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LAS AUTÉNTICAS (2020) - opera in one act

Premiere: April 17th, 2021, Kennedy Center, Washington DC for the American Opera Initiative

Libretto by Laura Fuentes




Jenny and her aunt Luz run a taco stand that has been named as a finalist for a social media influencer’s Most Authentic Taco title. As they await the influencer’s visit and final verdict, Jenny questions her cultural legitimacy as a first-generation Mexican-American, as Luz hearkens back to lessons learned from a lifetime of punk rock fandom. Who determines authenticity? How far should we lean into others’ expectations? Whose tacos will emerge victorious?


Washington National Opera's acclaimed commissioning program for contemporary American opera showcases three new 20-minute operas every year. In 2021, guided by Program Director, Robert Ainsley, the Cafritz Young Artists joined with members of the WNO Orchestra to premiere each of the new works in a virtual concert setting. Each opera was performed in English and highlighted a very different aspect of American life and culture.

in 2021, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, acclaimed librettist and dramaturg Kelley Rourke, and renowned conductor David Neely acted as mentors for the three teams of composers and librettists. 


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