Cuatro Corridos in Mexico City

Teatro de las Artes, CENART

Teatro de las Artes, CENART

Our long awaited trip to Mexico City took place this month.  Thanks to Jorge Volpi, Pablo Gomez and the extraordinary people of Centro de las Artes (CENART), Cuatro Corridos was presented for three performances at the gorgeous Theatre de las Artes on May 15-17, 2015.  I knew that it was going to be a remarkable trip when Pablo Gomez and I skyped in to a news conference at CENART on May 6.  Jorge spoke about the libretto for Cuatro Corridos, which has been developed into a film ("The Chosen Ones", presented to critical acclaim at Cannes Film Festival last week) as well as a forthcoming novel.  Pablo and I spoke about musical arc of the opera and the impact that the opera has had on audiences. 

On the day of our dress rehearsal, we had over two dozen representatives from the media in attendance; previews of the performance were broadcast on Uno, Channel 22 (Mexico's cultural channel), Notimex and distributed through AP throughout Mexico and South America.  Our Friday performance was streamed live on CONCULTA, and will be rebroadcast in the future.  Cuatro Corridos will be the subject on an hour long program on Channel 22 as well.  I was overwhelmed; it is gratifying that so many people are interested in the project and the broader discussion about human trafficking.  I started so many conversations with people who want to create a world that is free of human trafficking.    And I am looking forward to continuing those conversations, each and every one.

On a different note, it was lovely to have Cuatro Corridos group together again, with our new technical director, Jason Ponce.  Together we valiantly fought the battle of set transportation, which, incredibly, went off without a hitch.  Thanks to Julio Valle, who helped us patiently, and to the wonderful team of theater professionals at CENART, who assisted us in transforming a mountain of luggage into our set.  We were happy to see Hebert Vázquez, who traveled up to see the show, and to get a warm message from Hilda Paredes, who watched our live stream broadcast from a residency in New Hampshire.  We had a host of other friends and colleagues at the performances and felt right at home. 

My colleagues, Aleck, Ayano and Pablo, continue to amaze me with their superlative music-making and dedication to the project.  These three performances in Mexico City bring the total number of performances of Cuatro Corridos to ten, almost two years to the day since the project's world premiere.  Our March recording of the project, with Adam Abeshouse, will be released on Bridge later this year.  And while our plans for Cuatro Corridos' next season are still being finalized, the invitations include Huddersfield (U.K.), Guadalajara and UMassAmherst. 

Human trafficking is a complex problem; there is no "easy fix", no obvious solution.  But there is reason to hope - in April, the United States Senate finally passed a bill that would impose harsher penalties on traffickers and a recent New York Times exposé on workers in nail salons puts more attention on vulnerable women "working" in circumstances that are scandalous.  If only we could snap a finger and create change! In the meantime, we can at least stand among those contributing to awareness. 

Thank you for reading!