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Opera Collaborations with Royce Vavrek


The Hubble is a contemporary multimedia cantata for the mezzo soprano Jessica Rivera, baritone Nathan Gunn, and Trinity Choir and Novus NY. Commissioned by Bay Chamber Concerts and originally score for International Contemporary Ensemble, the work is inspired by Hubble Telescope images. It is a collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek, filmmaker Carmen Kordas, and the famed astrophysicist, Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute. The work is leading towards a full length cantata for soprano and baritone, for the Hubble’s 25th anniversary in 2015. This work is supported by the Space Telescope Science Institute.


YOANI is a multimedia song cycle scored for singers, electric guitar, cello and electronics. With lyrics by Royce Vavrek, starring multiple performers including jazz sensation Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, Isabel Leonard (recorded for the Sing For Hope’s Aids Quilt Project) Eve Gigliotti, Solange Merdinian, Caitlin McKechney and more. Eventually Yoani will premiere on Women’s Day and will feature leading female performers across styles. Film by Carmen Kordas.

My fascination with Yoani Sanchez began years ago. I began reading her blog, and eventually contacted her through various handlers. The communication I had with various people here in the US who are helping her disseminate and translate her blog, created a meta-theatrical backbone upon which I one day hope to create this piece. Yoani is a Cuban philologist and blogger who was named “Time 100 Most Influential People”. She has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government on her blog, Generation Y. This first installment of Yoani is based on her portrayal of everyday Cuba. From the shortage of oranges to the wrenching journey of a trans woman “Olivia”, this work will celebrate the life of Yoani: an internet revolutionary who is bringing a voice to her generation. Yoani is a VisionIntoArt production.