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a girl A girl holds a lighted candle in her hands

Hometown to the World

December 17 & 19, 2021

Hometown to the World

Friday, December 17 at 7:00 pm (World Premiere)
Sunday, December 19 at 2:00 pm

The Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501

The Lensic Box Office/Tickets 505-988-1234

Music By
Laura Kaminsky
Libretto By
Kimberly Reed
Sung in
English, Spanish, and Hebrew
Duration
65 minutes, no intermission
Tickets
$25 per person. Seat assignments are first come first served.
Required at All Lensic Events
Patrons 12+ must provide proof of full vaccination or negative results from a recent Covid test. Masks are also required.
Commissioning and development support for Opera for All Voices:
Melville Hankins Family Foundation, Principal Education Sponsor of the Santa Fe Opera
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Two OPERA America Innovation Grants, generously funded by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation

Synopsis

“Tempest-tossed” for chorus offers a fragment from Emma Lazarus’ poem, The New Colossus, as video footage or still photos depicting the ICE Raid are projected. In “Ag Days,” Linda Larsen, the county commissioner, is at a desk, frantically organizing the details for the town’s Agricultural Days parade and celebration, “the biggest two days of the year.” “Su Casa” finds Abraham Fleischman, who was shunned by his family for being gay, seeking refuge in the home of Linda Morales, who is wary but welcomes him to keep her promise to a rescue organization at St. Bridget’s church to open her home to strangers.

In “Wide World Web,” Fleischman explores his new room, which belonged to Morales’ deported son of a similar age, and sings of the amazing world he discovered the first time he saw the internet, which was forbidden in his cloistered Hasidic household. Larsen welcomes community members to a meeting of the “Postville Response Coalition,” but fear and xenophobia overtake the restive crowd, which screams that Postville is in a “state of emergency.”

Walking home together in “Anklet, Ringlet,” Morales and Fleischman assess the impact of the meeting, bonding with each other despite their cultural differences, because they are both “outsiders” in Postville. In “Cans of Corn,” Morales visits the food bank at St. Bridget’s church because she’s not allowed to work for a living, and receives canned goods from Larsen, who is doing a shift. Morales questions whether Larsen’s motivations are more selfish than magnanimous and encourages her to use her political power wisely, then Fleischman joins them as they all sing about seeing the world through the eyes of others. However, the disparate circumstances of Morales and Fleischman allow for the underlying tensions in the community and between them to rise to the surface and they argue in “Blood,” ending with each hurling at the other the insult “you are the illegals!”

In “Carne Barata,” Morales, her heart breaking at the loss of her family, sings an aria in despair, “look where we are. They make us fight…” She comes to a moment of strength with the recognition that “America is impossible without us.” Through her reasoned plea, she and Fleischman overcome their fear-based animosities and arrive at a place of hope. “World-wide Welcome” offers another expansive choral refrain from The New Colossus, and a caution: “the more borders we create, the lesser our world will be.”

Inspired by the chorus in the previous scene, Morales and Fleischman seek to “Repair the World,” as the two take sanctuary in their respective religious traditions. They are joined by Larsen, and the three come together in a shared prayer, Tikkun Olam, based on the Hebrew language and ethics at the root of their faiths.