AUGUST 19, 2015

Arizona's First Poet Laureate gets Arizona Lady off to the races

Alberto "Tito" Ríos instrumental in reviving libretto for the operetta's U.S. premiere Bookmark and Share

alberto tito riosPHOENIX – Arizona Opera is excited to collaborate with Arizona native and Poet Laureate Alberto "Tito" Ríos on the U.S. premiere of Arizona Lady. Ríos, who worked closely with Arizona Lady conductor Kathleen Kelly to create the brand new bilingual production, penned the Spanish lyrics and text for the Kálmán comedy.

"So many incredible artists from diverse backgrounds have come together to collaborate on this project. Kathleen guided the development of the new book using her quick wit, extensive knowledge of the piece, fluent understanding of the original German text and the lyrical flow of Kálman's music. Working side by side with Kathleen, Tito deftly translated the intent and story line into Spanish to create richer characters adding new depth and colors to an already spectacular work." - Ryan Taylor, General Director.

Ríos, born in Nogales, Arizona in 1952, currently holds the position of Arizona's first Poet Laureate and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. A professor at Arizona State University since 1982, Ríos has published more than 300 journals and more than 250 anthologies, and has been honored with numerous awards - including the Walt Whitman Award in Poetry, the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Arizona Literary Treasure Award and a Governor's Arts Award.

Ríos' involvement with Arizona Opera doesn't end on the stage: He will be an integral part of Arizona Opera's Rediscovered Voices Festival, which precedes Arizona Lady, and the Latin American Cultural Festival, which precedes Florencia en el Amazonas. Ríos will host Translation with Alberto "Tito" Ríos on October 5 at the University of Arizona, about his experience working on Arizona Lady.

Ríos will also host Magical Realism: A Conversation with Alberto "Tito" Ríos on November 9, at the Arizona Opera Center in Downtown Phoenix. He will be discussing the themes and important of magical realism in works such as Florencia en el Amazonas.

Both Arizona Lady and Florencia en el Amazonas are part of the Arizona Bold artistic initiative, which seeks to bring new, innovative representative of Arizona's communities to its stages.

Arizona Lady opens the Arizona Opera's 2015-16 Season October 10 & 11 in Tucson Music Hall and October 16 - 18 in Symphony Hall. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now at or by calling 602-266-7464 (Phx) or (520) 293-4336 (Tuc).