Updated: Apr 30, 2019
As this season begins for the One World Children's Choir in San Diego, our artistic director is on the other side of the world. Dr. Mitchell traveled to Manaus, Brazil at the end of July to begin a residency as a Fulbright Scholar at Amazon State University! In addition to teaching and preparing the university and community choirs, Dr. Mitchell has been meeting with children's choirs in the city of Manaus as well as at a school of indigenous children several miles up the river.
Manaus is the largest city in the Amazon Rain Forest and home to the magnificent Amazon Theatre, an opera house built by rubber barons in the 1800s. The city's long history as a colonial city and center of the South American rubber boom has left its mark on the people of Manaus, a culturally diverse landscape from indigenous peoples to European descendants. That history partly explains the wealth inequality of the region, as well as the frequent conflict between those seeking to preserve the resources of the rain forests and those who continue to industrialize the region.
The mission of the One World Children's Foundation is to connect children with different cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic experiences to create music and art together that bridge borders, transcend stereotypes, and unite in common humanity. While there, Dr. Mitchell has had the opportunity to get to know many different children's groups in the region, and we are looking forward to a future outreach project that will allow our children from both the United States and Brazil to join together in the Manaus Opera House to learn about each other's culture and language, and to share music and arts together.