Art Heals All Wounds: Hector Armienta, Opera Composer
Season 1, Ep. 16
The very special guest on the Season 1 finale of Art Heals All Wounds is opera composer Hector Armienta.Hector is also the Art Director of Opera Cultura, a Latinx Hispanic opera company in San Jose, California.As a Mexican American composer, Armienta composes operas that explore what it means to be between two cultural worlds. His musical inspirations include the works of Puccini, Mexican corridos, and mariachi, to name a few.What is it like to brave crossing the border in the hopes of finding a better life in America? What about farm workers, people who work in homes, cleaning and caring for children, young people who thought they were finally fulfilling their dream to attend college? What happened when March 2020 brought a pandemic that turned these dreams upside down? Hector Armienta interviewed Latinx immigrants in San Jose and Santa Clara Valley and gave their stories voice, a beautiful, operatic voice, in his operas Cuentos and Mi Camino.Hector’s compositions are beautiful. But it’s his vision that is really exciting. He pushes the preconceived boundaries of opera and theatrical performance with his work. During the pandemic, when live performances weren’t possible, he created an animation for the opera Mi Camino.His plans are to take opera beyond the restrictions of borders, pandemics, and cultural and political boundaries, into virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality. If the metaverse is coming, having Hector’s music there will make it a much more human space.