Review by Willard Manus
Once the coup succeeds, Juan kills the politician, plunders his farm, and rapes his daughter Rosa (Maria Antunez). Next thing you know, Rosa begins to fall in love with the now deeply-ashamed and repenitent Juan, much to the horror of her nanny (Peabody Southwell) and her newly-returned fiance (Benjamin Bliss). Rosa tries to break it off with Juan, but her heart (and the mystifying power of the Stockholm Syndrome) keep that from happening--with tragic consequences.
Despite its dubious ending, DULCE ROSA worked well as an opera, thanks to its melodic and impassioned score--and to the vocal gifts of its talented cast. Jenny Okun's video projections also gave instantaneous color and atmosphere to each of the opera's many settings, a dazzling accomplishment.
It is to be hoped that L.A. Opera will mount many more chamber works at the Broad in years to come.
(Broad Stage, Santa Monica. Call 310-434-3200 or visit thebroadstage.com)