New Latin Wave and National Sawdust present Paraíso, an experimental chamber opera that follows a mother and child from Puebla, Mexico as their lives are shaped by the political and economic factors that govern who gets to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and how.

June 16, 2023
8:00 pm
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New Latin Wave and National Sawdust present Paraíso, an experimental chamber opera that follows a mother and child from Puebla, Mexico as their lives are shaped by the political and economic factors that govern who gets to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and how. Set at the turn of the 21st century, Paraíso starts with the mother as she embarks on the months-long journey across the border with her 1-year-old child to reunite with her husband in New York City. Even after crossing the border and building a new life in the U.S., their lives continue to be shaped by their border crossing. Featuring a libretto by Venezuelan poet, scholar, and educator Natasha Tiniacos in collaboration with Sokio, this generations-spanning opera will expand the form of opera by incorporating the use of samplers, modular synths, recordings, and improvisation. By telling the story of a mother-child duo grappling with the fear of deportation and a diasporic longing for Mexico, Paraíso hopes to connect audiences with the real immigration struggles that the U.S.'s vibrant Latinx community experiences. Join us for the premiere of this powerful opera about immigration, family, and survival.

About Sokio

Sokio is a composer, producer, music supervisor, and the director of the New Latin Wave. As a composer, artist, and curator, his focus has been experimenting with the diversity of the Latinx experience, creating new narratives based on the history and stories throughout the Americas, mixing pre-Columbian, classical and electronic instruments. 

Sokio has composed and staged four operas: Patria (1998), Tántalo (1999), Arequípa (2001) and Rei (2004). Co-presented with El Museo del Barrio, Brooklyn Museum, BRIC, MexicArte (Austin), SXSW and SummerStage among other institutions and partners. Sokio has been the recipient of the Muestra Nacional de Dramaturgia prize (1999, Chile) with his play Oxido. 

He was invited to present his piece Mapas in the 2019 Innovators series at Samsung 837. His latest work Todo Es Cariño (2020) was premiered by Shayna Dunkelman at Pioneer Works, and he was the recipient of the Abrons Arts Center AIRspace Residency 2021. He lives and works in the Lower East Side, New York. 

About stefa marin alarcon

stefa marin alarcon is a trans non-binary vocalist, composer, educator, and multimedia performance artist born and raised in Queens, NY to Colombian immigrants. Using an amalgamation of punk, experimental rage pop, and classical minimalism with maximalist aesthetics, stefa builds worlds that offer a somatic decolonial respite for the misfits, the displaced, and future generations of Brown and Indigenous radical artists of the diaspora.

Their transdiciplinary artistic practice explores concepts of home, identity, gender, borders, erased ancestry, and radical trans, queer & Native futures through music, theater, ritual performance, and video. stefa has shared their work, spirit, and song with Queens Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Museo Del Barrio, The Kitchen, Ars Nova, National Sawdust, BAAD!, NUEVOFest, Abrons Arts Center, Dixon Place, Tulsa Artist Residency, Cine Las Americas, The Vienna Festival, Body Hack, Fierce Futures and more. They studied euro-centric classical voice at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and concentrated in drama at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

They were an Artist-in-Residence at TrueQué Residencia Artística, Slippage Residency at Duke University in collaboration with Mx Oops, as well as a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics EmergeNYC Fellow, Leslie Lohman Museum of Art Artist Fellow, and Artist In Residence at The Kitchen NYC. Their debut EP Sepalina was released on Figure & Ground Records in 2018. Most recently, their film and installation performance Born With An Extra Rib [2022] was the winner of the Queer | Art Recent Work Prize 2022. 

About Melisa Bonetti

Dominican-American Mezzo-Soprano, Melisa Bonetti, is a versatile singer whose experience encompasses a vast amount of new works, as well as traditional operas and concert works. This season includes mezzo-soprano soloist at Carnegie Hall for the Bach Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio, and four opera premieres; A Marvelous Order by Judd Greenstein and Tracy K. Smith, On the Road to Arivaca by Rosino Serrano and Susan Galbraith, Southern Crossings by Zaid Jabri, Yvette Christiansë & Rosalind Morris, and La Alcaldesa by Laura Jobin-Acosta and Sandra Flores-Strand.

