Composed by Christopher Pratorius-Gomez
Libretto by Roma Olvera
Based on the book by Jorge Argueta

Xochitl and the FlowersOVERVIEW

Based on real-life events in San Francisco’s Mission nieghbourhood, this quintessentially American immigration story tells the moving tale of a family’s determination to put down roots in a new country, while still preserving the heritage on their homeland. Originally created in 2016 with the Alvarado Elementary School, Xochitl and the Flowers (pronouced so-tcheel) is part of OP’s acclaimned annual ‘Hands-on-Opera- program, which features children centre stage as full project participants and performers. This is the third commissioned work for Opera Parallèle by composer Christopher Pratorius. Performed in Spanish and English.


Community Music Center – Mission Branch
544 Capp St, San Francisco

May 18th – 4pm & 6pm
May 19th – 2pm


Coming soon


Conductor: Martha Salazar

Director: Beth Wilmurt

Set & Costume Design: Rachael Heiman

Pianist: Keisuke Nakagoshi



Christopher Pratorius Gómez is a composer and pianist based in Santa Cruz, California. He has written pieces for solo voice, choir, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and electronic media that have been performed in San Francisco, Istanbul, New York, Guatemala, and other spots around the world.

A recent highlight is Claroscuro en Flor, a concerto for harp commissioned by the American Harp Society and San José Chamber Orchestra which saw its premiere in 2013. Other projects include the chamber concerto Untogether, not Apart, commissioned and premiered by New Music Works, a fresh setting of Pablo Neruda’s Poema XX, commissioned by Nicole Paiement for the BluePrint project; Contraponientes, a choral song-cycle based on poetry by Federico García Lorca commissioned by Ariose Singers; and Being of One’s Hour, commissioned by Robert Kelley for Santa Cruz Ballet Theater.

As composer-in-residence for Opera Parallèle, he has written three children’s operas of children’s operas for their Hands-on-Opera educational program. The first opera, My Head is Full of Colors, premiered in 2014, and the second, Amazing Grace, premiered in 2015.

He teaches theory, history, composition, and piano at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Cal State Monterey Bay.



Roma Olvera is the Educational Programs Director for Opera Parallèle. She leads the three-tiered community engagement program that commissions new works for children and families, develops original curriculum for engaging local communities of all ages in main-stage contemporary opera productions, and hosts students of all ages in the Bay Area for final dress rehearsals throughout the season. Roma specializes in curriculum development that integrates music into every subject of standardized elementary and high school education. She has taught music for several school districts in southern California, as well as developed music programs for underserved communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx in New York City. She has worked with Midori and Friends on a pilot music outreach program and Hofstra University on a teacher development through music program. She is also the librettist for OP’s children’s opera commissions. Harriet’s Spirit, which premiered in January 2018, is her third libretto. She also wrote Xochitl and the Flowers (2016) and Amazing Grace (2015). A lyric soprano, Roma holds a Bachelor of Music from UC Santa Cruz in Vocal Performance and a Masters of Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University



Coming soon!