La Ultima Parada 2016 – Opera Cultura
The mission of Opera Cultura is to explore the Latino-Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera, while providing opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. They accomplish this by presenting the work of composer Hector Armienta, showcasing other artists, and training young people in the performing arts. In doing so, they create a cultural bridge between communities.
Past programming has included presenting Latino-Hispanic opera, collaborating with Latino based arts organizations, and providing training for young people in the performing arts. While San Jose remains their artistic home, they 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 and Guadalajara México.
Upcoming events include a bilingual children’s opera Coyotes and Rabbits, Hector’s bilingual children’s opera, coming up in March 2017. It will be presented on March 4th at the Mexican Heritage Plaza and touring schools in San Jose. Also, in production this season is Hector Armienta’s new opera Bless Me, Ultima, based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya.
At LUP 2016, Opera Cultura presents three of their artists . . . Maria Caycedo, Carmelo and Paul Zawilski .
Maria Caycedo, Soprano, is Colombian by birth and was raised in the American south. Her multicultural childhood lead to a variety of musical interests including classical, latin, gospel, irish, pop and hip hop. She has performed around the Bay Area in roles including Lucy (The Telephone), Musetta (La Boheme), Frasquita (Carmen), Belinda (Dido & Aeneas), and Sara (La Llorona). She will be performing again with Opera Cultura next year in a children’s opera, Coyotes and Rabbits, as well as in a reading of Hector Armienta’s newest work, Bless Me Ultima.