In a motivational sense this work belongs together with the opera Teoponte (1988) and with Souvenir de Teoponte (2012). Both respond to the same background of societal turmoil and failed insurrection.
One specific episode in Bolivian history, the guerrilla campaign at Teoponte (1969-70), encapsulates the dreams of a generation, its struggle to make those dreams true, and its inglorious, bloody failure.
I composed the 1988 opera based on the minimal sources then available, including my own memories. Only in 2006 was the first serious monograph on the subject published: Sin tiempo para las palabras: Teoponte, La otra guerrilla guevarista en Bolivia by Gustavo Rodríguez Ostria (Cochabamba: Kipus, 2006). Had this book been available in 1988, my understanding of the whole episode would have been substantially different, and my opera would have been much richer as a result. Hence the need to revisit the subject of the opera from new angles. In most cases this ‘revisiting’ is not thematic or otherwise recognisable to the ear.
‘Profecía’ is a musical illustration to a poem by Franz Tamayo (1878-1956), La profecía de Huaina-Capac, where the dying Inca emperor foretells a grim future of strife and devastation on the land he leaves behind.
‘Plegaria’ is a prayer, although not in the sense of a slow or private meditation, but prayer as an invocation, a gathering of inner energy, a struggle to achieve control, an exhortation, an appeal, a supplication. This has to do with the role Liberation Theology played in the Teoponte episode.
‘Acción’ relates to the strife itself, musically alluding to the opera’s most violent passage.
This work was composed thanks to a commission from The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, The Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc, for the Momenta Quartet, who gave the first performance in 2014.