UH Moores Center Dedication
Renowned opera composer Daniel Catán dies, leaving a Houston void
Mexican composer Daniel Catán — an influential and beloved figure in the Houston opera world — died Friday in Austin.
No details have been made public, but officials at the University of Houston Moores School of Music and the Mexican Consulate will be releasing statements later today.
The final performance of the University of Houston Moores Opera Center's production of Catán's opera Il Postino (7:30 p.m. tonight) will be dedicated to his memory. The performance is part of the Catán Project, an initiative established in 2009 to produce one of his works every two years led by Moores Opera Center founder and director Buck Ross.
Catán traveled the world, but made his residence in Los Angeles. In a recent CultureMap interview, Catán cited Houston as a musical home, owing much of his success to the support and commissions by the Houston Grand Opera and the Moores Opera Center.
Il Postino was his latest opera, commissioned by the LA Opera with Plácido Domingo. Catán was in the middle of crafting Meet John Doe, commissioned by the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.
He was considered by many to be a leader in contemporary opera, able to innovate while connecting with audiences.
"As a composer, I have had great admiration for Daniel's style - for his compositional choices and his innate talent for writing for singers," David Ashley White, director of the Moores School of Music, said in a written statement. "His lyricism was outstanding and was so natural. To my ears, Il Postino was his best work, and as it now turns out, it will be a fitting tribute to him and his immense expressive abilities."
Catán was born in 1949.