, had its world premiere at Fort Worth Opera in 2010.

Martín developed his scenario for the opera before the film was released. "I was curious to see how the film told Arenas's sprawling life story," he said. "We used many of the same scenes."

South Florida audiences have only five chances to experience Before Night Falls, which will be heard at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County's Ziff Ballet Opera House on March 18, 19, 21, 24, and 25.

A little more than a week prior to its opening at FGO, Before Night Falls is generating a steady stream of press, with major coverage in The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, South Florida Gay News, Miami Clasica, and multiple appearances by Jorge Martín on Univision radio and television, as well as a feature segment on CBS Channel 4's Focus South Florida, hosted by Rudabeh Shahbazi.

"We are elated by the interest in the South Florida premiere of Before Night Falls," says Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera. "It only confirms our feeling that this is an ideal work to be presented to the FGO audience."

SCHEDULE | Before Night Falls

**Sung in English and Spanish with projected titles in English and Spanish**

MIAMI Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Ziff Ballet Opera House
Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7 pm
Sunday March 19, 2017 at 2 pm
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 8 pm
Friday, March 24, 2017 at 8 pm
Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8 pm

ABOUT FLORIDA GRAND OPERA

Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organization in Florida, celebrates its 75th Anniversary Season in 2016-17. The mainstage operas of the season include: Georges Bizet's Carmen, November 12-December 3, 2016; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, January 28-February 11, 2017; Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls, March 18-25, 2017; and Giuseppe Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera), April 29-May 13, 2017.

FGO is currently accepting duet subscriptions and single ticket purchases for the 16-17 season and subscription renewals for the 17-18 season online or at FGO's offices. FGO's Box Office is located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25th Street Miami, FL 33122, and is open from 10am to 4pm, Mondaythrough Friday during the season. Season tickets work through donation, or to make a pledge, please contact Individual Advancement Officer Carlton Ford at (305) 403-3320 or cford@fgo.org.

Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissions and new productions-all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish. FGO is recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward County Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Program support is provided by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, and the Cultural Arts Council. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera.

Florida Grand Opera, Inc. 8390 NW 25th Street Miami, FL 33122 305-854-1643 (Administrative Offices)800-741-1010 (Box Office)

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