Robert Xavier Rodriguez
Composer

Biography
Robert Xavier Rodríguez was born on 28 June 1946 in San Antonio, Texas, where he received his earliest training in piano and harmony. Subsequent musical education included study in composition with Hunter Johnson, Halsey Stevens, Jacob Druckman, and Nadia Boulanger. He gained international recognition in 1971 when awarded the Prix de Composition Musicale Prince Pierre de Monaco by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace at the Palais Princier in Monte Carlo. Other honors include the Prix Lili Boulanger, a Guggenheim Fellowship, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, and the Goddard Lieberson Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Rodríguez's music embraces all genres and often combines Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque techniques with ethnic and contemporary materials. He has had particular success with his seven operas. His most recent opera, Frida, based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, has enjoyed successful runs at the American Music Theatre Festival, The American Repertory Theatre in Boston, the Brooklyn Academy's Next Wave Festival, and the Houston Grand Opera. John Rockwell of The New York Times termed Frida, "the best opera/musical theater of 1991...a fascinating, magically engrossing evening...Mr. Rodríguez's music is genuinely original and genuinely accessible, a neat combination not that often achieved." Rodríguez's charming children's opera Monkey See, Monkey Do has had more than 1,000 performances since its premiere in 1986, making it one of the most often performed contemporary American operas in the repertory. The ensemble Voices of Change received a 1999 Grammy nomination in the Best Small Ensemble Performance category for the Rodríguez work Les Niaïs Amoureux.

Rodríguez's orchestral music also encompasses wide-ranging styles, from challenging works for large orchestra such as Oktoechos and Favola Boccaccesca to ballets such as Estampie and The Seven Deadly Sins to music for children such as the popular Colorful Symphony (with a text from Norton Juster's The Phantom Toll Booth) and the circus story, Trunks.

Conductors who have commissioned Rodríguez include Eduardo Mata, Neville Marriner, and Antal Dorati. Rodríguez's music is regularly performed by leading orchestras and opera companies such as the Dallas Opera, National Opera of Mexico, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra among many others. His music is published by G. Schirmer.

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
GRANT NAMEYEAR
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2015
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2007
The Opera Fund: Repertoire Development2006
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2005
Opera for a New America 1993
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1989
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1988


Productions
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COMPANYTITLEDATES
Long Beach OperaFrida6/20/2020 - 6/28/2020
Opera CulturaFrida5/8/2020 - 5/10/2020
Anchorage OperaFrida2/14/2020 - 2/16/2020
Alamo City OperaFrida2/8/2020 - 2/9/2020
Atlanta OperaFrida10/5/2019 - 10/13/2019
Opera SteamboatFrida8/9/2019 - 8/16/2019
Florida Grand OperaFrida3/16/2019 - 3/30/2019
Cincinnati OperaFrida6/23/2017 - 7/8/2017
Long Beach OperaFrida6/17/2017 - 6/25/2017
Michigan Opera TheatreFrida3/7/2015 - 3/28/2015
Houston Grand OperaFrida6/1/1993 - 6/16/1993


Artist Information

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