New Opera to Honor Air Force Hero Major Fernando Ribas-Dominicci

San Antonio, TX, April 12, 2021 --( Composer, Nathan Felix, is set to premiere a new chamber opera inspired by the life of Major Fernando Luis Ribas-Dominicci, a pilot in the United States Air Force who was killed in action during Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986. The opera features mezzo-soprano Kathleen Shelton and baritone Lee Farrar Bailey. The opera titled, Ribas-Dominicci, will premiere as part of Texas Public Radio’s Daystream series on Friday April 30 at 2pm CST.

Ribas-Dominicci, whose family resides in San Antonio, 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 orders from then President Ronald Reagan for the April 15, 1986 U.S. air raid on Libya where he was shot down in action over the disputed Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast. 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. Felix collaborated with the wife of Ribas-Dominicci, Blanca Ribas for the libretto and tone of the work.

Ribas-Dominicci is a 25 minute, 3-act, opera about love, valor and sacrifice. In addition to leads, Farrar-Bailey and Shelton, conductor Richard Castillo will lead an all star ensemble consisting of Oscar Dodier (violin), Ptotia Furlow (viola), Stephen Long (cello), Ed Knoekel (piano) and a 4-piece choir.
Composer, Nathan Felix
Nathan Felix