This opera about immigrants is deeply and entirely American.
In some ways, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams seems to leap directly onto the stage from today’s headlines. Our design for this premiere production evokes the inhospitable institutions that immigrants face as they are rounded up, detained and arrested. The cold aesthetic reminds us that this crisis is happening in our homes, on our streets, and to our neighbors – that for every parent and child reunited after detention, there are thousands of gut-wrenching cases that continue to be worthy of our regret and mourning.
Yet as Jorge Sosa’s powerful music envelops us, the opera also reinvigorates our capacity to hope, to connect, and to cherish our neighbors. The vibrant ambition and potential of our two immigrant characters courses through the score, and as we listen, we feel their desire for peace of mind and longing for a home. I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams is the story of activists, leaders, mothers, and dreamers—immigrants who, separated from their families, become the caretakers of our society. It asks us to shake off whatever has dulled our sense of collective responsibility and ask, “Who is taking care of them?”
Among the many contemporary works of art centering on immigrant stories, this opera poses uniquely complicated questions about the experiences of varied immigrant communities. How different, it asks, are a woman from Mexico and a woman from Indonesia? Both fled violence and oppression as children emigrating to the United States. How can two women with such similar stories encounter such divergent access to opportunities in this country? Who or what leads these immigrants to distrust one another and—an even more difficult question that this opera poses—what systems are in place to make them work at odds?
I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams allows us to delve into these questions, channeling our grief and joy into a complex reflection on community. Through this exploration, the opera highlights the strength and sacrifice of our immigrant neighbors and renews our courage to reach out to one another.
We hope you enjoy the show.