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Critically Acclaimed Opera Composed By COC Professor Dr. Daniel Catán

catanCollege of the Canyons professor Dr. Daniel Catán is musical composer of the critically acclaimed Spanish opera “Il Postino” that debuted September 23, in Los Angeles.

When composing music, Catán says that he looks for a certain character that would make a wonderful story. This may reflect how Catán came up with much of the musical composition for “Il Postino.”

“I try to capture the way the characters move and breathe,” said Catán, “The essence rather than the atmosphere.”

Based on the 1994 Italian film of the same name, “Il Postino” is the story of a young postman who befriends a famous poet in a small Italian village. Catán says this story parallels the relationship he shares with his students when teaching.


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“The poet and the young man compare to the student [and] mentor role I play when teaching at the college,” said Catán.

He currently teaches Fundamentals, Music Appreciation, 
Jazz, and Modal Counterpoint at College of the Canyons.

Catán who was born in Mexico into a musically gifted family began experimenting with music himself by the age of 15.

“Once the dog bites you, you can not escape,” Catán said of his beginnings with music.

He went on to earn his Ph.D. at Princeton University. He studied under American composer, Milton Babbit. What many say is Catán’s first noted opera, “Florencia en el Amazonas opened the door for a lifelong career in a field he enjoys.

His Mexican influence makes Catán one of the most notable Spanish composers of our time.

Catán is currently working on a new opera he hopes will debut next year, but he does admit, it would be nice to take a break. “But of course I can not,” said Catán.

The final performance of “Il Postino” played to a sold out audience on October 16.