NEW OPERA WORKSHOP:
COLLABORATION WITH MASSOPERA
CARAVANA DE MUJERES
by Nicolás Lell Benavides and Laura Barati
Cast: 4 women, 3 men
Inspired by a real Spanish matchmaking service that uses day trips to the countryside to help Latina immigrants meet rural Spanish farmers at speed dating events, CARAVANA DE MUJERES follows Luz, a Colombian immigrant in her sixties, as she searches for love and companionship.
Already on a bus to the country, Luz is horrified to learn that her niece, Natalia, has not only booked a trip to the wrong town, but to a place she’s avoided for six years: her ex-fiancé’s hometown. Natalia is shocked to learn that Luz was engaged to farmer Juan Antonio until his 83-year-old mother disapproved of his engagement to an immigrant. Juan Antonio is at that night’s event, hoping to see Luz. As Luz faces the farmer that got away, Natalia is forced to confront her prejudices about her aunt’s aspirations for romantic connection. CARAVANA DE MUJERES is an earnest comedy that explores the very human desire for love and companionship while also diving into the fascinating larger social dynamic between Latinx immigrants and native Spaniards.
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MORE ABOUT MASSOPERA
MassOpera cultivates experiences for artists and audiences that challenge the status quo and reflect our diverse community. In 2018, MassOpera, formerly MetroWest Opera, went through a tremendous rebrand, including the launch of a new organizational name, mission statement, and website. MassOpera strives to be an ever-evolving and responsive performing arts organization, with a commitment to telling new stories, creating opportunities that otherwise would not exist, and representing all forms of diversity on stage and off. Visit us at www.massopera.org.
MassOpera and the New Opera Workshop
As part of its rebrand in 2018, MassOpera realized that it had accomplished much of what it set out to do when it was founded in 2007. Gender parity in casting had been a cornerstone of the company’s choice of repertoire, and with so few operas providing gender parity, it quickly became apparent that MassOpera needed to get in the space of creating new work. Out of this decision the New Opera Workshop was born, and over 2 years they partnered with two national companies, Washington National Opera and Chicago Opera Theatre, producing two orchestral workshops in advance of the premieres of these operas with the larger companies. This model was great for launching the New Opera Workshop and making a name for the newly minted MassOpera. We are thrilled to be partnering with OperaHub now to help with the development of new opera from the very beginning, from ideation, to libretto, to composition, to piano workshop, orceshtral workshop, and eventually a premiere production. This is what we always wanted NOW to be, and now, with OperaHub, we can make it a reality.
This project will support the cultivation, creation, workshopping process, and production of new chamber operas with the intention of broadening the new American canon.
MassOpera and OperaHub accepted applications to this program in May and June 2020. Our goals were to:
1) Explore innovative ways of storytelling
2) Require a majority of roles be for women including a broad variety of roles for diverse women
3) Foster process-driven opera development supported by a collaborative team of performers, artistic and production personnel."
From almost 100 applications, we selected Nicolás Lell Benavides and Laura Barati's Caravana de mujeres proposal for development.