America  Tropical
Music by David Conte
Libretto by Oliver Mayer
Based upon a mural
executed in 1932 by
David Alfaro Siqueiros
(and immediately
whitewashed for its
controversial imagery),
the one-act opera
explores  economic,
racial and political
inequities surrounding
the history of Los
Angeles from its founding
in 1781 through 1992.
presented by
University of Delaware Opera Theatre

Loudis Recital Hall
Newark, Delaware
October 2011

Directed by Dr. Blake Smith
Conducted by Dr. James Allen Anderson
Sets by Eddy Seger
Lighting and projections of
photos and videos were a
large part of the multi-media
Seger covered the recital hall
walls with black plastic
spattered with white.  He and
Dr. Smith envisioned an
industrial abstract quality to
the piece.
Midway through
the opera,
Siqueiros reveals
the mural.
The Indian comes to life.
A connection to
the Rodney King
beating and
subsequent riots
was integral to the
storytelling.  A
burning car can be
seen on the far
Presented the same night, also by Conte.
A Mexican Indian,
portrayed crucified
below the
American eagle,
becomes flesh and
blood in the opera.
The Getty Foundation's
reconstructed rendition of the
still-whitewashed Siqueiros