To a striking and intensely poetic modern libretto by Irish poet Paul Muldoon, freely based on Shakespeare's play Othello, Daron Aric Hagen has composed one of the best operas of the present era. Bandanna is set in a small town on the U.S. - Mexico border during the fall of 1968. The story embraces the timeless themes of love and betrayal within the context of the Vietnam War era and the continuing struggle for survival waged by illegal immigrants and migrant workers who inhabit the "border" towns of a literal and symbolic world. The opera is uniquely scored for a wind orchestra (without strings except for an onstage Mariachi Band that includes three violins) and was commissioned by a consortium of members of the College Band Director's National Association. It received its world premiere on March 25, 1999, performed by the University of Texas Opera Theater, Austin, Texas under the musical direction of Michael Haithcock. A recording under the composer's direction, on the Albany label, was released in the fall of 2001. Bandanna is a major addition to the modern repertoire of serious works for the lyric stage.