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Excellence and Expertise

MUCaT to host Guerilla Opera April 18-19

Excellence and Expertise

MUCaT to host Guerilla Opera April 18-19

a woman wearing snorkling equipment in a bathtub of cereal

Guerilla Opera is collaborating with the Miami University Music Composition and Technology Departments, presenting a lecture, workshop, and concert of new compositions by Miami University Composition majors. 

The lecture/presentation by the ensemble is titled “Equity, Inclusivity, and Multicultural Collaboration in Contemporary Opera.” The concert will consist exclusively of 5 works composed for them by Miami University composition majors, many of which will include theatrical elements and integrate cutting edge technology.


Humanities Lecture/Presentation by Guerilla Opera
Friday, 4/19, 12-1pm
Presser Hall, Room 100
501 S. Patterson Ave, Oxford, OH 45056

Performance of Student Works
Friday, 4/19, 7:30pm
Center For Performing Arts, Souers Recital Hall
420 S. Patterson Ave, Oxford, OH 45056

The presentation will be led by soprano Aliana de la Guardia, the co-founding Executive Director of Guerilla Opera and core member of the performing ensemble. Aliana’s “ongoing commitment to Guerilla Opera steadfastly addresses and dismantles racial and gender disparities and lack of representation ingrained within the classical music industry. In addition to this, she initiated and led Guerilla Opera’s endeavors to introduce inventive multisensory operatic experiences for the Visually Impaired and Blind Community in Boston.” 
Joining her for the lecture will be Brian Church (bass voice), Amy Advocat (clarinet), and Mike Williams (percussion, Ensemble Director and co-founder). 

In the ensemble’s talk, they will discuss the ways in which Guerilla Opera has met the challenge of maintaining a vibrant and successful opera company that is far outside the mainstream. They are a self-described artist-led, BIPOC and feminist avant-garde opera ensemble that thrives with support from a variety of donors and foundations, while performing newly commissioned operas over multiple days to sold-out audiences. This free talk will be aimed at a general audience.

The punk rock aesthetics of the company, and their mission of social justice, are not what the general public tends to envision when thinking of opera. We hope to broaden this perspective, to demonstrate that this approach can be incredibly contemporary, pertinent, and entertaining, as well as viable for a professional ensemble. Our own Director of Miami University Opera Theater, Ben Smolder, has similarly been pushing boundaries with his award-winning video opera productions, such as Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox. We will work closely with Dr. Smolder to coordinate opportunities for his students. Bringing Guerilla Opera into this already fertile ground is an exciting opportunity to establish potentially significant connections between Miami and Guerilla.

In addition, the ensemble has been commissioned by the Miami University Composition area to work with our composition majors on developing five new pieces. Though they are an opera company, for this visit they will perform as a quartet - soprano, bass, clarinet, and percussion. The students have been offered the opportunity to write new pieces with or without a dramatic component. The ensemble with work with the composers individually during the residency and perform a concert of premiers on their final evening.