Jun 15, 2022
When an initiative is called Opera For All Voices, who’s the “all”? Key Change Season Four examines OFAV’s burgeoning legacy of co-creating new operatic works through a community-centric lens, beginning with an OG favorite, Hometown To The World.
Host Andrea Fellows-Fineberg revisits the production with core members of its artistic team, young performers, and the most influential collaborator: the audience––featuring Ruth Nott, Composer Laura Kaminsky, Librettist Kimberly Reed, and a behind-the-scenes segment with Estevan Flórez-Mansi, youth chorus member.
There’s perhaps no better modern operatic representation of community than Hometown To The World, a story of family, solidarity, and immigration set amidst the turmoil of a 2008 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. The timing of Hometown’s world premiere in December 2021 only intensified its message.
As the world grappled with the anxiety of a global pandemic, OFAV’s talented group of artists dedicated themselves to addressing complex contemporary issues via a centuries-old art form––even as they had to remain socially distanced to engage the audience with this profound work. “I think that's part of what I love so much about live performance,” says Andrea. “You can sing all you want and sing as beautifully all you want, but if no one's there to appreciate it, to experience it, that's just singing.”
Kimberly agrees, noting that when opera amplifies previously overlooked stories, the audience begins to see itself and each other in profound new ways. “That constant dialogue and constant reshaping of our world around us, that's just what life is about.”
Andrea Klunder - Key Change Producer
Ruth Nott - Managing Director, Opera Parallèle
Laura Kaminsky - Composer, Hometown To The World
Kimberly Reed - Librettist, Hometown To The World
Estevan Flórez-Mansi - Youth Chorus Member, Hometown To The World
And many HTTW artists, collaborators and audience members
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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 with Laura Kaminsky and Kimberly Reed during the San Francisco workshop.
Season 3, Episode 3 "Responding to the World" - Stage Director Kristine McIntyre shares her own connection to the story, as the granddaughter of Italian immigrants. Dramaturg Cori Ellison points out that both sides of the operatic equation - new work and standard repertory pieces - can thrive alongside each other.
Season 3, Episode 8 “Bridging Communities with Carmen Flórez-Mansi" - Chorus Master Carmen Flórez-Mansi discusses the joys of working with Hometown’s talented young adults and reflects on her deeply personal responses to this urgent and ultimately uplifting contemporary opera.
Key Change is a production of The Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with Opera for All Voices.
Hosted by Andrea Fellows Fineberg
Produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios
Audio Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe
Theme music by Rene Orth with Corrie Stallings, mezzo-soprano, and Joe Becktell, cello.
Cover art by Dylan Crouch
Show notes by Lisa Widder
This podcast is made possible due to the generous funding from the Melville Hankins Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
To learn more about Opera for All Voices, visit us at SantaFeOpera.org.