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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 17th February 2017 > Elena Mendoza, composer, inds music in J.C. Onetti

Elena Mendoza, composer, inds music in J.C. Onetti


“AS I READ, I collect ideas for my work. I found the ideas for my next opera, which I’m creating with the director Matthias Rebstock, in stories by the modernist Uruguayan author Juan Carlos Onetti.

Onetti died in exile in 1994; most of his works, from La Vida Breve [1950] onwards, are set in a ictional town called Santa Maria, which he uses as a symbol of social oppression. Onetti pushes at the boundaries of reality in his content and his language. His words contain many double meanings, and he tells you, literally, only half the story; the other half you have to imagine. This is excellent news for a composer, because he leaves you space for interpretation.

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