My work encompasses creative fiction, plays, librettos, poetry, as well as scholarly work.
My work examines Latinx opera composition in the United States and argues that starting from the mid 1980s to the present, the bourgeoning trend to produce operas of the Latina/o and Latin American experience is indicative of the development of an emergent sub-genre of American operatic composition. Reflective of the growing Hispanic population within the United States, this significant programming trend is understood as intending to promote the engagement of new audiences in the United States through the inclusion of cultural, socio-political, and historical representations with which Latina/o audiences identify as being reflective of their cultural background and life experience. Significantly, these operas also offer new representations of American ethnic and cultural identity within our multiracial and multiethnic society.
Poetry for Music:
Almost Sorry MUSIC BY YOUNGWOO YOO, LYRICS BY TANIA ARAZI COAMBS
As the droopy mascara slides down
that seemingly enormous mound
of bulging, blackened apple,
too tender to the touch--
your caressing fingers sweep over my face.
Your hands, so disgustingly gentle,
make my face throb.
“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,”
you almost say.
Your fingers, prickly pears,
soft and fuzzy
needling me with
knowing that to say anything
makes it so much
Yet your fingers talk louder than you imagine;
blubbering and sweaty
they embarrassingly reveal way too much,
an admission, a not quite apology for that bullying fist.
I turn my head to escape their careful, prodding touch.
For only ‘almost sorry’ are your fingers.
Almost sorry that I can forgive.