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A horror story by Edgar Allen Poe and a haunted opera house provide Halloween fare for opera lovers

Leora Zeitlin

The challenge for anyone producing opera in the 21st century is “to make the music jump off the page and into the hearts and ears of our listeners,” says John Carlo Pierce, director of the Dona Ana Lyric Opera. Pierce hopes to do just that this weekend when DALO and the Dona Ana Arts Council present two contemporary one-act operas that are perfectly themed for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos: “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Daniel Pinkham based on the Edgar Allen Poe’s story of revenge, and “The Verloren Opera,” by NMSU Music Department Chair Lon W. Chaffin, about a haunted opera house. Pierce talked with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about these 21st century operas and what goes into mounting this kind of production.