Artist Projects

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance


Graham Reynolds

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance is an experimental chamber opera about the life and death of Pancho Villa.  Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa, the project is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a genre-hopping trilogy of musical performances by visionary composer Graham Reynolds. The opera is an insightful examination of the Mexican and Mexican-American impact on the culture and politics of West Texas, contributing to the current and timely conversation about borders and the limitations of the concept of delineated states. Exploring facts from Villa's biography while also examining the mythology surrounding him, the opera will ask what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict. Artistic collaborators from both sides of the river come together to engage in a borderless conversation about the shared history between Mexico and the United States. Reynolds experiments with an exciting hybrid of composition and production techniques while leading an eight-piece ensemble to bring Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol's fascinating libretto to an intensely visceral and intimate life.