daniel catán's advice to young composers



I was shocked to read Daniel Catán died unexpectedly a week ago in Austin.


I couldn't believe it. Didn't I just read he was commissioned to write an opera for UT Austin and wasn't @LAOpera tweeting like mad about the Il Postino premiere? And this past semester he was subbing for a UT Austin composition professor on leave, so my UT friends saw him frequently (according to my friend Hermes.)


He visited CCM a few years ago when they performed the Cincinnati premiere of Rappaccini's Daughter. There in his relaxed Mexican accent he gave us young composers advice about librettists.


"Actually, there are no more librettists around," he pontificated. "What you need is a playwright and a poet, but don't let them find out about the other."


He then followed this advice with a true story about how he went shopping for a spare bed. Catán wanted to buy an inexpensive one, but then the sales guy asked if he was married. When Catán said he was, the salesman said, "In that case, you want to have a comfortable spare bed - sooner or later you will be the one sleeping in it."


Hm. Are these two stories related? I wonder.


Here's a video of LA Opera's production of Il Postino.



(Thanks to Neb Macura for jogging my memory.)

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