Chamber Opera Addresses the Realities of Human Trafficking

| January 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

I am frequently reminded that there are some horrible realities of the world we live in. One of those horrible realities is human trafficking. Young men and women (and also children) become trapped in a cycle of prostitution and slavery. According to reports from the District Attorney’s office, the number of cases is alarming and on the rise. To help emphasize and educate the general public, “Cuatro Corridos,” a chamber opera was created to address human trafficking, one of the most critical human rights issues of our time.

Based on true events, “Cuatro Corridos” tells the story of women who have been forced in to prostitution and slavery in and around the San Diego/Tijuana border region and represents an unprecedented collaboration between internationally acclaimed Mexican and US-based creative artists. The opera has received high praise from critics and audiences.

Librettist, Jorge Volpi, explains the basis for the opera: “Young women are sold and exploited by mafias to serve as prostitutes for migrant workers in southern California. In 2001 the authorities dismantled the network of the Salazar-Juárez brothers who for years kidnapped Mexican women and forced them to work as prostitutes in the ‘Fields of Love’ in the strawberry farms around San Diego.”

Led by Grammy Award winning soprano, Susan Narucki, the fully-staged production features original music by composers Lei Liang, Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, and Hebert Vázquez. Each composer gives voice to one of the four female characters by presenting one act in the hour-long drama. Three distinguished performers of new music, pianist Aleck Karis, guitarist Pablo Gomez, and, percussionist Ayano Kataoka, accompany Narucki in sharing the compelling stories of four women whose lives are scarred by human trafficking.

Since its development and premiere at the University of California, San Diego in 2013, the opera has been performed at prestigious cultural institutions in Los Angeles; Dallas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Amherst, Mass.; Tijuana, Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. During forums preceding or following performances of the opera, academics, public sector experts, activists and journalists have shared their perspectives on the subject.

Soprano and artistic director, Susan Narucki, performs for “Cuatro Corridos.”

Soprano and artistic director, Susan Narucki, performs for “Cuatro Corridos.”

Soprano and artistic director, Susan Narucki says of the project, “Human trafficking is a global issue; during the past year instances of international and domestic trafficking continue to come to light. Yet, there is a growing awareness – a shared context for understanding the issue and the first step toward effecting meaningful change. I am pleased that “Cuatro Corridos” continues to be a part of that change.”

San Diegans will be able to experience this incredible concert and become enlightened on a serious problem that exists here in our County. Performances are at 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at Conrad Prebys Concert Hall at UCSD. To learn more, call (858) 534-3448 or visit

I encourage you to get informed and also learn of ways that you can help to prevent this wasteful use of human life. Let’s start 2016 with a cause to support.

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Category: Events, Local News

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