Melisa has been hailed by Opera today as “a warm, supple mezzo that struck all the right impressions, commanding a wonderful presence in the lower middle voice, also easily soaring heavenward with a well-schooled top.” Some notable performances include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Virginia Opera, Anita in West Side Story with the Brott Music Festival in Toronto, and Tyler in the premiere of Three-Way with Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects at BAM, including the grammy nominated original cast recording.

About Brandon Lopez 

Brandon Lopez is a New York-based composer and bassist working at the fringes of jazz, free improvisation, noise and new music. The work has been described as “brutal”, "relentless" and "breathlessly complex" by publications like the New York Times and Pitchfork. He's one part of the critically acclaimed trio with Fred Moten and Gerald Cleaver.

He's been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, and has been a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic.

About Raquel Acevedo Klein

Named by The Washington Post as a classical composer and performer to watch in 2022 and as a "force to be reckoned with," Raquel Acevedo Klein is a conductor, vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, and visual artist. She has premiered works and operas by John Adams, Philip Glass, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Bryce Dessner, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Missy Mazzoli, to name only a few. She has recorded and performed with dozens of major artists, including Anthony Roth Costanzo, Claire Chase, Alicia Keys, John Legend, the New York Philharmonic, Glen Hansard, Bon Iver, The National, Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The Knights, and International Contemporary Ensemble.

A few highlights of Acevedo Klein's live music history include vocal and instrumental performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, The Town Hall, BAM, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, the NYC Guggenheim, Rockefeller Center, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, WNYC, National Sawdust, Caramoor, and Bard Fisher Center. Over the course of her young career, Acevedo Klein's performances and curations have already caught the attention of The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Time Out New York, The Wire, and Hyperallergic. Her versatility as a performer and composer makes Acevedo Klein highly sought after as a collaborator on projects that require continually evolving rules. In 2021, as part of the NY PopsUp initiative, Acevedo Klein curated a four-week festival entitled NYC FREE, celebrating the opening of Little Island, where she premiered her original, audience-interactive vocal symphony "Polyphonic Interlace." Acevedo Klein regularly conducts for the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Beth Morrison Projects, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

About Shayna Dunkelman

Shayna Dunkelman is a musician, percussionist and composer based in New York.

Dunkelman is known for her versatile and unique techniques, and use of electronics to access a sonic pallet not found in acoustic percussion.  

In addition to solo performances, Dunkelman performs and tours with Pulitzer Award-Winning and Grammy nominated composer Du Yun, Puerto Rican band Balún, Grammy Award Winning artist Attacca Quartet, Pakistani singer and author Ali Sethi and NOMON, a percussion duo with her sister Nava Dunkelman. 

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan to an Indonesian mother and an American father, Dunkelman became a multi-instrumentalist performing alongside her mother, a musician and composer active in Asia and the Middle East. Dunkelman graduated with honors in both music and mathematics from Mills College in Oakland, CA in 2007, where she studied percussion with William Winant. 

Dunkelman became increasingly active in the alternative music scene as a member of the band Xiu Xiu, touring the world for 6 years. As part of Xiu Xiu, Dunkelman shared stages with Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV), Blonde Redhead, Sun Ra Arkestra, Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails), St. Vincent and Deerhoof to name a few.

Dunkelman has recorded and performed with pioneers of avant-garde experimental musicians such as Yuka C. Honda, John Zorn, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, and performed at The Broad, Carnegie Hall, Centre Pompidou, The Chapel, The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts (Bard College), HAU, Lincoln Center, The MET, Noguchi Museum, Palazzo Grassi, Performance Space New York, Pioneer Works, STUK, Tanzhaus NRW, Tanzquartier, Terminal 5, Thalia Hall, UC Berkeley, QAGOMA among others. 

About Andrea Wolf

Andrea Wolf is a Chilean interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her work explores the relationship between personal memory and cultural practices of remembering. Working with found footage –with anonymous stories–, Wolf creates multimedia installations, video sculptures, and transmedia narratives that examine how technology, media, and memory affect and transform each other, creating models of remembrance that are culturally shaped. Using techniques such as projection mapping, algorithmic manipulations, and augmented reality, Wolf combines found memory objects like home movies, vintage photos, and postcards, with physical objects ranging from intimate dioramas to immersive installations, blurring the boundaries between physical and digital. 

Andrea holds MFAs in Documentary Filmmaking from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, in Digital Arts from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and from the Interactive Telecommunications at NYU. She was a fellow at the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum in 2013, an artist in residence at the IFP New York Media Center in 2015, and a member at NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator program for art, technology, and design in New York City, from 2015 to 2017. Her work has been shown in galleries, museums, biennials, and festivals around the globe. It has also been featured in digital collections and online platforms like Spotify, ArtJaws, and Electric Objects.

