UC San Diego's Department of Music

April 25, 2013

  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.

World premiere performances will take place on May 8, 10 and 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Experimental Theater of the Conrad Prebys Music Center at the University of California, San Diego.

Led by Grammy Award-winning soprano Susan Narucki and noted Mexican author Jorge Volpi, the fully-staged production features original music by composers Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang and Hebert Vázquez. Each composer gives voice to one of the four female characters by presenting one act in the hour-long drama.

Librettist Jorge Volpi explains the basis for the opera: "Young women are sold and exploited by mafias to serve as prostitutes for illegal migrant workers in southern California. In 2001 the authorities dismantled the network of the Salazar Juárez brothers who for years kidnapped Mexican women and forced them to work as prostitutes in the "Fields of Love" near the strawberry farms around San Diego."

Three distinguished performers of new music, percussionist Steven Schick, pianist Aleck Karis, and guitarist Pablo Gomez, accompany Narucki in sharing the compelling stories of four women whose lives are scarred by human trafficking. The production team includes artist-activist Karen Guancione, lighting designer Kristin Hayes, costume designer Halei Parker and graphics animators Cameron Bailey and Sam Doshier.

The artists collaborating on this project seek to heighten public awareness about human trafficking by engaging in social activism and disseminating information through multiple media platforms such as public forums and activities organized in partnership with human rights organizations. Susan Narucki believes, "there is a critical need for us to recreate our artistic practice within a wider social context. Music has the power to establish contact between people - real, intimate contact that can cause us to question, to see things differently, to move us to action and to negate fear."

Two free public events are scheduled on May 9th, 2013 at Conrad Prebys Experimental Theater. An 11 a.m. panel discussion featuring Jorge Volpi and all four composers from Cuatro Corridos focusing on the development of the work and its place in their larger artistic concerns. A second forum at 2 p.m. features Mr. Volpi and experts on human trafficking in the San Diego/Tijuana border region including Elizabeth Aguilera, reporter from UT San Diego, Daliah Setareh, Senior Attorney at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Dr. Jay Silverman, Professor of Medicine and Global Public Health at UCSD.

Ticket are $15.50 general, $10.50 UCSD faculty-staff-alumni, FREE for all students. Tickets may be purchased online or through the music department Box Office: (858) 534-3448.

Cuatro Corridos has received generous support from UC MEXUS, the MAP Fund for the Performing Arts (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), Yellow Barn Music Festival, and the Department of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

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