Music: The First One

Great stone cities slumber, long ruined, in the jungle bush of lower North America. In Mexico the Aztecs, in Yucatan the Mayans developed civilizations which declined and fell so long ago that little is known of them today. Their traditions, lingering in the stones and exhumed jewelry of their cities, are of an antiquity admirably suited to folklore and epic poetry. Hence Payambé, "The First One," a new Mexican opera.

The libretto—a tale of two city-states, Tuluum and Chichen-Itza, whose kings warred while a Tuluum prince loved a Chichen princess—was contrived by Don...

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