Another new feature of the 12th Havana Biennial was the Cuban premiere of Ópera Cubanacán, written by maestro Roberto Valera, with production and libretto by U.S. artist Charles Koppelman.
Ópera Cubanacán, premiered for its performative nature as part of the program of the Havana Biennial, was a real success at the University of the Arts’ Visual Arts Faculty, located in the capital’s Playa municipality. Manolo Garriga’s lighting design played an important role in the staging, in tune with the architecture of the site created by three renowned masters: Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi.
Valera has described his work as an opera-testimony, because in these types of creations real characters are not generally introduced. “No Cuban would have ever thought, out of the respect we have for the figure of Fidel Castro, of including two characters who are Fidel and Ernesto Che Guevara, Cuban architect Selma Díaz, a collaborator of Che’s, and characters from African-Cuban mythology such as Oshun and Eleguá.
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