On Sunday, May 22 at 4:00 pm, Music of Remembrance returns to San Francisco for a performance of three premieres at its new Bay Area home, the Presidio Theatre. The concert features the California premiere of Tres minutos, a compelling new opera by composer Nicolas Benavides and librettist Marella Martin Koch that premieres in Seattle May 15. The May 22 Presidio Theatre program also features Califonia premieres of works by Shinji Eshima and Sahba Aminikia.
For tickets and information, visit www.presidiotheatre.org .
Commissioned by MOR, Tres minutos explores the intimate human dimensions of an urgent issue for our time. It tells the story of Nila and Diego, a sister and brother who share family bonds, but not citizenship. Allowed a brief supervised reunion at the border that separates them, they wrestle with questions of identity, duty and belonging. The work is a timely reminder that beyond the arguments about immigration policy are actual people with real lives, deep emotions and complicated relationships. “Tres minutos comes at such an important time in our country,” remarks composer Nicolas Benavides, “a time when we have a refugee crisis and we have the choice to make it better or make it worse.” Starring soprano Vanessa Isiguen and baritone José Rubio in a production conceived and directed by Erich Parce and conducted by the composer.
The concert pairs Tres minutos with two other recent works commissioned by Music of Remembrance from Bay Area composers to address urgent human rights questions. Shinji Eshima’s Veritas draws on vivid imagery of sculptures by Al Farrow to make an eloquent statement about the frightful consequences of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and religious intolerance of all kinds. Stormy Seas by Sahba Aminikia tells five inspiring true stories of young people who braved the peril of setting sail in search of safe shores: from Nazi Germany; from communist Cuba; from war-torn Vietnam; from Taliban-dominated Afghanistan; from an orphanage in Ivory Coast. The work is a testament to hope and courage, and an appeal to our shared humanity. MOR’s instrumental ensemble will be joined by the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.