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HANGMAN,HANGMAN! (1982), chamber opera one act (50’)-8 instr.-. (Text by the composer in English, Spanish and Catalan versions) Commissioned & Prem. Barcelona International Festival.) (Publ. G.Schirmer Inc)
[other perf.: Carnegie Mellon Univ.(Amer.prem.); Moorhead State Univ.(Minn.); Tallahasse,Fla.; Amarillo College, Teatro Zarzuela, Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona] (CD Naxos Records, Carnegie Mellon Opera Theater, C. Pearce cond.] (CD Naxos Records, Carnegie Mellon Opera Theater, C. Pearce cond)]
"(It is) an imaginative opera... (Balada’s) purpose was to write a work...inspired by a cowboy ballad, that in its comic nature expresses a sour criticism of society and the greediness of human beings...The music is alive, up-to-date...the match between words and music is total...It is interesting for its strong personality...It is a work of a musician-intelligent, challenging,diversified and imaginative, always with an interesting compositional process at work."-La Vanguardia-Barcelona ; "‘Hangman! ‘is very much American, despite its composer’s Spanish roots...the setting is the Old West, and the folk melody is woven through a sophisticated musical web."-Opera News. “…emphatically recommended”- Klassic Heute.
THE TOWN OF GREED (1997) (A ‘cartoon’ tragi-comic chamber opera in one act)(35’)-8 instr.- a sequel to "Hangman,Hangman!"(book by A. Midani and L Balada, libreto by L. Balada in English, Spanish and Catalan). (An irreverent story that makes a strong social-criticism.)World premiere Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, Sept. 2007. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[other perform. Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona]
CD Naxos Records perf. Carnegie Mellon Opera Theater, c. Pearce cond.)
“… brilliantly told parables of predatory capitalism and its consequences”- Klassic Heute
ZAPATA (2h.) (1984) grand opera in two acts. (On the life and death of the Mexican revolutionary.) .Commissioned by San Diego Opera. (In English) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1986) ( 2h.) grand opera in two acts comm. by Government Spain (Text by A.Gala, in Spanish) to commemorate the 500 years of the arrival of the Spaniards to the Americas.(The opera depicts the history and passions that lead Columbus to the Indies.). Prem.Opera House del Liceu, Barcelona with Jose Carreras and Montserrat Caballe. Comm. Spanish Govmnt. This event was covered and reviwed by the principal media from the USA-New York Times, Washington Times, Opera News, International Herald Tribune,CBS-Sunday Morning, Etc-, Europe- Le Monde, Die Welt, Der Rheinische Merku, Il Giornale, The Independent, Le Soir de Bruxelles, Financial Times,Opera Now(London),Opera International (Paris),L’Opera(Milan)Das Oppernwelt (Zurich), Die Buhne (Viena), Ut Mi Sol(Paris) Etc.-, Latinamerica-La Folha de Sao Paulo (Brasil), El Tiempo(Colombia), La Nacion(Argentina), El Dia (Mexico), Galavision, Etc.- (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
CD Naxos Records perf. Gran Teatre del Liceu chorus and orch. with singers Jose Carreras and Montserrat Caballe, cond. Theo Alcantara.
"It is a masterpiece...a landmark score in the lyric theater of our time."-The Washington Times; "(Balada)brought back from years of labor in America a gift to his native Catalonia...(his)melodies serve the verismo style of singing...this opera succeeds largely on the shoulders of its orchestra writing...(he) exersices his own kind of anthropomorphism."-The New York Times; "A great success"-Corriere della Sera;" A colorful, thoroughly professional score."- The Financial Times;"A writing always of high quality."- Il Giornale;
DEATH OF COLUMBUS (1996) (1h 45 min.) grand opera in two acts. Comm. National Endowment for the Arts and Caja de Madrid. (A sequel to "Christopher Columbus" which starts when Columbus returns to Barcelona after his trip of discovery and ends with his death in Valladolid.) (Text by the composer in Spanish) World premiere concert version by Carnegie Mellon Opera conducted by Robert Page, sang by Jon Garrison (Columbus), David Okerlund (Mysterious Character), Judith Jenkins (Queen Isabella). (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
CD Naxos Records perf. Carnegie Mellon Philh. and Chorus with singers Jon Garrison and David Okerlund , cond. R. Page.
“Energetic, sweeping and expressive, Balada’s score probes Columbus’s psychological world”. American Record Guide.
“…an uncommonly impressive and winning contemporary opera that visits the discoverer of the New World on his deathbed, where memory and imagination mix.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“…The score is quite gorgeous…combines a variety of 20th-century techniques into a style that is recognizably his own.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
FAUST-BAL grand opera in two acts comm. by Teatro Real of Madrid. Librettist, Fernando Arrabal. Premiered Feb. 2009. (A surrealist 21th C. interpretation of the classical Faust) (Subito Music)
La Resurrección de Colón (The Resurrection of Columbus), 2012 (50’) grand opera in one act, a sequel to “La Muerte de Colon”. (After one thousand years of Columbus death the earth is flat. God resurrects Columbus and blames the uncontrolled technical advances of his civilization for the destruction of the earth. Columbus in turn criticizes God for his imperfect creation. The conclusion of the opera is an unexpected one.)