¡ZAVALA-ZAVALA!, world premiere opera - seeking youth performer


Libretto by Anna Deeny Morales, music by Brian Arreola

Show Synopsis:

¡Zavala-Zavala! is the story of Natividad Zavala-Zavala, a Honduran woman accused of illegal entry into the United States, and Sergio García, the attorney assigned to defend her. As Sergio learns of Natividad's case, he realizes the US government has taken her young grandson as well as many other children along the Mexico-US border. While Sergio struggles to come to terms with the judicial system’s complicity in these separations, Natividad is ordered to return to Honduras without her grandson. At the close of the opera, Natividad's grandson sings to the mythic Mayan Ts’unu’um (hummingbird), asking her to tell his family that he loves them, and that he is lonely without them.

Role Description:

The character of the Niño is a young boy, around 7 years old; for casting purposes, we will consider boys and girls, both pre-teen and teen. The Niño appears in two scenes, and shares the stage with a small cast of adult opera singers. The Niño must be a confident singer: Experience in classical/choral singing is a plus, but not a requirement; those with experience in singing Mariachi, gospel, pop, or other non-classical styles are encouraged to submit for the role. The role of the Niño is sung entirely in Spanish - comfort in the Spanish language is a must, fluency is preferred.

To be considered for casting, please submit a video of the candidate…

- Singing a Spanish-language song of their choosing

- Telling a 60-second true story: This can be something that happened to the teller, or a story that was shared with the teller - either is fine, as long as the story is true!

Video submissions are due by January 1, 2022. Please send all submissions to corinne@inseries.org - Google Drive or WeTransfer.com preferred.

Rehearsals and the April 8 performance will be held at the McLean Community Center; the April 9 performance will be held at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.

A small performance honorarium and travel stipend are available.


January 1 - Video submissions due

January 5 and 6 - Callbacks (there will be a virtual option)

January 15 - Casting decisions made

February/March - Possible music coachings, TBD

April 1-9 - Rehearsals and performances as follows:

April 1-6 - Music and staging rehearsals at the McLean Community Center

April 7 - Dress rehearsal at the McLean Community Center

April 8 - 7:30 performance at the McLean Community Center

April 9 - 7:30 performance at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Note: On weekdays, the Niño would only be called for evening rehearsals (anticipated 6p start); April 2 and 3 will have daytime rehearsal calls.

Additional production information:

The performances will be conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez, with an orchestra comprising members of the PostClassical Ensemble and Georgetown University's orchestral ensembles. The adult cast of ¡Zavala-Zavala! is Elizabeth Mondragon, Alex Alburqueque, and Judy Yannini.


For questions or inquiries about the audition process, please contact: corinne@inseries.org

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