Europa Press reports that the opera, called Viaje a Simor ("Trip to Simor"), is inspired by the independent and dispossessed thinkers in Juan Goytisolo's 1988 novel The Virtues of the Solitary Bird. Goytisolo, a gay Spanish writer, voluntarily exiled himself from Franco's Spain in the late 1950s and still lives in Morocco.
The opera is also inspired by other works by "writers and poets who have undergone exile or torture" according to Sšnchez-Verd‹. The opera will use poems of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and the Syrian poet Adonis, among others, and each will be sung in its original language.
Sšnchez-Verd‹ said that he is fascinated by Arab poetry, architecture and music, adding, "from Algeciras [a port city in the south of Spain] where I was born, I could see Africa only 22 kilometers away." Amat added that the opera will be a "musical and literary collage and a bridge between Western and Occidental cultures.
The announcement was made at a news conference presenting the new Harmonia Mundi release Libro del destierro, which features Sšnchez-Verd‹'s compositions Paisajes del placer y de la culpa, Maqbara and Libro del destierro, performed by the Orquestra Simf‹nica de Barcelona. The composer says he considers the disk the "first part of the opera."