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Xochitl and the Flowers
Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts
San Francisco, CA
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This opera has had a successful world premiere. Please check the Opera Parallele website for new programs and events!


Xochitl and the Flowers
Come and enjoy this quintessentially American immigration story! Based on real-life events in San Franciscos Mission neighborhood Xochitl and the Flowers tells the moving tale of a familys determination to put down roots in a new country, while still preserving the heritage of their homeland. Created in partnership with Alvarado Elementary Schools 3rd grade Spanish immersion program, Xochitl and the Flowers (pronounced so-tcheel) is part of Opera Parallèles acclaimed annual Hands-on-Opera program, which features children center-stage as full project participants and performers. This children's opera is composer Christopher Pratorius third commissioned work for Opera Parallèle and is sung in both Spanish and English with a libretto by Opera Parallèles Educational Program Director, Roma Olvera based on the book by Jorge Argueta.

You can also watch the show through Facebook livestream during every performance on the Opera Parallèle page: https://www.facebook.com/operaparallele


LUÇIK APRAHÄMIAN, CONDUCTOR Luçik Aprahämian is on the faculty of the San Francisco Girls Chorus as Assistant Conductor and Level III Director, and as Music Director at First Lutheran Church of Palo Alto. She is also thrilled to begin her tenure as Music Director of the vocal group, Resound Ensemble. An avid exponent of new music, Aprahämian has commissioned and premiered works for a variety of performing forces. Aprahämians has a great passion for opera, and she can be seen on the podium as well as backstage working with sets, props, lighting, and directing. This summer she was the chorus-master of the San Francisco Girls Chorus for the San Francisco Opera production of Carmen. She received her bachelors degree in fortepiano performance practice and masters degree in conducting from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and her doctorate in choral and orchestral conducting from the University of Arizona. She has studied conducting with Nicole Paiement, Bruce Chamberlain, Elizabeth Schauer, Thomas Cockrell, and Charles Bontrager, and voice and theatre production with Brian Staufenbiel.

BRENDAN HARTNETT, DIRECTOR: Brendan Hartnett is a director of opera and lyric theater. Previously, he has worked with many Bay Area ensembles including, Opera Parallèle, West Edge Opera, Festival Opera, and Pocket Opera. He holds an MFA in Directing from UCLAs School of Theater, Film, and Television. While at UCLA he directed works by Anton Chekhov, Eugene Ionesco, Kurt Weill, and Peter Brook, and taught courses in vocal technique, acting, and directing for theater. Brendan holds a Bachelors of Music degree in vocal performance from UC Santa Cruz.

CHRIS PRATORIUS-GOMEZ, COMPOSER: Chris Pratorius Gómez is a composer and pianist based in Santa Cruz, California. He has written pieces for solo voice, choir, chamber ensembles, orchestra and electronic media that have been performed in San Francisco, Istanbul, New York, Guatemala and other spots around the world.

A recent highlight is Claroscuro en Flor, a concerto for harp commissioned by the American Harp Society and San José Chamber Orchestra which saw its premiere in 2013. Other projects include the chamber concerto Untogether, not Apart, commissioned and premiered by New Music Works, a fresh setting of Pablo Nerudas Poema XX, commissioned by Nicole Paiement for the BluePrint project; Contraponientes, a choral song-cycle based on poetry by Federico García Lorca commissioned by Ariose Singers and Being of Ones Hour, commissioned by Robert Kelley for Santa Cruz Ballet Theater.

As composer-in-residence for Opera Parallèle, he has completed a trio of children's operas for their Hands-on-Opera educational program. The first opera, My Head is Full of Colors, premiered in 2014, and the second, Amazing Grace, premiered in 2015.

Chris teaches theory, history, composition and piano at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Cal State Monterey Bay.

