Gabriela Lena Frank: La ley de la muerte (The Law of Death) for soprano


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Additional Info

  • Composer
    Gabriela Lena Frank
  • Publisher
    G Schirmer Inc


for soprano, unaccompanied movement of 'La centinela y la paloma'

First performance
February 17 2011
Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Joana Carniero, conductor
St. Paul, MN

Composer note
La centinela y la paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), for soprano and chamber orchestra, finds its inspiration in two national treasures of Mexico: its annual Día de los muertos (Day of the Dead) folk-Catholic festival and iconic painter Frida Kahlo. A distillation of a large-scale opera in progress by playwright Nilo Cruz and composer Gabriela Lena Frank, this cycle of four songs features two characters: Catrina, the keeper of souls (also known as the Lady of Death), who bestows a gift but once a year to the spirits in her charge whereby they can visit their loved ones still living; and Frida, who, having predeceased her beloved husband Diego Rivera, yearns to see him once again.

La ley de la muerta (The Law of Death): The night of visitation is coming to a close, and Frida is feeling Death's inevitable claim as her physical form disintegrates. She can no longer experience either a satisfying semblance of life or her reunion with Diego.

— Gabriela Lena Frank

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