Latinx Opera ‘El Imperio de la Luz’ Wins Major Award

By Logan Martell

On February 6, 2021, “El Imperio de la Luz,” designed and co-created by Diego Barbosa-Vasquez won one of the prizes of the Innovation Competition at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.

The new work was built under the “Community Opera” concept which allows professionals, students, and community members a platform to perform opera together.

The opera’s original text is in Spanish and English and was written by Alonso Cueto and Esteban Cueto; music was written by Daniel Cueto. The Artistic component was designed by Liliana Rocha and Gloria Manzanares.

The opera is based on the myth of the establishment of the pre-Hispanic Andean civilization and describes how the Sun God decided to create his empire under the leadership of his sons Manco Cápac and Mama Occlo. The two characters travel around the Anden lands seeking out the perfect place to bury the Cayado, a golden staff given to them for the mission of creating a new empire. This creates tensions with local animals of the Inca civilization, with each seeking to establish their lands as the start of the new empire. Eventually, with the help of Mama Killa, the moon, a new place is found where all are happy.

The opera’s premiere will be announced at a later date.