About Lucia Cuba

Lucia Cuba’s work approaches fashion, textiles, design and the exploration of garments and other wearable forms as performative and political devices, broadening the understanding of the role of design objects from purely functional, commercial or aesthetic considerations, to social, ethical and political perspectives. As a fashion designer and scholar, Cuba is interested in issues of gender, biopolitics, health and global fashion practices. She has developed projects concerned with health, activism, education and the study of non-western fashion systems.

Cuba received an MFA in Fashion Design & Society from Parsons, The New School University (USA) and a BSc in Social Psychology from Cayetano Heredia University (Peru), where she also undertook MA studies in Educational Psychology and PhD studies in Public Health. Her work has been exhibited at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam), the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museo Amparo (Puebla), Albuquerque Museum (NM), OCT Art & Design Gallery (Shenzhen), BRIC Arts Media (New York), Fashion Space Gallery (London), Sur Gallery (Toronto), ART LIMA (Lima), among other cultural venues.

She currently works as Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons, The New School University (NY), as a Visiting Professor of Garments and Textiles at the School of Arts and Design, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (LIM), and as an independent designer.

About Adele Fournet

Adele Fournet is a music producer and video artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She is also a music scholar and holds a phd in music from New York University. She writes about the intersections of gender, technology, labor, and aesthetics in popular music production. Adele has received support for her research from Fulbright, the NYU McCracken Foundation, Humanities New York, and the NYU Center for the Humanities. 

Adele has an audio and video production company called Bit Rosie. The Bit Rosie web series ( features female and gender nonconforming music producers and is an inaugural component of the NYU library's first music-related video streaming web archive.  Her films have been screened on PBS New York, the NYC Independent Film Festival, and Cine Las Americas Film Festival, among others. Current personal music projects include Tipa Tipo and La Banda Chuska.

About Amanda Riesman 

Cellist, composer, and singer-songwriter Amanda Riesman has worked on musical projects with Phillip Glass, David Bowie, Girl Friday, and Tunde Adebimpe. She has composed music and sound design for video art projects for artists Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, Pilar Ortiz, among others. Her music has been featured in several films, including Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno (2013) and Dominga Sotomayor’s Too Late to Die Young (2018). She is also the executive producer of the New Latin Wave Arts Festival.

About Natasha Tiniacos

Natasha Tiniacos is a poet, scholar, educator and translator living in Manhattan after having granted asylum by the US government. Her poetry delves in fragmentation, is a constant research and reaction to the Spanish language and sound living the fragmentary experience of migration. The line between English and Spanish is an axis for the spin of translation.

Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures in The Graduate Center of the City University of New York with research interests in queer disability studies, poetics, and sound studies in Latin American art and literature. She has published two books of poems Historia privada de un etcétera (Los libros del fuego, 2016), finalist for the Grand Prix Littéraire of the Association of Caribbean Writers, and Mujer a fuego lento (Equinoccio, 2007) National University Prize in Literature, in Venezuela.

She has been a poet in residence for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022), the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, Vermont Studio Center, and Camac, Centre D’ Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, France. In 2019 she was selected for the New York Foundation for the Arts: Performing and Literary Arts 2019 program. She was US Embassy in Caracas visiting professor of American Literature in the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and after finishing her M.F.A. in Poetry in New York University.


Dedicated to celebrating the most current and compelling Latinx voices, New Latin Wave is a multidisciplinary platform for Latinx arts and culture that seeks to open conversations about Latinx contributions and identity in the US. 

We showcase Latinx artists and culture-makers working outside of the mainstream and we are a resource for discovery and exchange for those within and outside the Latinx arts community in NYC and beyond. Our mission is to generate opportunities for greater and more diverse visibility and representation; to empower creators; to incubate emerging talent; and to build a network of collaborators, cultural producers, venues and institutions that support artist and audience development. 

New Latin Wave started as a series of ad hoc cultural and discursive events, including concerts, exhibitions and panel discussions, evolved into a now annual one-day festival in Brooklyn, and launched a podcast spotlighting the Latinx cultural multiverse.

Jun 16

New Latin Wave and National Sawdust present: Sokio and Natasha Tiniacos's 'Paraíso'