Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassador Héctor Armienta brings to San Jose's MACLA theater his latest interpretation of Zorro! With his theater company Opera Cultura they will present the very first performances of excerpts from Zorro, the newest bilingual opera by nationally-recognized Mexican-American composer Héctor Armienta. This incredible opera tells the story of the beloved fictional character—the masked, swashbuckling vigilante who fights injustice and corruption.
The opera incorporates a variety of musical styles, including Mariachi and Mexican corridos. The story is of a young man of noble birth in search of his destiny. After spending several years abroad in Spain, he returns home to Reina de Los Angeles to discover his true calling—to fight for the poor and disenfranchised. Set in the early 19th century in Alta California and in México, the story reflects a time of great political upheaval, due in part to the French Revolution and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The opera references political events and historical figures, including Spanish King Ferdinand and the man who lit the flame of the Mexican revolution, Padre Miguel Hidalgo.
The performance will be directed by Mexican will feature Mexican tenor Alonso Sicairos-León performing the leading role of Diego de la Vega (Zorro), as part of Opera Cultura’s Young Artist Program and Arte Sin Fronteras/Art Without Borders Initiative. Arte Sin Fronteras is a cross-cultural exchange initiative that was originally spearheaded by Opera Cultura in association with the Office of Cultural Affairs, the city of San José, the Mexican Consulate of San José, and the city of Guadalajara, México.
Other featured artists are: Soprano Aléxa Anderson, baritone Eugene Brancoveanu, mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz, baritone J.T. Williams, and soprano Nicole Lopez-Hagan. The performance will be directed by Mexican stage director Octavio Cardenas, who captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing.
Please note that both performances have very limited capacity. The performance on December 19th will be followed by a discussion with the composer, artists, and stage director.
Location: MACLA, 510 S. First Street, San Jose CA 95113
Tickets and Information: Tickets are pay-what-you-can (value $10-$25) and can be ordered online at zorroworkshop.brownpapertickets.com or over the phone at 1-800-838-3006. Performances will be approximately one hour long. The venue is wheelchair accessible. For all other info (directions, parking, etc.) contact: 408-471-7853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER/LIBRETTIST
Héctor 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 Fort Worth Opera, Opera SouthWest, 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. Mr. Armienta 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. www.hectorarmienta.com
ABOUT OPERA CULTURA
Our mission is to explore the Latinx-Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera, while providing opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this by presenting the work of composer Héctor Armienta and other Latinx composers, showcasing other artists, and training young people in the performing arts. By doing so, we create a cultural bridge between communities.
Our programming in the past has included presenting Latinx-Hispanic opera, collaborating with Latinx-based arts organizations and other community organizations, and providing training for young people in the performing arts. While San Jose remains our artistic home, we have also presented and co-presented in New York, Washington D.C., and México. Notable performances include La LLorona, Rio de Mujéres, and Armienta's immigration song cycle opera Cuentos de Peregrinacíon. Cuentos has been performed in San Jose and in Guadalajara, México's Degollado Theater. Opera Cultura also initiated the Arte Sin Fronteras (Art Without Borders) Initiative, a cross-cultural exchange between San Jose, CA, and Guadalajara, México.
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