After a dozen national and international performances, Cuatro Corridos, a chamber opera addressing the realities of human trafficking, returns to UC San Diego. Cuatro Corridos is a chamber opera addressing one of the most critical human rights issues of our time: human trafficking. Based on true events, it tells the story of women trapped in a cycle of prostitution and slavery in and around the San Diego/Tijuana border region and represents an unprecedented collaboration between internationally acclaimed Mexican and US-based creative artists. The opera has received high praise from critics and audiences: the Los Angeles Times described it as “modern and meaningful,” “shockingly true to the material,” and “an opera not to be missed.”
Since its development and premiere at the University of California, San Diego in 2013, the opera has been performed at prestigious cultural institutions in Los Angeles, Dallas, Albuquerque, N.M., Amherst, Mass., Tijuana, Mexico City, and Guadalajara, Mexico. However, Cuatro Corridos is more than a chamber opera: it is an ongoing project to raise awareness about human trafficking through creative educational platforms and events organized in partnership with human rights organizations. During forums preceding or following performances of the opera, academics, public sector experts, activists and journalists have shared their perspectives on the subject.
Cuatro Corridos was just one of just 36 opera projects in the country to receive an NEA ArtWorks grant. The project has also received support from UC MEXUS, The MAP Fund for the Performing Arts/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,UCSD Departments of Music and Arts and Humanities, the Alice M. Ditson Fund for Recorded Music and most recently, New Music USA.
Soprano Susan Narucki is in residence at Oberlin Conservatory of Music for a series of lectures and a performance with Tim Weiss and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble. She joins Clinical Assistant Professor in Residence, Aaron Helgeson for a talk entitled "Poems of Sheer Nothingness: From Commission to CD Release". In addition, she presents a lecture on "The Singer and the Composer: Creating New Vocal Music." Her residency culminates with a performance of contemporary vocal chamber music, including Aaron Helgeson's songs of sheer nothingness which she premiered with the Talea Ensemble in 2014, and Sebastian Currier's Vocalissimus, a work she has recorded for New World Records.
Soprano Susan Narucki joins distinguished instrumentalists flutist Judith Mendenhall, pianist Donald Pirrone and clarinetist Charles Neidich in performances and recording of New York composer Edward Smaldone's song cycle Letters From Home. The texts for the six movement work were taken from letters found in the attic of the composer's home, sent to Mrs. P.H. Andrews by friends and relatives over the years, painting an intimate and colorful portrait of domestic life in mid-century America. The recording has an anticipated 2017 release date.
For its seventh chamber opera, kallisti presents the world premiere of Noon at Dusk, a chamber opera composed by American composer Stephen Lewis., a recent graduate of UCSD's renowned program in composition. The production featured graduate singers of UC San Diego's Contemporary Music Performance Program, directed by Susan Narucki, artistic director of kallisti, with production and lighting design by Jessica C. Flores, and led by Dana Sadava.
"...an elegant, slow moving exposition of the subconscious thoughts and inner arguments of the six cast members....This constantly shifting sonic world proved fascinating and effective, brilliantly played by a crack team of thirteen musicians ably conducted by Dana Sadava...
The leads sang with a sound and control of the composer’s difficult musical lines that one might expect from totally mature new music specialists..
...The extremely effective minimalist production and the slow moving video projection of the chief characters during their individual arias gave us an unexpected pathway into their tortured subconscious...
...This was a fully professional production in the best sense of the word. If it was ever to be characterized as a “student production,” it would be so in name only..."
What will operas of the future sound and look like? In the culmination of Re-imagining Opera, a year long collaborative project between composers and performers at UC San Diego and Stanford University led by Susan Narucki and Jarek Kapucinski, brings new works that transcend the ordinary, weaving together voices, electronics, new media and theater for a glimpse at one possible future. Performers of kallisti premiere new works by Alex Hay, Jessie Marino, Caroline Miller and Constantin Basica.