The Guarani debuts at the opera
The first opera in Guaraní language will debut this weekend at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
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"Ñomongeta", which translated into Spanish means dialogue or conversation, is the first opera written in Guaraní language. This aboriginal language, pre -Columbian, remains one of the two official languages in Paraguay along with Spanish.
In the opera, the Paraguayan tenor José Mongelós plays a contemporary native Guaraní who talks with Christopher Columbus on the cultural impact that colonization has had in his and in the environment. To achieve this, the work "Ñomongeta" combines contemporary musical traditions and aborigines with the opera lyricism.
The opera has been written by the renowned orchestra director, composer and pianist Paraguayo Diego Sánchez Haase and the modest librettist Escobar Aquino, with an epilogue of Pedro Paredes Argüello. The cast is also part of Girolamo deraco, such as Stage Director, Lourdes Franco Galli, in the Stylling, and Victor Aguilar Zarza as Luthier.
Premiere in the United States
After having presented in Italy, Belgium, France and Paraguay before the Covid-19 Pandemia, the work arrived in September 2022 to the US territory thanks to the Hispanic Opera and Americas Society.
"Ñomongueta" has first premiered at the Smithsonian Museum of American Indian in New York City, where it has had great acceptance of the Paraguayan public as well as that of other nationalities.
As the opera is completely developed in aboriginal, attendees can understand the story thanks to the subtitles, according to Sebastian Zubieta, musical director of Americas Society, in an interview with AL DÍA from New York.
After passing through New York, the Paraguayan Opera will perform this Saturday, September 24 at Smithsonian Museum of American Indian in Washington DC. It will be from 2 p.m. in the National Esplanade. Access is free.
This activity is included in the Smithsonian Museum of American Indian events for the month of Hispanic heritage, which is commemorated from September 15 to October 15.
“Most Indigenous languages around the world are only known in their own communities. In North America, these languages are often endangered, and we support any effort made to build up knowledge of Indigenous languages and the efforts made to preserve them by Indigenous communities,” said Shawn Termin, Assistant Director for Programs (Acting) Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
The premiere of "Ñomongeta" marks a milestone in the history of Paraguayan music, since it is the first presentation of an opera by a Paraguayan author in the United States.
It is expected that after its debut in New York and Washington DC, the opera in Guaraní arrives in more cities in the United States.
About the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.
The National Museum of the American Indian operates three facilities. The museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., offers exhibition galleries and spaces for performances, lectures and symposia, research, and education. The George Gustav Heye Center (GGHC) in New York City houses exhibitions, research, educational activities, and performing arts programs. The Cultural Resources Center (CRC) in Suitland, Maryland, houses the museum's collections as well as the conservation, repatriation, and digital imaging programs, and research facilities.