Hello, and welcome to ARTivist. This is our very first episode, and we're focusing on a world premiere opera called The Body Politic. Written by Leo Hurley and Charles Osborne, and produced by the Juventas New Music Ensemble, it tells the story of Iphis, who is both a young trans man, and an Afghani immigrant to the american south. Here's the synopsis from Juventas's website:
“After emigrating to the American South, a transgender Afghan immigrant explores his identity while navigating a new cultural landscape. But as Iphis’ LBGT social circle collides with the traditional American Family, The Body Politic exposes the daily bigotry facing the trans community, and the divisive prejudices of the post-9/11 world. This world premiere opera challenges our cultural understandings of gender and its shortcomings, wrestling with complex questions of freedom and identity in a year in which transgender issues have come to the forefront of our culture, while violence against the trans community remains staggeringly high. This black-box production places the audience in the middle of the action, following Iphis' journey from childhood in Afghanistan to citizenship in the United States. Scored for a seven instrument ensemble, this opera uses new music to challenge old prejudices and to shine light on the marginalization faced by these communities.”
I had the opportunity to speak with Leo and Charles, as well as Artistic Director Lidiya Yankovskaya, and members of the cast. I had some great conversations, too much for this first podcast, but I plan to release the conversations that didn't wind up in this piece in subsequent posts, so check back.
You can find tickets to the body politic here. Don't miss this exciting, world premiere opera. It is incredibly moving and relevant, which is exactly what good art should be.
**Just a little disclaimer: The audio of the actual music that you'll hear comes from a rehearsal, not actual performance, Juventas was so generous to provide it for me, and to carve out time during a SUPER busy week. Big thanks to them for that!!**