For one night only, Ignite/Arts Dallas at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present a touring bilingual rock opera exploring the life and lore of Pancho Villa, the enigmatic general, legendary bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution. Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance takes the stage Friday, May 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The concert is presented in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and De Colores Radio.
Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the opera is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. The opera explores facts from Villa’s biography, examines the mythology surrounding him, and asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict.
“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.
The opera 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 instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.
Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show.