Mar 29, 2023
If a chorus of 12 teens can provide compelling commentary on immigration enforcement from the stage of a venerable performing arts center in Santa Fe, how might ten times that number of voices impact the debate? From a Broadway venue that has welcomed some of the twentieth century’s most influential social justice visionaries?
Adding their insights to this aural postcard are Hometown’s composer Laura Kaminsky and librettist Kimberly Reed; Melay Araya, artistic director at The Town Hall; several chorus members from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, as well as the audience.
Hometown––an original work commissioned by Santa Fe Opera for its Opera For All Voices (OFAV) initiative––follows the events of a 2008 raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, IA. The opera explores themes of religion, acceptance, and community, igniting a communal desire to create a more equitable world. “People that are already empathetic, they need fuel,” says Melay. “They need the refocusing that Laura and Kim provide in language and song to think larger and to address these issues, not just on the granular level, but as spiritual and ethical questions.”
Hometown closes with a Hebrew call to action, delivered by that sprawling chorus of young, hopeful voices: Tikkun Olam! Repair the world!
Laura Kaminsky - Composer, Hometown to the World
Kimberly Reed - Librettist, Hometown to the World
Melay Araya - Artistic Director, The Town Hall
A chorus comprised of 100+ public high school students from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts
Season 1, Episode 6 “Hometown to the World” - Hometown’s Laura Kaminsky and Kimberly Reed on telling history and collaboration.
Season 2, Episode 9 “America Is Impossible Without Us” - Revisiting Hometown’s story, structure, music, and what it means to be an American during the San Francisco workshop.
Season 3, Episode 3 “Responding to the World” - with Stage Director Kristine McIntyre and Dramaturg Cori Ellison.
Season 3, Episode 8 “Bridging Communities with Carmen Flórez-Mansi” - with Chorus Master Carmen Flórez-Mansi.
Season 4, Episode 1 “This Doesn’t Happen Without Audience” - Andrea prepares for the world premiere in Santa Fe with core members of its artistic team, young performers, and the most influential collaborator: the audience.
Season 4, Episode 2 “Influence and Inclusion: The Impact of Hometown to the World with Estevan, Ely, and Francesco of the Youth Chorus” - Post-show reactions from artists, creators, collaborators, and the audience buoyed by musical excerpts from Hometown’s premiere at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.
Key Change is a production of The Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with Opera for All Voices.
Produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios
Hosted by Andrea Fellows Fineberg & Anna Garcia
Audio Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe
Show Notes by Lisa Widder
Theme music by Rene Orth with Corrie Stallings, mezzo-soprano, and Joe Becktell, cello
Cover art by Dylan Crouch
This podcast is made possible due to the generous funding from the Hankins Foundation, the Andrew W Mellon foundation, and an Opera America innovation Grant supported by the Anne & Gordon Getty Foundation.
To learn more about Opera For All Voices, visit us at SantaFeOpera.org.