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The Rap Opera Project 2.0—Reimagined

September 22, 2020

Opera Cultura's Rap/Opera 2.0

As we launch into what we are calling Opera Cultura’s “Year of Experimentation and Innovation,” we are excited to announce the continuation of the Rap Opera Project 2.0, reimagined for the digital community that we are all now immersed in.

The Rap/Opera Project presents a revolutionary model for the classical performing arts by fusing the storytelling power of opera and rap into a powerful platform. Focusing on the stories of youth, and by merging the voices of the community into an inclusive setting, the Rap/Opera Project offers a chance for marginalized voices to be validated. 

Building on the experimental workshop we presented in 2017*, version 2.0 advances the vision even further by providing opportunities for youth to participate throughout the creative process—including the development, creation and performance of new hybrid rap/opera songs—all carried out remotely. 

The HUBAyudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS)

For our reimagined Rap Opera Project 2.0, Opera Cultura has continued our longstanding partnership with the HUB, a resource center for foster youth in San Jose. We have additionally formed a new connection with Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) in Half Moon Bay, who has partnered with us for this project as well as for Armienta’s new song cycle opera Mi Camino

Starting in October, the Rap/Opera Ensemble will work with youth from the HUB and ALAS virtually over the course of ten weeks to create and record rap/opera songs based on their experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Rap/Opera Ensemble is comprised of uniquely talented performers: Héctor Armienta, pianist and composer; CELLISTA, cellist and composer; DEM ONE (Demone Carter), rap artist and teaching artist;and Alba Franco-Cancél, soprano and teaching artist.

Stay tuned for updates as we embark on this reimagined Rap Opera 2.0 adventure!

*If you missed the 2017 performance, click here to watch a video segment KQED Arts created about it!

This project is supported in part by: 
Applied Materials FoundationCalifornia Arts Council;
Castellano Family FoundationFleishhacker Foundation; the Office of Cultural Affairs – City of San José, an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation; Silicon Valley CreatesSilicon Valley Strong of Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Cultura Guild & Friends of Opera Cultura.

OPERA America Applied Materials Foundation California Arts Council  Silicon Valley Creates Castellano Family Foundation Fleishhacker Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Office of Cultural Affairs – City of San José Cultura Guild