BY JOHN JOTA LEAÑOS
“Imperial Silence: Una Opera Muerta” is an animated Days of the Dead Mariachi opera in four acts that journeys to the ‘the other side’ to illuminate cultural taboos around silence, death, war and dissent in the satirical Mexican and Chicana/o tradition of the Days of the Dead.
The opera’s four acts include Act I “Los ABCs Aquí: Vivan los Muertos!” an animated primer on war and empire; Act II ”Deadtime Stories with Mariachi Goose and Friends” is an animation that re-examines Mother Goose children’s rhymes and culminates with the great fall of Humpty Mariachi Dumpty; Act III “¡Radio Muerto!” an animation of a skeleton traveling the road to Mictlan (the Aztec underworld) while listening to the radio; Act IV ”DNN: Dead News Network,” a dead animated newscast exploring the silencing of dissent in the corporate news media.
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