by Abby, 16
Stories about Dreamers have dominated headlines in recent months due to the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration. We are bombarded with statistics and it becomes nearly impossible to pick out the truth from the mess of “alternative facts”. One day, the public will be uplifted by the stories of undocumented immigrants who have met great success, and the next, there will be heart-wrenching videos of traumatized children sitting alone in cages. Nowhere, however, do we see stories like the one that I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams tells – ones that are hidden, forgotten, and, sometimes, the most tragic of them all. Rosa, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, is forcibly separated from her daughter, Sol, and locked behind bars. Her story forces us to realize that the horrors of ICE and the stigma around immigration go so much deeper than the viral videos we see on social media. Only art can convey that message effectively. It makes us think deeply about what patriotism truly means. There may not be an answer, but the separation of families and the agonizingly slow and relentless war on Dreamers is most certainly not it.
I feel like I have to begin by saying how exquisite the music of I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams is. The two protagonists, Rosa and Singa, have two of the richest and most dynamic voices I’ve ever heard and counter each other beautifully. The third voice, which takes on many roles throughout the show, is extraordinarily expressive and brings the opera to a whole different level of artistry. The Boston Children’s Chorus is also stunning – their two child soloists have taken on challenging roles with vigor and tackle them with professionalism and grace. The choir is simply magnificent. They frequently open scenes throughout the play with chilling chords that accentuate the poignancy of the opera. I was particularly moved by their musical recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and allusions to the well-known Broadway musical West Side Story.
I cannot express the pride I felt when I saw my fellow BCC singers perform with such a talented cast and crew. I had the privilege of singing in Gilgamesh many years ago, an experience that drastically deepened my appreciation for and understanding of opera and the arts. BCC is a place where discussions regarding the social climate of our world are welcomed and encouraged. Growing up in such a supportive environment has empowered me to be an advocate for my beliefs. I believe that White Snake Projects has a similar mission to BCC – both organizations value the potential of young minds and help them to thrive. By uniting three of the most powerful forces in the world – the arts, social compassion, and youth – both organizations grow and tackle new challenges.