Tags / Argentina
Patagonia is the right place to walk, lose oneself in our own certainties and feel the right to doubt. Minimal Histories is the stage of a journey, a meeting with the Men who breathe the land at the end of the earth. They're stories told with a Mate in our hands, to share the sacred drink of the Argentine hospitality during the long evenings of the Patagonian pampas. Simple men, sometimes anachronistic, but absolutely of today. As a narrative, Minimal Histories tells the story of everyone and each of these stories is the story of all of us. One of our fears that are raised within us and covered with a dark night sky of endless stars. One of our dreams and thoughts about the future that every sunrise lights to hole up behind a new moon.
Magui Méndez, a local from Villa 31 recruited for the opera, sits off to the side of the stage on a prop suitcase, crossing her legs and waiting for her cue to enter the scene.
A police officer obliges young boys living in the villa to leave the stage after a back-and-forth battle with the stage hands that lasted the entire show. "This is our home," yells one young man as he's motioned away.
Children who just can't stay still for the opera snag a front row street by climbing right up on to the stage to watch the most intense moments of the opera's action.
Julian Cabrera, one of the professional actors involved in the opera, poses for press while one of his cast mates, a young man recruited from Villa 31, looks back at photographers.
The orchestra warms up before their conductor takes the podium. Behind them, the young boys from the villa use the spare set pieces as a jungle gym.
Police roam the grounds of the run-down futból field where the opera is performed, making sure that no crime manages to put a damper on the performance.
Star soprano Julieta Sch poses for local press with a megaphone tilted toward the sun as it sets over the villa.
A full orchestra was present for Ópera Periférica's debut in Villa 31, the largest slum in Buenos Aires. Recent estimates put the total population at at least 40,000.
A member of the orchestra expertly plays his violin as young men from the villa look in on a rehearsal before opening night.
A crowd from Buenos Aires slum Villa 31 look on as the cast of La Serva Pedrona makes its way around the stage. They smile in amusement as most of them are introduced to the world of opera for the first time.
Candelaria Sesin looks back coyly at the camera as the cast drives around the set in circles, providing a photo op for local press and people in the neighborhood armed with camera phones.
The cast struggles over suitcases as the director Foladori presses them for more.
A group of onlookers represent the variety of generations living in Villa 31. From a young girl transfixed by spectacle with her father, to a young woman inside the mesh fence, who also watches with the same quiet interest.
A group of young men coming home from work happened upon the opera in their neighborhood. Drawn in by the strange proposal, they hoped that it would be well received by others in the barrio.
Final adjustments are made as the sun sets on the final evening of rehearsal.
Director Pablo Foladori tries to hide his stress as he gives last-minute pointers to his cast, just a few nights before the opera will premiere in Villa 31.
Performed in its original Italian, the opera is translated on a large screen for the audience. To the bottom left, a group of children watch intently as the actors struggle over luggage.
Police lights flash in front of a local eatery selling sandwiches filled with chorizo as the cast takes a victory lap around the set in the back of a trailer pulled by a motorcycle, giving off clouds of noxious fumes as it makes its rounds.