Compiled by the El Reportero’s staff
SAN JOSE, CA (April 28, 2021) – The San José Opera formed an exciting partnership with LA Opera to create the Latina Composers recital, honoring the invaluable contributions Latina songwriters have made to the world of classical music. Curated by LAO Artist in Residence Russell Thomas, and with members of the OSJ Resident Company, this recital includes songs by Modesta Bor (1926-1998), María Luisa Escobar (1903-1985), Chabuca Granda (1920-1983) , María Grever (1885-1951), Ernestina Lecuona (1882-1951), Ángela Peralta (1845-1883) and Consuelo Velázquez (1916-2005). Four contemporary female composers are also represented, Gabriela Lena Frank, Tania León, Mariela Rodríguez and Irma Urteaga. Produced and captured at Opera San José’s Heiman Digital Media Studio, the Latina Composers recital will be available to stream for FREE starting May 14. For more information, the public can visit operasj.org/latina-composers-recital.
“The songs that I have programmed celebrate an incredibly rich and diverse range of musical works created by Latinas over the past two centuries throughout the Americas,” said Thomas. “His music will transport our audience to Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba and Peru, all while honoring the women who wrote each piece. It was fantastic to partner with our friends from Northern California, the incredible team at Opera San José, in this magnificent new project. His digital media studio was the perfect space to create this exciting task.”
The outstanding performers at the Latina Composers recital are the soprano Vanessa Becerra, the tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli and the baritone Efraín Solís, resident artists of the San José Opera; baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco; the pianists César Cancino and Bryndon Hassman; and guitarist José Chuy Hernández. Becerra and Santelli are also alumni of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program.
The collaboration between LA Opera and the San José Opera creates a space where innovation and ingenuity are not only possible, but were necessary in the current circumstances, allowing the two organizations to join forces to create this concert that celebrates the immense talent of the outstanding Latin composers and artists who interpret them. The recital program was prepared with the assistance of the Indiana University Latin American Music Center.
The San José Opera is a unique professional regional opera company in the United States. Maintaining a resident company of artists and supporting emerging talent in role debuts, Opera San José specializes in showcasing the best professional singers in the nation. In addition to main stage performances, the San José Opera maintains extensive educational programs in schools and in the community at large and offers introductory lectures and Introductory Opera talks for all main stage productions.
For more information, the public can visit operasj.org/latina-composers-recital.