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The Multimedia Opera ‘La Mare dels Peixos’, first Valencian language opera premiered internationally, conquers Mexico

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Soundcool, the collaborative sound and visual creation system with mobiles and tablets designed at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV) by Jorge Sastre, professor and researcher at the Instituto de Telecomunicaciones y Aplicaciones Multimedia (iTEAM-UPV), continues to reaping success and crossing borders.

Not in vain, on November 16th , the Teatro de las Artes del Centro Nacional de las Artes (CENART) of Mexico City hosted, with an absolute full, the first performance of an opera in Valencian internationally, La Mare dels Peixos, whose English version will be released on February 15th in the United States.

Enric Valor’s tale as origin

Inspired by the texts of the homonymous tale of Enric Valor, La Mare dels Peixos is a musical composition made with Soundcool system by Jorge Sastre and Roger Dannenberg – creator of Audacity -, with libretto by Aurora Clari and Carles Iborra – updating the paper of women in search of a peer relevance of male and female characters-, which was premiered at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia in 2016.

Subsequently, Act I of the opera was represented, with the collaboration of students from various educational centers, in Romania, Puebla (Mexico), the auditoriums of Torrent and Canet d’En Berenguer, and Alfons Roig of the UPV itself.

Performing live “magic voices”

As Sastre himself explains, the representation performed in May 2019 in the Martin i Soler hall of the Palau de les Arts “was a totally new staging based on the artistic recycling of materials. The instrumental template included orchestra, choir, solo vocals, electronics and sound effects that were interpreted with Soundcool system of collaborative creation by CEIP Juan Esteve (Albal) students, one of the centers participating in the pilot test of the Soundcool educational system conducted by the UPV for the Consellería de Educación, Investigación, Cultura y Deporte“.

“For the performance,” he continues, “Soundcool system was taught to the students, sounds were recorded and edited to set the mood for the opera, and the possibilities for performing live magic voices with Soundcool such as the Mother of Fishes, the dragon or the witch, etc were explained … and all of this in a collaborative way. ”

Mexico, another big step in front of multimedia opera

Mexico was a new great step for the project. A huge challenge for which Sastre received an APICID scholarship from the UPV. For the representation, students of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) were in charge of the production. From his work came all the sound design and it was the students of the Orquesta Sinfónica Infantil of the disadvantaged area of Nezahualcoyótl who executed the sounds, with Soundcool system, on their tablets. “The ITESM also made interactive projections with sound and movement using Kinect, laser lighting and smoke, and much more,” adds Sastre.

Mexico hosted two representations of La Mare dels Peixos in Valencian, giving even greater merit to the achievement, since the participants had to adapt the representation to a language, for them, totally unknown.

“The fact that it was not a Valencian production gave it more value,” says Sastre, who highlights the union in the project of numerous entities such as the Escuela Superior del CENART, the Escuela Superior de Música (ESM), the Escuela Superior de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado Esmeralda (ENPEG), the Escuela Superior de Danza Clásica y Contemporánea (ESDCC) and the Escuela Multimedia. “They all joined together to make a brutal montage. At times, I thought I was on Broadway,” says Sastre.

The two performances were a great success, with completely full auditoriums. The first one, broadcast on streaming, could be seen in Spain; while the second, recorded, is currently being edited to be broadcast in Mexico on television.

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