MapFund

About the Grant

$26,000 to support Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta / A Dead Opera in Four Acts (MAP 2008), a multimedia performance that journeys to the ‘other’ side to illuminate cultural taboos around silence, death, and dissent in the satirical Mexican and Chicana/o tradition of the Days of the Dead. This hybrid performance fuses dark humored animation with Mexican folklore dance, Mariachi music, hip-hop, bossa nova and blues conceived and created by director/librettist, John Jota Leaños, composer Cristóbal Martinez, and the Mariachi ensemble, Los Cuatro Vientos. The live/dead performance includes a live DJ, stage actors, folklore dancers, and Mariachi singers who interact with projected animations.

About the Project

The opera’s four acts include:
Act I—Los ABCs ¡Qué Vivan los Muertos! --an animated primer on war and empire
Act II—Deadtime Stories with Mariachi Goose and Friends --an animation that re-examines Mother Goose children’s rhymes and culminates with the great fall of Humpty Mariachi Dumpty
Act III—¡Radio Muerto! --a live performance and animation of a skeleton traveling
the road to Mictlan (the Aztec underworld) while listening to the radio
Act IV—DNN: Dead News Network --a dead animated newscast exploring the silencing of dissent and “spin” in the corporate news media

The opera’s Intermezzi involve a live electronic mix and acoustic Mariachi accompaniment of the baroque songs “El Corrido de Pat Tillman,” “Lamento Desaparecido,” “This is the House that Blacks Built” and others.

Related Websites

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