The Reason for Cuatro Corridos

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jon Potter writes for The Brattleboro Reformer:

"What would your life be like to be in a place where you’re held against your will physically, but even if you get out of it, you’re still a slave not just because of physical restrictions, but also because you’re also invisible in society?"

That was the question Susan Narucki posed, as she discussed her new venture, a chamber opera about human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border. She added, "I can’t even put into words how outrageous this is."

So she and some collaborators are putting it into words...and music.

Soprano Narucki, writer Jorge Volpi, four composers and three other musicians are in Putney this week working on the music for "Cuatro Corridos," a new chamber opera based on real events from the frontlines of the immigration issue. They are here as part of Yellow Barn’s Artist Residency Program, sweating the musical details in preparation for a May 8 premiere in San Diego, Calif.

"It never occurred to me that there was so much trafficking in humans across the border," said Narucki. "It’s a kind of abuse of human rights that is under the radar."

Narucki connected with a friend of a friend who was interested in writing a libretto about this. From there, the idea of a chamber opera grew.

"One of the things that opera does best is it can tell us about emotionally complex feelings and situations and not always in words," she said. "So much of this is charged with emotion. I can’t imagine that it could be a play because it is too charged."

Narucki is not sure what effect "Cuatro Corridos" will have, but she’s happy to do her part.

"I’m an artist not a politician, so what can I do? I don’t know if it’s actually going to raise awareness of the problem, but it’s just what I can do," she said. "For some time, I have been interested in performance projects that take the music of our time and put it in the context of community."

Read the full article

Read more about the Cuatro Corridos Artist Residency in Putney, VT