Dawn is back at the SPCO with a world premiere

by John Birge
November 6, 2009

Listen Dawn Upshaw sings world premiere with SPCO
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Artistic Partner Dawn Upshaw sings Osvaldo Golijov's 'Three Songs' and a new work by Spanish film composer Alberto Iglesias in this weekend's SPCO concerts. (Photo: Brooke Irish/Ojai Festival)

Soprano Dawn Upshaw fell in love at the movies.

Not with the leading man, but with the music.

When she heard the soundtrack to Pedro Almodovar's film "Talk to Her," she did something she never does - she rushed out to buy the soundtrack CD, then listened to it obsessively.

The score was composed by two-time Oscar-nominee - "The Kite Runner" and "The Constant Gardener" - Alberto Iglesias.

It was fellow composer Osvoldo Golijov who introduced Upshaw to Alberto Iglesias, and she immediately asked the Iglesias to write his first major concert piece for her and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Upshaw sings the world premiere of "In the Land of the Lemon Trees" with the SPCO this weekend in Chicago and St. Paul. I caught up with Dawn Upshaw after rehearsal yesterday to talk about the new piece, her Chicago roots, and her rendezvous with "Dudamania" in Los Angeles next weekend.