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.
Minnesota Opera's Luminary Arts Center
Trinity House Theatre, 38840 Six Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48152
2640 Space, Baltimore, MD