Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass

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Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass
Elliot Goldenthal Juan Darien A Carnival Mass.jpg
Cast recording by Elliot Goldenthal
Released October 29, 1996
Genre Classical, avante garde
Length 59:50
Label Sony Classical
Producer Joel Iwataki
Elliot Goldenthal chronology
'Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio'
Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass
Professional ratings
Review scores
MusicFromTheMovies2.5/5 stars[citation needed]
New York TimesReasonable [1]

Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass is a musical with music and lyrics by Elliot Goldenthal and a book by Goldenthal and Julie Taymor. The musical premiered Off-Broadway in 1988 in the former St. Clement's Church.[2] It was subsequently reworked and refined before playing on Broadway in 1996 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, directed by Taymor. The musical, based on a modern fable of the same name by Horacio Quirogà, is set in the jungle in South America, with a jaunty skeletal Death ever present. Its story concerns an orphaned jaguar cub who is miraculously transformed into a human child by the compassion of a woman who has lost her own baby; the boy must then confront the savagery of human civilization. The production employs masked actors and puppets, and the score includes elements of Latin American folk music and the Requiem Mass.[3] The piece was revived and toured extensively.[4]


Goldenthal collaborated closely with the musical's director, and his romantic partner, Julie Taymor to create a score that would complement their off-beat concept, blending musical styles with a carnival version of a Requiem Mass sung in Latin and Spanish, primal jungle calls, sharp-edged jazz and hints of minimalism. It was well received by critics. Goldenthal played the small role of Circus Barker/Streetsinger.[5] The piece is sometimes described as a passion play.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Agnus Dei (2:02)
  2. Lacrymosa / Mr. Bones Fanfare (8:56)
  3. Jaguar Cub Approach (1:48)
  4. Mr. Bones' Two-Step (0:55)
  5. The Hunter's Entrance (1:37)
  6. Gloria (2:39)
  7. Initiation (1:11)
  8. A Round at Midnight (1:52)
  9. Sanctus (2:08)
  10. School (3:51)
  11. Recordare (4:12)
  12. Carnaval (7:45)
  13. Lullabye - Lyrics by Elliot Goldenthal (2:47)
  14. Trance - Lyrics by Horacio Quiroga (2:18)
  15. Dies Irae (12:17)
  16. Lacrymosa II / Retribution (3:32)


  • Music Composed by Elliot Goldenthal
  • Recording Produced by Joel Iwataki
  • Directed by Julie Taymor, Musical Direction by Richard Cordova
  • Recorded and Mixed by Joel Iwataki
  • Juan (Boy Soprano): Devin Provenzano
  • Mother (Contralto): Andrea Frierson Toney
  • Circus Barker/Streetsinger (Baritone): Elliot Goldenthal


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b Rothstein, Mervyn. "The Power of Theatrical Transformation Shown in Juan Darien", Playbill, November 22, 1996, accessed October 8, 2017
  3. ^ Juan Darién, Lincoln Center Theatre, accessed October 8, 2017
  4. ^ Shewey, Don. "Film; United in Their Love of the Outsider", The New York Times, October 27, 2002, accessed October 8, 2017
  5. ^ "Elliot Goldenthal Concert & Stage: Juan Darién - A Carnival Mass (1996)". Filmmusic.com. 2011-07-11. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 

External links[edit]