Feb 21, 2024 7:30pm

Feb 23, 2024 7:30pm

Feb 25, 2024 2:30pm

Feb 27, 2024 7:30pm

Venue Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton

Duration 90 mins

A Recipe for Tragedy
Download Ainadamar’s Keynotes Here

PLEASE NOTE: This production will feature prop guns and simulated noises of gunfire.

Reviews & Media

Lorca and Xirgú in August 1935 visit Fuente Obejuna to represent the work of Lope de Vega [x]
Step into the mesmerizing world of Golijov’s Ainadamar, a gripping and evocative opera that transports you through time and space. Set against the backdrop of 20th-century Spain, this musical masterpiece delves deep into the tumultuous life of acclaimed queer playwright Federico García Lorca and his muse, Margarita Xirgu. The opera’s intensity swells with passion as it intertwines history, fantasy, and the relentless pursuit of artistic freedom. With lush orchestrations, haunting melodies, and soaring vocals, Ainadamar engulfs the senses, painting a vivid tableau of love, sacrifice, and the power of art to transcend the darkest of times. From the haunting echoes of Lorca’s poetry to the turbulent echoes of a nation in upheaval, this gripping tale takes the audience on an emotional journey, leaving them breathless and spellbound, forever changed by its timeless beauty. Lorca insisted that he bear witness to the suffering of the people of his homeland and memorialize the dead, and so too, the audience will be spellbound by the resilience of art among war.

As the music rises and falls, Ainadamar pulsates with a sense of urgency, inviting you to explore the blurred lines between reality and memory. Golijov’s exquisite composition weaves together traditional Spanish folk elements, rich operatic textures, and contemporary flamenco sounds, creating a sonic tapestry that captivates the imagination. The stage becomes a canvas for a visual spectacle, immersing the audience in vibrant colors, dynamic choreography, and powerful storytelling. With each scene, Ainadamar unveils a new layer of mystery and intrigue, revealing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression. It is an immersive and electrifying experience that resonates long after the final notes are cleared from your plate, leaving an indelible mark on your soul.

Ainadamar (Spanish pronunciation of the Arabic name ‘Ayn al-Dam’, meaning ‘The Fountain of Tears’), is the work of Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, and a reflection on the death of the great Spanish poet, Garcia Lorca. Lorca was assassinated by Nationalist forces (Falange) in August 1936, his body was never recovered. He was 38. The opera is told through the memories of Lorca’s great Catalan actress/muse Margarita Xirgu. The score is a gorgeous display of Spanish colours and idioms (including flamenco). Ainadamar has been seen in many productions world-wide; the one you will see began in San Francisco, and was recently produced at l’Opéra de Montréal. I am delighted to recommend it wholeheartedly to Victoria’s opera lovers.”

– Timothy Vernon, Founding Artistic Director

More of  Ainadamar

On January 11th and 12th, Robert Holliston held a community talk at The Baumann Center diving into the world of Ainadamar immersing our community in the iconic melodies and delved into the rich tapestry of this legendary production, featuring special guest Maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia. To take part of Inside Opera this season, please click here.

The Poetry of Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca, one of the most celebrated Spanish poets of the 20th century, crafted verses that intricately weaved together themes of love, passion, and the poignant beauty of his Andalusian heritage. Through his vivid imagery and lyrical language, Lorca captured the essence of Andalusia’s rich tapestry, evoking the scent of orange blossoms, the rhythm of flamenco, and the warmth of the sun-soaked olive groves.

To read some of Lorca’s poetry, translated into English, please visit this website here.

Sleepwalking Romance

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.

Romance Sonámbulo

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en sus baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.


of olive trees
opens and closes
like a fan
about the olive grove
there is a sunken sky
and a dark rain
of cold lights
Reed trembles and gloom
By the river.
The gray air ripples.
the olive trees,
they are loaded
of screams.
a flock
of captive birds,
that move their very long
tails in the dark.


El campo
de olivos
se abre y se cierra
como un abanico.
Sobre el olivar
hay un cielo hundido
y una lluvia oscura
de luceros fríos.
Tiembla junco y penumbra
a la orilla del río.
Se riza el aire gris.
Los olivos,
están cargados
de gritos.
Una bandada
de pájaros cautivos,
que mueven sus larguísimas
colas en lo sombrío.

Guitar Riddle

In the round
six maidens
they dance.
Three flesh
and three of silver.
The dreams of yesterday search for them
but he has them hugged
a gold Polyphemus.

Adivinanza De La Guitarra

En la redonda
seis doncellas
Tres de carne
y tres de plata.
Los sueños de ayer las buscan
pero las tiene abrazadas
un Polifemo de oro.
¡La guitarra!

New Songs

Says the afternoon: "I thirst for shadow!"
The moon says: "I thirst for stars!"
The crystal fountain asks for lips
and the wind sighs.

I thirst for aromas and laughter,
thirst for new songs
without moons and without lilies,
and without dead loves.

Cantos Nuevos

Dice la tarde: "¡Tengo sed de sombra!"
Dice la luna: "¡Yo, sed de luceros!"
La fuente cristalina pide labios
y suspira el viento.

Yo tengo sed de aromas y de risas,
sed de cantares nuevos
sin lunas y sin lirios,
y sin amores muertos.

2023 | 2024

Sung In
Spanish with English Surtitles

Single Tickets on Sale August 4th

Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton

Seat Map

Opera Length

Estimated Run Time: 90 mins

Pre-performance talk: 1 hour before each performance

Pre-Performance Talk 60 mins

Act 1 90 mins

The End



Margarita Xirgu
Miriam Khalil

Sarah Shafer

Federico García Lorca
Hanna Hipp

Ruiz Alonso
Alfredo Tejada

Jose Tripaldi
Neil Craighead

Louis Dillon

Tim Carter

Voices of the Fountain
Chelsea Kutyn

Voices of the Fountain
Cassidy Stahr

Children's Choir
Victoria Children’s Choir

Creative Team

WML Assistant Conductor
Maria Fuller

Stage Director
Brian Staufenbiel

Victoria Choreographer
Veronica Maguire

Original Choreographer
Rocio Vadillo Molina

Costume Designer
Dominique Guindon

Set Designer
Brian Staufenbiel

Set Designer
Pierre Charbel Massoud

Lighting Designer
Claude Accolas

Video Designer
David Murakami

Assistant Video Designer
Sam Clevenger

Stage Manager
Bonni Baynton

Assistant Stage Manager
Katerina Sokyrko

Assistant Stage Manager
Sara Robb

Federico García Lorca: The poetic martyr who bled words of rebellion and love onto the stage of life.

A Recipe for Tragedy