Opera Parallele has been introducing new contemporary opera productions to the Bay Area. This weekend at the YBCA theater, Ainadamar by Osvaldo Golijov, an Argentinian Grammy-winning composer who now teaches in Boston, will open. Opera Parallele produces recent pieces that are typically too edgy for the more conservative opera houses, but must be heard nonetheless. Even though Opera Parallele is not a big budget house like the SF Opera, they are unparalleled in creativity and still win national recognition. Aindamar premiered in 2005 at the Santa Fe Opera, and will be heard for the first time ever on the West coast.
One reason for such acclaim is soprano Marnie Breckenridge, who will sing the role of Margarita Xirgu, an actress who inspired the writer Federico García Lorca, whose martyr at the hands of the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War is the subject of Ainadamar. Marnie, who recently sang an excellent recital at the SF Conservatory, grew up in Napa and studied at the Conservatory before moving on to New York City. She starred in the Opera Parallele's production of Philip Glass' Orphee, and has performed with SF Opera and English National Opera, among others. We recently chatted talked to her about her role in Ainadamar, contemporary vocal music, having kids, and more.