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Daniel Catan will be honored by L.A. Opera, Santa Cecilia Orchestra

May 13, 2011 | 11:39 am

Daniel Catan The life and work of Daniel Catán, the Mexican-born opera composer who died suddenly at age 62 on April 8, will be honored twice this month: by L.A. Opera, with a May 23 tribute at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion  and by the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, with a May 22 concert at Occidental College.

Catán, who lived in South Pasadena, had a strong connection with L.A. Opera, which produced two of his works, "Florencia en el Amazonas" and, last fall, "Il Postino," an adaptation of the popular film and novel about a fictitious relationship that develops between a postman and the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Commissioned by L.A. Opera, "Il Postino" had its world premiere at the Chandler in September, with a cast headed by Plácido Domingo, the superstar tenor and L.A. Opera general director, in the Neruda role.

"To have lost a composer of his stature at the very height of his powers is a devastating loss to the world of classical music," Domingo said in a statement. "Daniel Catán was one of the great opera composers of our time, beloved by audiences and especially by the musicians who had the privilege of performing his incredible work."

The program, which is open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m.

In a 4 p.m. May 22 concert at Occidental College's Thorne Hall, Santa Cecilia Orchestra will present music in honor of Catán, including Silvestre Revueltas’ "La Noche de los Mayas" (The Night of The Mayas).

--Reed Johnson

Photo: Catán at work during rehearsal for the world premiere of "Il Postino" at L.A. Opera last September. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times