Long-Lost Opera Immortalized in Upcoming Documentary

A documentary about the long-lost work of Chicago's first Hispanic composer premieres this month at two prestigious film festivals: the Chicago Latino Film Festival and the Chicago International Music & Movies Festival. Interviews and advance screeners of the film for reviewers are now available.

The Way to Andina tells the story of Arlen Parsa, a 29-year-old Edgewater resident who discovered an 80-year-old opera written by his great-grandfather, Eustasio Rosales. Then he learned Rosales was Chicago's first Hispanic composer and his life's work-an opera named Andina-was never performed. Watch the trailer below:

The documentary follows Parsa from the music's discovery to his comic stumbles to put on the show and finishes with the stunning reveal of the world premiere concert in Chicago.

Weaving a family legacy with classical Latin music and a relevant commentary about immigration, the documentary is a touching personal journey. And, like the opera itself, the film reaches a dramatic climax that will have audiences at the edge of their seats.

"This documentary has been 4 years in the making, from the moment I first saw the fragile, crumbling pages to when I heard the first notes performed in rehearsal," Parsa said. "It was an adventure, and the audience gets to go on this journey with us to solve the mystery: what does this music actually sound like?"

Parsa gathered a community of talented performers, musical experts, an award-winning conductor and the Chicago Composers Orchestra for the performance at the Athenaeum Theater-all without a shred of knowledge about opera.

As for the opera, Andina is a dark, evocative performance in Spanish that defies the stereotypes of its genre. It tells the story of a young Colombian mountain girl who is caught between two suitors: one, a wealthy don from the city; the other, a simple local farmhand.

Below is information about the upcoming screenings of Andina. After each screening, filmmaker Arlen Parsa will be available for interviews and will be conducting a Q&A with audience members.

Sunday, April 23 from 3 - 5 p.m.

Chicago International Movies & Music Festival - Tickets: $10 - $30

The Chop Shop & 1st Ward

2033 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Saturday, April 29 from 3:30 - 4:55 p.m.

Chicago Latino Film Festival - Tickets: $13

AMC River East 21

322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611

Monday, May 1 from 5:30 - 6:55 p.m.

Chicago Latino Film Festival - Tickets: $13

AMC River East 21

322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611

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