El Yunque, the rainforests of Puerto Rico … in East Harlem

David Johnston

2010 Composer-in-Residence Judith Sainte Croix's "Sueno del Bosque" at Union Settlement

From Grace, today’s guest blogger. “The warm, tropical weather on July 29th was a perfect backdrop for well over 100 seniors from East Harlem’s Union Settlement to experience Sueno del Bosque (Dream of the Forest), 2010 Composer-in-Residence Judith Sainte Croix’s multi-media musical journey into El Yunque, the rainforests of Puerto Rico. For many audience members, photographer Claudia Miranda’s gorgeous projected images of El Yunque may at first have been a familiar sight. But underscored by Judith’s mysterious and richly textured music and lyrics, the images transformed into protagonists in Judith’s operatic tale of the delicate relationship between man and nature.

Specifically tailored for the Union Settlement community, Judith developed Sueno del Bosque as part of her Con Edison Musicians’ Residency. Taking selections from her opera-in-progress “The Vine of the Soul,” Judith provided Spanish narration and incorporated images of El Yunque to present an experience that was both new and familiar. And for an hour, the audience was transported to the rainforests of Puerto Rico as Judith, the Sonora Trio, and guest instrumentalists and vocalists created an otherworldly sonic experience.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Maria Alejandro, Director of Senior Services at Union Settlement, as well as the entire staff for their wonderful collaborative work.


Please stay tuned for our next public program at Union Settlement. 2010 Composer-in-Residence Octavio Vazquez will present a program of compositions by Vazquez, Berthold and Puccini on September 16th at 7 PM.  Admission is free.


This program was made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.


Post a comment