There'll also be an authenticity to the work that one cannot get from surfing the Internet or plowing through library books. To gain a real idea of the physical landscape of the Navajo people, Grey took several trips to the high countries of Arizona and New Mexico. Whenever he could, he slept out in the open land by himself. He visited the Bisti Badlands in the northwest corner of New Mexico, a place where, Grey says, many Navajos believe the beasts in the monster-slayer legend originally lived. When he couldn't travel off the beaten path alone, he and photographer Deborah O'Grady hired an anthropologist to guide them by four-wheel drive. One such visit to Largo Canyon reveled rarely seen monster-slayer petroglyphs on the canyon walls.

Enemy Slayer will run in Boulder, Colorado, in the summer, and according to Grey, it could turn into a full-scale opera in the future. But first, the show must face a Phoenix audience that will include national music critics, members from the tribe-owned Navajo Times, and many Navajo people from all over the Southwest, including one who will bless the performance beforehand.

Composer Mark Grey's Enemy Slayer puts a twist on tradition.
Deborah O'Grady
Composer Mark Grey's Enemy Slayer puts a twist on tradition.

Details

Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 7, and Saturday, February 9.
Symphony Hall

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As for Grey's role during the performance, he says, "I will be sitting out in the crowd with white knuckles, as they say."

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1 comments
cody brassfield
cody brassfield

What a great write up. I love the detail and am excited find more info on this production.

 
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