Composer: Roberto Valera
Born in Havana on December 21, 1938. He carried out his musical studies at the Conservatory Amadeo Roldán in Havana and later continued his post‐graduate degree in musical composition and conduction at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He studied under the direction of notable composers Witold Rudzinski and Andrzej Dobrowolski and the orchestra’s director, Henryk Czyz.
In 1985, Valera won First Prize at the Competition of the Cuban Ministry of Culture for his composition, Concierto por la Paz.
Embracing his desire to teach musical composition, Valera received his teaching degree from the Normal School for Teachers in Havana, and possesses a doctorate in pedagogy from the University of Havana. He also received another doctorate from the Superior Institute of Arts in the Sciences of the Arts.
Valera is a professor of composition, orchestration, and contemporary techniques at the Superior Institute of Arts in Havana.
He was President of the Committee of the Prize Cubadisco and a member of the School of Latin American Composers of Music of Art. Valera is also the vice president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.
Valera has received national recognition and praise from the Cuban Ministry of Culture for his contributions to Cuban music in addition to winning coveted awards for his compositions.
His compositions are featured across a variety of musical genres including: symphony, chamber, choral, piano, electronic music, ballet, film, and cartoons.
Producer/Librettist: Charles Koppelman
Born and raised in California, Charles Koppelman has a varied career in producing, writing and directing documentary and feature films. He also writes for screen, stage, and publication. Koppelman is an accomplished filmmaker and has produced, written, and directed films such as the independent feature film Dumbarton Bridge, and the Bill Moyers documentary, The Circle of Recovery.
His non-fiction book Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain on Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and What This Means for Cinema (Peachpit Press) earned high acclaim from film industry experts and journalists alike.
His journey in the creation of Cubanacan: A Revolution of Forms began after Koppelman learned about five architecturally significant art schools through an art exhibit in San Francisco.
After obtaining more information through the book, Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools by Bay Area professor of architecture, John Loomis, Koppelman decided the story might best be suited for an opera.
Koppelman also produces, writes, and directs commercials, non-fiction film, corporate videos and television. He is currently in production on Zero Day, a feature documentary about cybercrime, cyber-espionage and threats to the Internet. Koppelman resides in Berkeley with his wife and their two children.