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UNM Opera Looks At A New Mexico Maverick


UNM Opera Theatre presents a new chamber opera this month inspired by the life of a central figure in New Mexico's cultural history.  Wealthy Mabel Dodge Luhan moved from the bohemian society of Greenwich Village to Taos in 1917 and established the town forevermore as a gathering spot for artists and writers.  Mabel's Call, November 2-4 at UNM's Keller Hall in Albuquerque, is the work of New York City-based composer, Nell Shaw Cohen.

"Mabel's story really connects with a contemporary experience.  She was looking to reinvent herself by coming to Taos, by connecting with the landscape and the indigenous cultures here," says Nell.  "That kind of visionary, maverick quality is something I find very exciting."

Nell talks about the music she composed for Mabel's Call in this longer version of the interview.  She also describes the lengthy and helpful development process behind the UNM Opera Theatre production.


Spencer Beckwith reports on the arts for KUNM. For ten years, until March of 2014, Spencer was the producer and host of KUNM's "Performance New Mexico," a weekday morning arts program that included interviews with musicians, writers and performers. Spencer is a graduate of the acting program at the Juilliard School, and, before moving to New Mexico in 2002, was for many years a professional actor based in New York City.