Animated Opera 'Mi Camino' Explores the Pandemic's Impact on Farmworkers

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Soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez is a featured performer in 'Mi Camino.' (© Cecilia Violetta López 2018)

On June 25, composer and artistic director Héctor Armienta premieres his new multimedia song cycle Mi Camino, a depiction of the impact of COVID-19 on farmworkers in the greater Bay Area. The opera is based on interviews with individuals from regional farmworker communities.

Featuring renowned soprano Cecilia Violetta López, and Bay Area-based mezzo-soprano Deborah Rosengaus and tenor Emmanuel Mercado, Mi Camino explores the stories and experiences of farmworkers through virtual storytelling such as animations, avatars, and virtual worlds, combined with footage of the singers themselves. 

Due to high-density working and living conditions, California’s agriculture workers have been hard-hit by the pandemic. Researchers at Purdue University have estimated that about 9,000 agricultural workers in the United States have died of the virus. As vaccine availability increases, California has prioritized farmworkers, seeking to bring doses directly to the areas where many work and live. 

Mi Camino is the second installment of La Frontera Project, a song cycle created by composer and artistic director Héctor Armienta. Part I: Cuentos de Peregrinación premiered in 2014 at the Mexican Heritage Theater-School of Arts and Culture in San Jose. 

'Mi Camino' airs online on June 25 and 27. Details here.