Cuentos de Peregrinacion
Composer: Hector Armienta
Composer Bio: Composer/Librettist Héctor Armienta focuses on creating work that explores the Mexican and Mexican-American cultural experience. He draws on stories and music that represent his bicultural roots. His awards and commissions include those from Meet the Composer, the NEA, Arts International, Opera Pacific, the Pacific Symphony and others. His work has received support from three NEA grants in artistic excellence. Presenting organizations include Opera Pacific, Western Stage Theater, Teatro Latea, Fort Worth Opera and Tulsa Opera. His song cycle opera Cuentos de Peregrinacíon/Tales of Pilgrimage premiered in San Jose, CA, and Guadalajara’s Teatro Degollado in 2014. Most recently, Armienta has acquired the rights to develop Rudolfo Anaya’s epic novel Bless Me, Ultima into an opera. Arizona Opera will have a reading of the work in 2016. Opera Cultura will produce the world premiere in 2018 and is in conversations with other companies about a co-production. Armienta is also the founder and director of Opera Cultura, whose mission is to explore music-theater and opera through a cross-cultural lens. It is through this organization that Armienta develops some of his music-theater projects and creates opportunities for young people from economically disadvantaged communities to experience the arts. He holds a B.M. in composition from California Institute of the Arts and an M.M. in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Librettist: Hector Armienta
Premiere Date: March 29, 2014
Description: Cuentos de Peregrinacion retells the heart-wrenching and inspirational stories of Mexican immigrants who have made the arduous journey from Mexico to the United States. As described by Hector Armienta, “This work is intended for the community and those that want to celebrate the contributions of all immigrants — including those within our own family." The song cycle opera is comprised of five arias. The text is based on stories Armienta has collected from various sources. 
Cuentos is intended to break barriers and conceptions of opera. For that reason, there is spoken text in between the arias, and the work is called a song cycle opera. The community members that participated in the project developed text based on their real-life experiences. The text in the arias are transcriptions (with some modifications by myself) of those I interviewed for the project. I plan to develop part two of Cuentos, which focuses on family members that live on both sides of the border. Opera Cultura is seeking partners in the development of this project. 
Character List (Major): Tenor
Mezzo Soprano
Length: 0:35
Total Acts: 1
Orchestration: Fl, 2 Cl in Bb, Piano, Cello 
Contact: Musical Discovery
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