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MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
510 S 1st St, San Jose, California 95113
We are reimagining the art form of opera to encompass one of the primary social musical languages of today — rap. Master beat boxer/ rap artist Carlos Aguirre (Emcee Infinite) and soprano Alexandra Sessler worked with San Jose youth to help tell their stories through a new hybrid art form. The project will draw on socioeconomic issues affecting youth to create a narrative of their experiences living in San Jose.
Aguirre and Sessler led free writing workshops with San Jose youth throughout the course of Spring 2017. These workshops were held at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) and Juvenile Hall in San Jose. Aguirre and Sessler collaborated to teach the youth about both opera and rap, then led exercises to help the youth come up with their own creative texts based on their life experiences. These writings will play an integral role in the Rap Opera Project workshop performance.
The project will culminate in a workshop presentation of scenes from the work on June 24th, 2017. The workshop will be performed by Aguirre, Sessler, and Cellista.
— Carlos Aguirre aka Emcee Infinite has been performing in the Bay Area and beyond for over 15 years. He is part of the musical group Felonious where he doubles as emcee/beatboxer. He has shared the stage with Jam Master Jay, L.L. Cool J, De La Soul, Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, Eryka Badu, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, Shock G., Blackalicious, Jurassic Five, Latryx, Planet Asia, Living Legends, Rahzel, Scratch, and George Clinton, among others. He also shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at-risk environments throughout the Bay Area. His work has helped many different students from various demographics gain skills to better express themselves. He is dedicated to preserving the voice of the youth and the culture of hip-hop.
This project is funded by Silicon Valley Create's X Factor Grant.