Babel Scores is now listed in the database. Babel publishes works by contemporary composers. Their catalog contains composers from Europe and Latin America. Explore works by Miguel Farias, Pedro García-Velásquez, and Juliane Klein.
As the database expands, I’m trying get a broad range of operas and ballets from all countries. Opera has an Italian bias since they originated the art form, but opera took root in countries around the world. My focus right now is finding Latin American operas and ballets. Now I have composers representing Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, and Colombia in the database. As far as the saxophone goes, it was first used by Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos in his 1917 ballet, Uirapurú. Was the saxophone used in any South American opera or ballet before 1917? I haven’t found an answer yet, but hopefully I’ll keep uncovering new stage works that will answer that question. If you’re not familiar with Uirapurú, here’s ballet that will introduce you to the magical bird. The soprano saxophone solo starts at 5:20.
Technically, there is one Latin American composer who precedes Villa-Lobos. Reynaldo Hahn has several works in the database, starting in 1910 with La Fête Chez Thérèse. Hahn was born in Venezuela and relocated to France when he was a child. He is more connected to the French Impressionist movement than music in Venezuela. As I uncover more works, hopefully we’ll have a better understanding of how the saxophone spread in Latin American countries.