'The Lord of Cries' to premiere in Santa Fe - Albuquerque Journal

‘The Lord of Cries’ to premiere in Santa Fe

This caped contagion of seductive death does not fly or wear fangs.

“The Lord of Cries” soars into the Santa Fe Opera this weekend.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo stars in “The Lord of Cries” with the Santa Fe Opera.

The world premiere of composer John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s Dracula-based “The Lord of Cries” brings horror and harmony in two acts. Corigliano and Adamo wove Bram Stoker’s familiar tale with Euripides’ “The Bacchae” to create a searing account of the monster inside us all.

Separated by 24 centuries, “The Bacchae” and “Dracula” tell virtually the same timeless story, with the same subversive message: We must honor our animal nature lest it turn monstrous and destroy us. “The Lord of Cries” begins with a strange, androgynous god returning to earth to offer a mortal three chances to “ask for what you want” or risk the consequences. He materializes in Victorian England in the guise of the eponymous “Lord of Cries,” none other than the irresistible antihero Dracula.

Anthony Roth Costanzo stars in the Santa Fe Opera production of “The Lord of Cries.”

Corigliano wrote the work specifically for superstar countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

“It’s amazing,” the singer said. “When I was 16 years old – 23 years ago – I premiered a piece by John Corigliano.”

A boy soprano’s voice changed and the composer asked Costanzo if he could replace the child at a Kennedy Center performance.

“We’ve known each other ever since,” Costanzo said.

The pair have been working on the opera for years. The otherworldly nature of the music called for a countertenor, whose range is comparable to a female contralto or mezzo-soprano.

Although the libretto sounds complicated, the story audiences will see on stage is clear, Costanzo said.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo stars in “The Lord of Cries” with the Santa Fe Opera apprentices.

“It uses the characters from ‘The Bacchae’ and ‘Dracula’ to tell the story in the form of a Greek myth,” he continued. “He is an outsider, but he really has the truth. It’s a conversation between what’s real and what’s imagined.”

That conversation applies to identity, religion and sexuality, he added.

“Every 100 or 1,000 years, Dionysus comes down from the gods’ realm and says, ‘I must solve this problem and show that we are all the same,’ ” Costanzo said. “There is no outsider or insider.”

The singer grew up in North Carolina, the son of two psychologists. At 8, his piano teacher suggested he try singing. He loved it.

“By the time I was 11, I decided I would try for Broadway and I went on tours.”

Costanzo performed in his first opera, by Benjamin Britten, at age 13. He loved the emotional expression.

“The stories are all so layered,” he said. “The deeper you dig, the more you get.”

Now a New Yorker, Costanzo survived the pandemic in style. He gave concerts throughout the city, first on the back of a pickup truck.

“I was wearing a mask,” he said. “We were tested daily and we were distanced.”

He also recorded his second album.

Costanzo first came to Santa Fe as a child.

“When I was 10 years old, I came to Santa Fe with my parents and they renewed their vows at Chimayó Church. It was a magical experience and I knew it was one of the best opera companies in the world.”

Masks are required within the theater complex to maintain safety protocol. The opera will provide a distance of one empty seat between each group of ticket purchasers.

Home » Entertainment » Arts » ‘The Lord of Cries’ to premiere in Santa Fe


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Former reporter pulls from personal experience in 'The Power ...
Arts
Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist ... Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist of Rosalie Rayburn's lively, crisply-written debut novel 'The Power of Rain.'
2
One-woman play 'Katie's Tales' debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre
Arts
Fresh off a run at the ... Fresh off a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Agnieszka Kazimierska's one-woman play debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
3
A look at five pieces exploring the intersections of ...
Arts
Exhibit on view at the National ... Exhibit on view at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
4
ALT brings one-woman play 'The Belle of Amherst' back ...
Arts
The Albuquerque Little Theatre production 'The ... The Albuquerque Little Theatre production 'The Belle of Amherst' kicks off its two week run beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.
5
NMPhil announces rock and pop series
Arts
Rock and pop music fans can ... Rock and pop music fans can hear the music of the movies, flamenco fusion and a symphonic version of Genesis when the New Mexico ...
6
New concertmaster to make NMPhil debut Sept. 25
Arts
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de ... On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de los Santos will give his first concert with the New Mexico Philharmonic at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, playing the ...
7
Now is the time to prep for moving citrus ...
Arts
It's time to start to monitoring ... It's time to start to monitoring your trees for any pests that could be congregated or hidden on the citrus.
8
'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' explores the understudied iconographic ...
Arts
Opening on Sept. 30, at the ... Opening on Sept. 30, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum, 'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' sheds light on this understudied
9
Devin Vasquez reinvents old treasures into modern art
Arts
The artist transforms worn and broken ... The artist transforms worn and broken items into vintage pop art