DON’T CHANGE MY NAME
Don’t Change My Name is a three-movement opera that conjures the spirit of an enslaved princess to honor the rich Arará tradition in Cuba.
Don’t Change My Name is a new opera for a live ensemble (piano, bass, drums, Batá and Arará percussion, horns, electric guitar, marimba) and 12-member choir that honors the rich yet often unheralded Arará tradition.
This compelling work draws inspiration from the life of Florentina Zulueta, who later became a champion for the Arará community in Cuba. Born in 1828 in Dahomey (now Benin), both her life and her name were never her own. As a little girl, she was first given the name “Tolo-Ño” while living in the Lucumí region (now Nigeria). While in Dahomey, she was forced into slavery and her name was once again changed to “Na-Tegué.” At 15, she was brought to Cuba, captured and sold to Julián de Zulueta y Amondo, a notorious slave owner in Perico, who branded her with a hot metal iron as his property and forever changed her name to Florentina Zulueta.
American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) presented by the Morris Museum’s Lot of Strings Festival
Morris Museum - 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ
University of Houston, Moores Opera House & Online
San Antonio Botanical Garden