Resonating with America’s cultural climate, the In Series is getting intensely political and deeply human, using music and drama to engage directly with today’s salient issues: human migration, political and geographic borders, and the effects of a wall on human life. The In Series takes “La Verbena de la Paloma,” Spain’s most beloved zarzuela, and sets it at the US/Mexico border between Tijuana and San Diego, where a migrant woman from Central America, deported when seeking asylum in the US, waits for news of the daughter from whom she’s been separated. This English and Spanish language version is written by Washington poet and translator Anna Deeny Morales. Young Mexican composer Ulises Eliseo has arranged the original score by Tomas Breton for an instrumental ensemble inspired by a tradition of Mexican son jarocho music and incorporated traditional Mexican songs.
At the physical and dramatic center of this production is a looming 25-foot replica of the border wall muralized by teenaged participants from the Latin American Youth Center. This unique partnership begins in February with educational sessions for the youth on chicano culture, border art, and the themes of the operetta itself. Under the guidance of muralist Luis Peralta and painter Sarah Craft, youth will draw from this training and their own experiences as first-generation Americans to collaboratively plan an original mural, which they will paint onto the set throughout the week between March 8th and 15th.Additionally, Corazon Folklórico, a Washington D.C. based Mexican folk dance company led by Alejandro Gongora, will enliven the celebration of La Virgen de la Soledad, the centerpiece of the plot. A host of free ancillary events will involve a community fandango (a public Mexican street festival of music and dance from the area around Veracruz), as well as community forums on art and migration, public folk dance lessons, and a final party to “tear down this wall.”
In this way, this production reaches not only across our borders, but also across our city to showcase the experiences and talents of local artists from multiple disciplines, reciprocally incorporating fresh perspectives into the ancient form of opera and providing a time-tested medium in which to give voice to contemporary ideas.
Artistic Director Timothy Nelson says:
“The act of making art, giving utterance to experience, is inherently a political act. In the Summer of 2018, when we planned to commission and produce this new version of “La Verbena de la Paloma” set in the thriving cultural economy of the borderland around San Diego and Tijuana, we had no idea that this issue of a border wall and the themes of this work would become only more resonant and relevant as we neared production of the work. The In Series has a long history of producing Spanish and Latin-American works. To truly honor that tradition we seek now to find ways of making that repertoire speak to the issues effecting Spanish speaking audiences of today. While surprised at the uncanny pertinence that this current production has taken on – a rare direct confluence of art and life – I am proud that we’re able to give immediate voice and response in the form of music and theatre.”
|WHAT:||La Paloma at the Wall|
|WHERE:||GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010|
23rd and 30th at 8pm
March 24th and 31st
Night will be March 23rd at 8pm –Press tickets remain available
for the 24th |
*Sunday March 24th will feature a post-show Q&A. March 11th at 7pm – Director’s Salon at the Mexican Cultural Institute
|TICKETS:||Single Tickets: $45 General, $40 Seniors, $25 Under 35, and $20 students Group rates: 10% discount for parties of 8+ Reservations for the Director’s Salon on March 11th are available free of charge. Tickets may be purchased online at www.inseries.org, or by calling 202-204-7763.|