Friede Kahlo  
  Tres Vidas: A Chamber Music Theater Piece  

Tres Vidas is a new chamber music theatre work for singing actress and chamber music trio. The piece is based on the lives of three legendary Latin American women: renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Argentinean poet Alfonsina Storni, and Salvadoran peasant-activist Rufina Amaya. The musical score will include arrangements of popular and folk music from Latin America, music by tango master Astor Piazzola and new music by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Osvaldo Golijov, Jorge Liderman, and Michael DeMurga. The singing actress, performing in both Spanish and English, will portray the three heroines. The show includes images of Frida Kahlo’s dramatic visual work, excerpts from Alfonsina Storni's passionate poetry, and passages from Rufina Amaya’s heartfelt testimony regarding the brutal massacre of her village of El Mozote.

FRIDA KAHLO 1907-1954

Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, had a life marked by physical suffering. Beginning with the polio which she contracted at the age of five, her condition was worsened by an event which dominated much of her existence: a bus accident in which she was pierced by a pole through the pelvis. The remainder of her life was complicated by surgical operations, mechanical stretching and corsets. Many of her works were painted lying in bed. Her great love was the painter Diego Rivera who she married twice and to whom she dedicated a passionate diary. She also had many lovers, both men and women, including Leon Trotsky. Frida Kahlo had a deep sense of rebellion against social mores and restraints. She was moved by passion and sensuality and deeply proud of her Mexican heritage.


In 1981 the U.S. government-trained Salvadoran army swept through the region of Morazon in a campaign to root out guerillas and their sympathizers. In a shocking turn of events, nearly one thousand peasants were slaughtered, mostly anti-Communist evangelical Christians, in the village of El Mozote. Rufina Amaya, a 38-year-old housewife whose husband and four children were killed, is the only known survivor. Now living a few miles south of El Mozote, she says, “God saved me because he needed someone to tell the story of what happened.” Rufina Amaya continues to be an outspoken and compelling witness to what may have been the largest massacre in modern Latin American history.


Alfonsina Storni was Argentina's first feminist poet. Born in 1892, she was years ahead of her time in advocating for women's rights. Her multifaceted career as an actress, shopgirl, teacher and market analyst, and her lifelong deveotion to her illegitimate son, are the background against which our story takes place. Over her lifetime she produced collections of poetry, novels, journalism, and plays. Alfonsina Storni stood alone in her time in seeing through the hypocrisy of social convention. She lived at a time when women in Argentina were in total subjugation to husbands, fathers, and social convention, yet she broke away. It is a tribute to the passion with which Storni expressed herself, that so many men and women in Argentina today revere her work.

Educational programs and curriculum materials are available. For further information on this and other CORE Ensemble Productions, please write or call:
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