ROMA OLVERA, LIBRETTIST: A lyric soprano, Roma Olvera is the Educational Programs Director and Office Manager for Opera Parallèle. Xochitl and the Flowers is her second libretto. She collaborated with Creative Director, Brian Staufenbiel on the libretto for the 2015 premiere of Amazing Grace. In addition to general management of Opera Parallèles daily operations, she leads the three tiered education program that commissions new works for children based on childrens books, develops original curriculum for engaging local high school students in mainstage contemporary opera productions, and hosts students of all ages in the Bay Area for final dress rehearsals throughout the season. Before Opera Parallèle, she taught general music in elementary schools and maintained a private studio for voice and piano. She has taught in various school districts in southern California, as well as developed music programs for underserved communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx in New York City. Roma holds a Bachelor of Music from UC Santa Cruz in Vocal Performance and a Masters of Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


SABRINA ROMERO-WILSON, SOPRANO (Xochitl): The Arlington Today Magazine described Sabrina as bringing music to our ears and our souls. She has performed with Opera Parallèle, San Francisco Operas Education Outreach, Old First Concerts, San Diego Opera, BASOTI, Halifax Summer Opera Festival and CoOPERAtive. Highlighted roles include: Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Giannetta (Lelisir damore), Sister Catherine (Dead Man Walking), Barbarina and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Claudia Nardi (Nine), and Little Red (Into the Woods). Sabrina holds her Masters from SFCM and studies with Jane Randolph.

YEMONJA STANLEY,SOPRANO,(Mami): graduated with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2013 where she performed the roles of Sandman in Engelbert Humperdincks Hansel and Gretel, the title role of Handels Agrippina and the role of Ginevra in Handels Ariodante. She has gone on to sing the roles of Musetta in Puccinis La bohème with Opera on the Avalon and Miss Jessel in Brittens The Turn of the Screw with Opera Theater Unlimited. Most recently, she covered the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess with the Utah Festival Opera. Yemonja is thrilled to perform in her third production with Opera Parallèle. In the companys previous season, she sang the title role of Amazing Grace and appeared in the ensemble of the jazz opera Champion.

ANDRES RAMIREZ, TENOR (Papi): Mexican-American tenor, Andres Ramirez, comes to Hands-on-Opera after a number of appearances with Opera Parallèle, most recently as Luis Rodrigo Griffith in Champion. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Ramirez has experience in opera, musical theater, and on the concert stage. He recently joined the Pacific Chorale and co-founded Contempo Productions. Performance highlights include: A Little Night Music (Mr. Erlanson; American Conservatory Theatre), Anya17 (Uri/Gabriel; Opera Parallèle), and the titular role in Candide (Douglas Morrisson Theatre).

BRADLEY KYNARD, BARITONE (Abuelo/Don Roberto): returns to Opera Parallèle to create the role of Don Roberto (Xochitl and the Flowers). This September Mr. Kynard will make his OAC debut as Ramiro (L'heure Espagnole). Recently he premiered the role of Lazarus (Voyage Mary Magdalene) and made his San Francisco Opera debut as Daggoo (Moby Dick). Previous roles include Peter (Hansel and Gretel), Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana), Remendado (Carmen), and Cecil (Roberto Devereux). He has performed with the SFO chorus for the past nine seasons.


Opera Parallèle is a San Francisco based opera company that produces contemporary opera that innovates the form with 21st century aesthetics and connects opera to progressive social values. Through our wide range of outreach activites, OP makes contemporary opera accessible and relevant to a diverse public of all ages.


Hands-on-Opera is and immersive eight-week experience where we turn an elementary school class into an opera production company. Our team takes up residency in a classroom to stage and musically direct students in a production of a newly commissioned childrens opera. We treat our young performers as collaborators and develop works that are both accessible and sophisticated. Hands-on-Opera is generously funded by the Kimball Foundation and the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation.


Established in 1926, Alvarado Elementary in Noe Valley is a school community rich in arts, culture, academics, and diversity. Third grade teachers, Cecilia Macdonagh and Luis Sierra have been a bilingual team for nearly 20 years. The veteran teachers have a deep understanding of the vital role arts play in the lives of students. Together they have produced numerous Dia de Los Muertos annual productions and other arts events.


Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts (View)
2868 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States


Arts > Opera
Arts > Performance
Music > Classical
Other > Family-Friendly

Minimum Age: 3
Kid Friendly: Yes!


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