Leonardo Balada's New CD Released on Naxos Records
The latest tragi-comic chamber operas of Leonardo Balada, University Professor of composition at Carnegie Mellon's School of Music, have been released on Naxos Records.
The CD, titled "Hangman, Hangman!" and "The Town of Greed," is performed by the Carnegie Mellon Opera Theater with guest singers, the Pittsburgh Camerata and Carnegie Mellon's Contemporary Ensemble. Guest Irish conductor, Colman Pearce, conducts the performances.
These works exhibit a shift in Balada's style. "With these two operas, I focused more on the melodic elements compared to my non-operatic symphonic works," Balada said.
Balada composed the music as well as wrote the librettos of the two operas. The story of "The Town of Greed" is the product of collaboration between Balada and Akram Midani, the late former dean of the College of Fine Arts. "Hangman, Hangman!" written in 1982, is a story about a cowboy, Johnny, who is to be hanged because he stole a horse, but is saved by means of a bribe. "The Town of Greed," written in 1997, continues the story 20 years later, and this time Johnny pays for his corruption.
German Internet reviewer Klassik-Heute said, "Balada constantly brings out new effects from the eight-person stage orchestra, like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat. His scores give the excellent Pittsburgh singers numerous opportunities to demonstrate their skills...."
The CD is available at Carnegie Mellon's bookstore, Borders Bookstore, Amazon.com and Curtain Call.