La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Plaza

 

La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Center

An epic tale of love, betrayal and vengeance is told in La Llorona, a new operatic musical drama based on a well known folk legend in Mexico and the U.S. southwest. La Llorona / the Weeping Woman is premiering at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Center later this month. The San Jose show marks the third production of the award winning operatic musical drama by composer Hector Armienta, a nationally recognized Mexican American composer, who focuses on creating work that explores the Mexican and Mexican-American cultural experience.

La Llorona

“Anyone who has ancestral roots in Mexico knows this epic legend that has been told and retold in diverse ways by many cultures and through generations of storytellers,” says composer Armienta. “Some would say that La Llorona is the Mexican Medea.” At its core La Llorona is a story of revenge as it tells the story of of a woman who forsakes her people and betrays the river by falling in love and marrying a man of Spanish lineage. She later takes the life of her child by drowning her in a river. Did the river torment her into the act?

La Llorona is the second in a trilogy of work, Aquas Ancestrales/Ancient Waters, by Hector Armienta. The trilogy’s central themes and story relate to the spiritual and magical element of water, the role of destiny and free will in our existence, and the lives of the women in Armienta’s family, including his Mexican grandmother, mother and sister. When completed, the trilogy will consist of a bilingual chamber opera (Rio de Mujeres/River of Women), an operatic musical drama (La Llorona/The Weeping Woman), and a full-blown opera (La Muerte/The Murder).

La Llorona Mexican Heritage Plaza

 

About Opera Cultura

MISSION

Our mission is to explore the Latino – Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera and provide opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this mission by supporting and producing the work of composer Hector Armienta, showcasing music by opera composers of Latino/Hispanic descent, and training young people through various educational programs. Further, it is Mr. Armienta’s vision and that of the organization to develop a core of work that serves as a cultural bridge between communities. In doing so, Opera Cultura extends the boundaries and definition of the art form.

Hector Armienta – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Hector Armienta, a nationally recognized Mexican-American composer, focuses on creating work that explores the Mexican and Mexican-American cultural experience. His awards and commissions include those from Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts International, Opera Pacific, the Pacific Symphony, two San Francisco Arts Commissions, Oakland East Bay Symphony, and Western Stage Theater. His work for orchestra and theater has received support from three NEA grants in artistic excellence.

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As an opera and music theater composer, he draws on stories and music that represent his bi-cultural roots. His music theater trilogy, Aguas Ancestrales/Ancient Waters, is such an example. Inspired by the life of Mr. Armienta’s grandmother, the trilogy draws upon the natural and spiritual element of water. It controls the fate of all the characters. Parts of the trilogy have been performed by Opera Pacific, Western Stage Theater, The York Theater and Teatro Latea in New York, and, most recently, Philadelphia’s Center City Opera presented excerpts. His bilingual children’s opera based on a Mexican folk tale, Los Coyotes y Las Conejas, has been performed by the Music Theater Collaborative, Forth Worth Opera, and others. Tulsa Opera will tour the work this season. Cuentos de Peregrinacion/Tales of Pilgrimage, which includes text based on real-life experiences of those living the East San Jose community, will premiere in San Jose in March 2014. Most recently, he has acquired the rights to develop Rudolfo Anaya’s epic novel, Bless Me Ultima, into an opera.

 

Mr. Armienta is also the founder and director of Opera Cultura, whose mission is to explore music theater and opera through a cross-cultural lens. It is through this organization that Mr. Armienta develops some of his music theater projects and creates opportunities for young people from economically disadvantaged communities to experience the arts. He holds a BM degree in composition from California Institute of the Arts and an MM degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Celebrating San Jose Jazz 25th Anniversary

Be Sharp Silicon Valley celebrating San Jose Jazz 25th Anniversary

Silicon Valley Latino came out in force to celebrate a night of celebrity bartenders, models, and live music in celebration of the 25th anniversary of San Jose Jazz.

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Antologia of The Arts exhibit

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Teatro Vision’s MACARIO from Oct. 10th – Oct. 20th

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