In Seattle, two musical depictions of fateful meeting of Montezuma and Cortés

Posted on: February 7, 2020

“Two stunning poems by Seattle poet Raúl Sánchez have become part of the basis for … a unique collaboration” by Early Music Seattle, Mexican-American composer Héctor Armienta, Orquesta Northwest, and Ensemble Caprice, writes Tom Keogh in Tuesday’s (2/4) Seattle Times. “ ‘The Other Conquest’ … on Feb. 8 presents two opposing views of the 500-year-old fateful meeting between Aztec emperor Montezuma and Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in what is now Mexico…. Ensemble Caprice pieced together a partially lost score by … Vivaldi: a 1733 opera called ‘Motezuma’ (the spelling conforms to that used by ‘Motezuma’s librettist, Luigi Giusti). Ensemble Caprice is bringing its concert version (with story recitation) of ‘Motezuma’ to Seattle for a complete Early Music Seattle concert on Feb. 9 at Town Hall. … At the ‘The Other Conquest,’ Caprice will perform excerpts from ‘Motezuma’ followed by the world premiere of ‘La Conquista,’ with a score by Armienta and libretto by Sánchez. The Ballard Civic Orchestra, one of three ongoing projects under the umbrella of Orquesta Northwest, is dedicated to Latin American classical music. Music director Paula Madrigal conceived of a musical response to Vivaldi’s depiction of Cortés as a hero. She asked Sánchez to write the libretto.”