Project in English

Hello! My name is Alberto García Demestres. I am a composer/librettist from Barcelona and I am celebrating my 20th year living with diabetes in 2016

I owe the excitement and the enthusiasm I feel about this sweet sugar-free opera, as well as my determination to bring it to the public, to the great singer of the Children’s Choir Vivaldi-IPSI (Barcelona) Marta Roca -a 13 year old girl diagnosed with diabetes at age 9. The positive way in which she faces the misunderstandings and unawareness of society and of her own peers regarding her juvenile diabetes has been my inspiration.

I believe in the great capacity of classical music and of the lyric voice to transform the world; this is why I am absolutely sure that La straordinaria vita di Sugar Blood will contribute to a better understanding of juvenile diabetes departing from emotion. It will also help those with diabetes and those around them cope with this illness. Despite the fact that diabetes affects millions of people, it is often a taboo, something that some people do not publicly admit.

Fortunately, every year, Òscar Boada, the director of the Cor Vivaldi, commissions a work devoted to a topic of social responsibility. And the fact that I myself –the composer- and also the young soprano have diabetes, together with the interest and commitment of the conductor—convinced us that the time was right to deal with this topic.

La straordinaria vita di Sugar Blood is an opera for soprano, tenor, children soloists, children choir and orchestra.

Sugar, a happy 14 year old girl with diabetes from Saratoga Srings (NY) who now lives in Poughkeepsie (NY), who has always been cheerful, fun, kind, friendly, sensitive, fearless, full of curiosity, overflowing with imagination, a little mischievous, charming, a dreamer, bighearted, responsible, optimistic, studious, loving, generous… has just suffered her first painful rejection:

At a school party, right before the beginning of the summer vacation, Sugar approaches the boy she likes asking for a date. The boy tells her that, even though he has feelings for her, he’s afraid to go out with a girl with a long-term illness like diabetes. Sugar falls into such despair that she goes into denial about her diabetes, and lets herself go so badly that she ends up in a diabetic coma.

While Sugar’s parents and a group of her best friends wait for her to come out of the coma, they share memories of Sugar’s adventures since she was seven.
Finally, Sugar awakens from her coma and goes back to being the girl she always was. And gets her boy!

As a twenty first century composer, I believe that opera must also be in the service of life. The first opera I wrote following this premise was released in 1997; it dealt with eating disorders and was titled “Get Thin in 3 Days” (Aprima’t en 3 dies). To my great satisfaction, a group of psychologists asked permission to use one of the arias from this opera (Lettre a mon père) at the therapy sessions with their bulimic patients. La straordinaria vita di Sugar Blood can play a similar role for the cause of juvenile diabetes. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to create a sweet sugar free opera to nourish knowledge and social awareness and promote understanding of a silent and silenced illness.


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