After a year's postponement, L.A. Opera presents the world premiere of Mexican composer Daniel Catan's new opera, Il Postino. Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning film of the same name, and on Antonio Skarmeta's novel Ardiente Paciencia, the opera gives new dimension to the story of a shy young postman's relationship with famed poet Pablo Neruda in a tiny Italian fishing village. Catan, who had immediately realized the movie would make a great opera, had other fish to fry at the time, and it wasn't until 15 years later that he returned to the idea. “I was glad it took that long,” he reflects, “because while I had originally identified with the young poet, I now identify with Neruda.” While the younger man was the film's central character, Catan rewrote the story to give equal time to the Chilean poet, a turn of events that made tenor Placido Domingo, who has wanted to collaborate with Catan on a new work, a happy camper. At 70, an age when most singers are winding down, Domingo is forging ahead, and he'll sing the role of Neruda. The cast includes fab young tenor Charles Castronovo as Mario; sopranos Amanda Squitieri as Beatrice and Cristina Gallardo-Domas as Matilde Neruda; baritone Vladimir Chernov as Giorgio; and mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Donna Rosa. Ron Daniels directs, and the amazing design team includes Tony-nominated Ricardo Hernandez, two-time Tony-winner and MacArthur “Genius” award recipient Jennifer Tipton, and celebrated German-born video artist Philip Bussman. Grant Gershon conducts.

Thu., Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 23, 6 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 2, 2 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 9, 2 p.m., 2010

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