Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Yoani" by Paola Prestini

YOANI is a 30′ multimedia song cycle scored for mezzo, electric guitar, and cello.  Composed by Paola Prestini, with lyrics by Royce Vavrek, starring jazz sensation Sofia Rei Koutsovitis.

Singer Sofia Rei Koutsovitis

The first installment of Yoani – a new evening length multimedia work to premiere in 2011/2012 at the Kitchen, is based on the real life story of Yoani Sanchez, a Cuban philologist and blogger. 

Named "Time 100 Most Influential People" Yoani has achieved international fame and multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government on her blog, Generation Y

From the shortage of lemons to dark nights of male prostitutes, this work will celebrate the life of a silent revolutionary. This first song, Olivia, is about her friend, a transvestite, and her transformation. The words are below. When completed, there will be five songs, that tell the arc of her life.

Yoani is a VisionIntoArt production.

Miguel puts on his suit and tie,
Brown jacket, string tie,
His hair feathered,
His beard longer than it’s been in 10 years.
Miguel laughs at his reflection
In the mirror, in his spoon, in the lenses of strangers’ sunglasses:
The absurdity of the brown jacket, the string tie…
Joke is on them.
Miguel walks with his hands in his trousers,
Training his fingers to reside there
And not in some tell-tale gesticulation.
His effeminacy will not spoil his departure.
Miguel escapes to Ecuador
An exit made possible by his marriage to some Quito woman.
In the first stall,
At the first bathroom,
Miguel sheds the suit,
Like a serpent discarding his old skin.
Miguel polishes his nails,
Combs through his wig,
Zips the back of the red cocktail dress,
Shaves the three-day growth from his face…
Again looking at his reflection:
Miguel reunites with Olivia.

© 2011 Paola Prestini.

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