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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Celebrate KPAC's 40th at this brand new opera premiere

Lee Farar Bailey as Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, and Kathleen Shelton as Blanca Ribas.
Texas Public Radio
Lee Farar Bailey as Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, and Kathleen Shelton as Blanca Ribas.

As KPAC celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall, we're both looking back at the station's history, as well as looking forward to the future of classical music in South Texas. One of the most inspired and prolific voices over the past few years has been Nathan Felix, whose previous work has included a “headphone opera” and music for street choir and harpsichords. TPR is thrilled to host the world premiere of Felix's latest work, “Ribas-Dominicci,” a three-act chamber opera based on history.

This free, community event takes place on Friday, November 4 at 7 p.m. at the Malu and Carlos Alvarez Theater, and will be followed by a post-show reception featuring both non-alcoholic refreshments, and custom cocktails by Pastiche, using Barrell Craft Spirits.

Reserve your space using this link.

Free validated parking is available at the City Tower Garage at 111 North Main Street. An Additional entrance is at 60 North Flores Street.

TPR's main entrance on Commerce Street is fully accessible via wheelchair, with a designated curb cut for vehicular drop off.


Major Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci - Pedro Carreras Jr. (Tenor)
Blanca Ribas-Berrain - Lucianna Astorga (Soprano)

SYNOPSIS: This is a 60 minute, 3-act, chamber opera written to premiere live at the Carlos Alvarez theater at Texas Public Radio in San Antonio on November 4th 2022. It's a story about Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, a Major and pilot in the United States Airforce as told by his living wife Blanca Berrain. Blanca worked with composer Nathan Felix in developing the libretto by recounting stories of Fernando's early years growing up in Puerto Rico, how the two fell in love, details leading up to Operation El Dorado Canyon and the aftermath of losing her husband.

Ribas-Dominicci was an F-111F pilot in the United States Air Force who was killed in action during Operation El Dorado Canyon. Ribas-Dominicci was given secret orders from President Ronald Reagan for the April 15, 1986 U.S. air raid on Libya. Ribas-Dominicci, who participated in the air raid as a member of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, was shot down in action over the disputed Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast. Ribas-Dominicci was 33 years old.

On December 25, 1988, after years of denying that they had the bodies of the two crew members, Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, offered to release the body of Ribas-Berrain's co-pilot, Paul Lorence, to his family through Pope John Paul II. The body recovered and thought to be that of Lorence was actually that of then-Captain Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci, which was identified by dental records and returned in 1989. Ribas-Dominicci was born in the town of Utado in Puerto Rico and since his passing, the airport in San Juan named Fernando Ribas Dominicci Airport and the City of Utuado honored its fallen hero by naming a main avenue as Fernando Ribas-Dominicci Avenue. Blanca & Fernando Jr. have helped develop this longer version of the opera.

Act 1: The Early Years

Act 2: War & History

Act 3: El Dorado Canyon

Reserve your spot here: KPAC 40th Anniversary Presents: Ribas-Dominicci by Nathan Felix (tpr.org)