An original children’s bilingual opera commissioned and presented last year by the Fresno State Opera Theatre — “Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena” — has been picked by the San Francisco Opera for its school opera education extension program, to be performed in December.
“It is such a great honor to have an artistic work that we helped [composer] Evan [Mack] and [librettist] Josh [McQuire] create performed by such an esteemed opera company,” said original director, Dr. Anthony Radford, associate professor of voice and opera. “It proves the creative power of our Fresno State students and the support we received within Fresno County for the project. If there is one thing I hope for ‘Lucinda’ as it moves out into the world is that it is a work that continues to bring people together.”
Last year, “Lucinda” toured for a four-week run, taking the five-member student cast to several Valley elementary schools, television shows and the Woodward Regional Park Library to perform before nearly 2,500 area schoolchildren. It was at one of those performance that a representative from the San Francisco Opera drove down to see a performance in Selma.
The 45-minute production is based on a Mexican folk tale about the spirit of giving and the origin of the use of poinsettias at Christmastime.
“Lucinda” was presented as part of a $10,000 grant awarded to the Fresno State Opera Theatre by the Central Valley Community Foundation. Part of the goal was to reach communities that would benefit from seeing original live opera theatre.
The San Francisco Opera will present “Lucinda” for school children in kindergarten through fifth grade Dec. 6 through 9, in the African American Art and Culture Complex.
“Written in a combination of English and Spanish, this lovely holiday opera transcends religious preference with its strong message of courage, hope and transformation,” says the San Francisco Opera website.
A studio production of the children’s Christmas opera, “Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena,” produced by the Fall MCJ 120 class and directed by Professor Candace Egan, has received a 2017 Communicator Award of Distinction.
In January, master’s of music student Alejandra Tejeda and Fresno State Opera Professor Anthony Radford will join composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire to present their work on the project to an audience of opera educators at the National Opera Association‘s annual convention in January in New Orleans.