Once again Opera Parallèle (OP) will begin its new season with the results of its annual Hands-on-Opera education and youth performance program. Next month will see the world premiere of the opera Xochitl and the Flowers, an opera by OP composer-in-residence Christopher Pratorius. This will be an operatic account of the children’s book of the same name by Jorge Argueta, using a libretto prepared by Roma Olvera.
The opera will be given three performances, and the production will be fully staged and costumed. That production was developed during an innovative eight-week residency with third grade students of the Alvarado Elementary School Spanish Immersion Program. These students will perform alongside a cast of professional singers that will include sopranos Sabrina Romero-Wilson and Yemonja Stanley, tenor Andres Ramirez, and baritone Bradley Kynard. Derived from real-life events from the Mission neighborhood, the narrative tells the poignant tale of a family’s determination to put down roots in a new country, while still preserving the heritage of their homeland.
All three performances of Xochitl and the Flowers will be free. They will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 19. The venue will be the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, which is located at 2868 Mission Street, between 24th Street and 25th Street. Tickets for reservations may be acquired through a Brown Paper Tickets event page. While there is no charge for the tickets, this site is being used to collect donations for continued support of the Hands-on-Opera program, However, seating will be first-come-first-served; so early arrival is advised.