This weekend I had the pleasure of watching my daughter in the world premier of the opera “Xochitl and the Flowers” at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco. The opera by Christopher Pratorius is based on the children’s book of the same title by Jorge Argueta.
You should know that my daughter is not an opera singer nor is she in training to become one, but thanks to Opera Parallèle’s Hands-on-Opera program the third grade Spanish immersion students at her school got to participate, collaborate and take center stage in the production of “Xochitl and the Flowers.”
This particular piece inspired by the true story of a family from El Salvador that immigrated to San Francisco’s Mission District is incredibly timely given the current political climate. I found the dedication in the program to be truly touching…
We the creators and performers of ‘Xochitl and the Flowers,’ dedicate this world premiere to the tireless, unknown heroes of the road. We sing for those who, because of unforeseen circumstances of fate, were not able to reach their desired promised land, and we sing for those who travel with only the packs on their backs to put down roots. These beloved immigrants are an intrinsic part of our American family tree.
As a parent of children in public school, I am incredibly grateful for arts organizations like Opera Paralléle that are committed to exposing children in underserved communities to the arts. This kind of exposure opens up entirely different worlds of possibilities to children who might not otherwise ever experience the arts in a hands on way.
I also love that tickets to the performances were free. This is HUGE to me because as a child, I did not come from a family that had the disposable income to attend live shows just for fun. Free family-friendly shows with topics that are relevant to the communities where they are being performed are priceless.
“Xochitl and the Flowers”
Mission Cultural Center
San Francisco, CA
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