Sneak preview of FWO's 'Before Night Falls,' the story of a gay man in Fidel Castro's Cuba

Posted on 13 May 2010 at 12:47pm

DVtv’s Cindy Chaffin reports:

Last night I attended the KERA/Art&Seek panel discussion, “Before Night Falls: Relationships, Politics and Opera,” at the Robert J. O’Donnell Lecture-Recital Hall at SMU. KERA’s Jerome Weeks led the panel discussion which featured composer and librettist Jorge Martín, costume designer Claudia Stephens and the oh-so-yummy star of the opera, Wes Mason.

Here’s what the Fort Worth Opera tells us about the upcoming production:

“As Reinaldo Arenas lies dying of AIDS in New York City, he remembers his beloved homeland before and after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. Born in extreme poverty, Arenas joins Castro’s rebellion as a teen. As he matures, he realizes that Castro is not interested in a free Cuba after all. A rising poet and writer, he defies Castro when a manuscript is smuggled out of the country and published in France. Embarrassed by the bad publicity, the regime imprisons Arenas for being a homosexual. After imprisonment and torture, he agrees to stop writing as a condition of his release, but can not handle his ‘silence’ for long. He escapes to the U.S. in the Mariel exodus, but during his new found freedom outside of Cuba he contracts HIV/AIDS. He rushes to complete his memoir before he commits suicide to end his suffering.”

This short video is a taste of what to expect. Just imagine fabulous costumes, an impressive set design and a backing symphony. Personally, I’m going to imagine Wes Mason shirtless. “Before Night Falls” runs May 29 through June 6.

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