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The Five Moons of Lorca The Five Moons of Lorca

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Digital Short

The inaugural Digital Short is an exciting mix of opera, dance, poetry and film.

LA Opera's series of newly commissioned music videos, Digital Shorts, kicks off with The Five Moons of Lorca (Las cinco lunas de Lorca) by the groundbreaking Gabriela Lena Frank, one of today's most popular composers. 

Featuring an original text by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz,  the piece was filmed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, marking LA Opera's first return to that stage since March. Featuring astonishing choreography and performance by dancer Irene Rodríguez, it takes inspiration from the assassination of poet Federico García Lorca at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. The Five Moons of Lorca conveys the beauty of García Lorca’s life as well as its tragic end, while serving as a commentary for the dangers of political and cultural intolerance

Composer Gabriela Lena Frank creates "high-spirited pieces full of vibrant colors, slicing rhythms and volatile textures that contract, swell and warp"

Corinna da Fonseca-WollheimNew York Times


Gabriela Lena Frank
Nilo Cruz
Matthew Diamond


Choreographer / Dancer
Irene Rodríguez
Chorus Director
Grant Gershon
Azra King-Abadi
Jacob Ingbar
Nicholas Roehler

Notes, Text & Translation

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Notes, Text & Translation

"Utilizing an original text by my longtime collaborator playwright Nilo Cruz, Las cinco lunas de Lorca (The Five Moons of Lorca) lyrically describes the shooting death of dramatist Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) at the hands of Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Hints of Spanish folksong, which García Lorca passionately championed contrary to the decree of the Franco dictatorship, are featured throughout."Gabriela Lena Frank

(Scroll down for English translation.)


¡Ay noche de agracio!  
¡Ay noche de pañuelo roto!  

Cerca de Granada  
llevan al poeta.  
Cerca de Granada  
avanza la muerte.  
Y Lorca cuenta   
cinco lunas heridas.  

Con los ojos vendados,  
anda en linea recta.  
Recuerda que la vida  
corre con el fuego...  
y la muerte con la escarcha.  

Y debe mirar   
la muerte  
como un destello:  
Un golbo de rosas desbocadas.  

¡Un disparo!  
¡Otro disparo!  
¡Y otro...!  

En un caballo  
   (¡Ay, que noche tan breve!)  
de aguas negras,  
   (¡Ay, que noche tan larga!)  
el poeta se enfrenta  
   (¡Ay, que noche sin brazos!)  
con los asesinos.  
   (¡Ay, que noche sin Dios!)  

Matar a un hombre  
en conocerlo íntimamente.  
Y cada noche de sus vidas,  
los asesinos deben desvestir  
el cuerpo de los muertos  
y contemplar  
el infinito hilito  
de sangre:  

El torrente de palabras  
que sigue fluyendo  
con la tinta  
de una pluma verde.


Oh, night of grievance!  
Oh, night of torn handkerchief!  

Near Granada,  
the poet has been taken.  
Near Granada,   
death approaches.  
And Lorca counts   
five wounded moons.  

With his eyes blindfolded,  
he walks in a straight line.  
He recalls that life  
gallops with fire...  
and death with the frost.  

And he must look   
at death  
as a blaze:  
A blast of unruly roses.  

A gunshot!  
Another gunshot! 
And another...!  

On a horse  
   (Oh, such a brief night!)  
of black water,  
   (Oh, such a long night!)  
the poet confronts  
   (Oh, such a night without arms!)  
the killers | 
   (Oh, such a night without God!)  

To kill a man  
is to know him intimately.  
And every night of their lives,  
the killers must undress  
the body of the dead  
and contemplate  
the infinite little stream  
of blood:  

The gush of words  
that continues to flow  
from the ink  
of a green pen. 

This version of Las cinco lunas de Lorca was commissioned by LA Opera.

Artwork for The Five Moons of Lorca
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