KRWG

Lon W. Chaffin

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.

Leora Zeitlin

Ghosts, spook lights and other strange phenomena inspired the “Haunted America Suite,” by Justin Raines, an NMSU graduate now working as a composer in Los Angeles, and in the first performances and recording sessions, doors slammed, lights went out, and other spooky things happened. Just in time for Halloween, Jim and Celeste Shearer, and several other musicians from Las Cruces and El Paso, will offer an encore performance of the suite at 7:30 p.m on October 29, at the Atkinson Recital Hall, along with works by Frank Gulino, Elizabeth Raum and NMSU Music Department Chair Lon W. Chaffin.