El Colibrí Mágico

El Colibrí Mágico (The Magic Hummingbird) — A California Story

I am excited to invite you to a performance of a new opera-musical, “El Colibrí Mágico (The Magic Hummingbird) — A California Story”, a modern day retelling of Saint Francis set on the Tijuana-San Diego border.  

Photo credit required:© 2018 William Chu

It is a collaborative effort with content creators from San Diego & Tijuana, who are also a consortium of LGBTQ and straight folks.  The story addresses all of the above.

It involves a trio of sheltered, upper-middle class So Cal teen rockers headed to TJ to perform at a punk club and to explore TJ nightlife.  

Their partying adventure takes a surreal turn when supernatural events hurl them headlong into a community of refugees, who bear ancient secrets.

The weekend jaunt becomes a life changing journey.  The teens are drawn in and find themselves on a vision quest, entangled with the perils of the dispossessed.  In the end they risk their lives to help the stranded cross the border through a magic tunnel, the body of a giant snake placed under the mountains thousands of years ago by the goddess of the moon.  The path is dangerous and the outcome uncertain.

Photo by J. Kat Woronowicz

The idea is to embed real issues in a magical realistic setting that combines the sensibilities of West Side Storyand Harry Potter, in order to stimulate a conversation among the demographic that loves Game of Thronesand the Potter works.  I’ve been working on it for six years and it’s by coincidence that the border has been ginned up by a desperate demagogue.  As we are coming to find out, the border issues have been going on for most of the last century.

The cast of over 20 actors, dancers and singers and an orchestra of nine, comprises NYC and San Diego professionals, as well as musical theater and opera students at SDSU.  They have been working long hours for weeks to bring “The Magic Hummingbird” to the public.  This is above and beyond their curriculum.  

The director and choreographer is Lauren Haughton, MFA directing student at SDSU.  Lauren started on Broadway in NYC when she was 18, and was in the cast of “Wicked” for many years.  Musical directors are Richard Morrison and Sonya Schumann.

The book is by Gustavo Alcoser, Michael Gillis and the music, lyrics and story were composed by Dr. Joseph Waters.

The performance is Sunday, October 13, at 6 PM, in Smith Recital Hall in the music building of San Diego State University.

Though officially a workshop, The Magic Hummingbirdwill be partially staged and choreographed, with live music, lighting and sound design and projected sets.   This will be the first public showing and through it we are hoping to expose the work to folks who can help bring it to a larger audience, and give us feedback on how we can improve it.

Photo credit required:© 2018 William Chu

Hoping you can join us!  Please RSVP so that we can be sure to save you a seat.

Please let me know if you would like more information.

With warm regards,

Joseph Martin Waters


Date:Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019

Time:6:00 PM

Place:Smith Recital Hall, Music Building, San Diego State University

Admission:Free, donations accepted