Carlos Castro & Alejandra Martinez and Jorge Sosa & John de los Santos to Participate in Inaugural Opera ATX Residencies for Latinx Creatives

By Afton Wooten

Austin Opera announced the creative teams composer Carlos Castro and librettist Alejandra Martinez and Jorge Sosa and librettist John de los Santos as the winning teams to participate in the inaugural Opera ATX Residencies for Latinx Creatives.

Castro and Martinez will advance their new opera, “El rebozo,” during the 2023-24 season. Sosa and de los Santos will workshop a new one-act opera, “OFRENDA,” during the 2024-25 season. Both works are being developed in English and Spanish.

Grammy Award-winner Castro with soprano and librettist Martinez’s one-act opera focuses on the experiences of an immigrant family living in Chicago during the Mexican Repatriation. Representing the linguistic experiences of many immigrant families “El rebozo” will be presented in a mix of Spanish and English. The team will be in residence with Austin Opera in March 2024, working with the company’s artistic team including Sarah and Ernest Butler Music Director Timothy Myers, and artists from the company’s Resident Stars program.

Sosa and de los Santos’ first opera together, “OFRENDA: A “Dia de Muertos Story,” is a multi-generational story about healing, family, kindness, and sacrifice. “OFRENDA” will be workshopped throughout the Austin community in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in Austin.

Claudia Chapa, Austin Opera’s Curator for Hispanic and Latinx Programming, served as a juror in the selection of the winners. She said in a press release, “The inclusion of Latinx creatives and storytellers is vital in creating an operatic cannon that is more representative. ‘El rebozo’ and ‘OFRENDA’ both offer unique perspectives that feature the strength and complexity of family, themes that resonate deeply with me as an immigrant myself. This residency is a testament to the growing power and visibility of Latinx artists and is an important milestone for opera.”