Student to perform with nationally recognized pianist

By: Carrie Ratkevich, Senior Reporter | Photo By: Jyllian Roach, Managing Editor

Early Childhood Development major Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo y Fuentes will be performing with Grammy-nominated pianist Douglas Riva this month, said Fuentes.

The poem, “Enoch Arden” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and set to music by Richard Strauss will be performed by Fuentes and Riva at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on June 24, said Fuentes.

“My question is whether Lord Tennyson and Strauss knew each other,” said Fuentes.

This is a rare form of melodrama. The show is more like a radio drama, where the actions are not performed but the drama is delivered through speech and music, said Fuentes.

“You are not going to this kind of thing often, even in Europe,” said Fuentes.

He considers working with a Grammy nominee to be a big challenge, he said. They have already had a few small salon showings for some of the Albuquerque elite, said Fuentes.

“I said to one woman, ‘I am just a little brown guy from the desert,’” said Fuentes.

This project began sev­eral years ago when Fuentes met Riva at a performance at an art museum, said Fuentes. The museum was exhibiting Spanish painters and included performance art to bring the show to life, he said.

Riva was hired to play because he is a well-known Spanish pianist, said Fuentes. Fuentes was asked to play Pablo Picasso, he said.

After the museum per­formance the two decided it would be fun to do another project together, said Fuentes. About two years ago, they began work on “Enoch Arden,” he said.

The poem is about three children who grow up together and have to face the realities of love and destiny. It is set during the Victorian era, which focused on deca­dence, he said.

“It was a very romantic and lyrical era,” said Fuentes.

Although the charac­ters are fictional, the events of the poem are based on actual events during the era, said Fuentes.

Strauss set the poem to music for an actor friend. The music Strauss created is complicated and takes skill and practice to read the poem with the music, said Fuentes.

“Every time I read the poem I am getting better at putting the words with the nuances of the music,” he said.

The next project Fuentes would like to undertake is turning “Enoch Arden” into a multimedia performance, said Fuentes.

“My goal is… to have projections on a big screen with oceans and waves, and some dances and actors on stage,” said Fuentes.

Fuentes started in the arts at the age of five, he said. He taught himself to play the piano and had starring roles throughout school. Fuentes also had the opportunity to study music and dance in New York City with some of the best known choreographers of modern dance

The one-day perfor­mance of “Enoch Arden” will take place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on June 24 at 2 p.m., said Fuentes. Tickets are $20, student tickets are $12 at the door, said Fuentes.

“The show is a really good opportunity for English majors and poetry lovers,” said Fuentes.

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