Los Derechos de la Naturaleza
A Folk Opera by Nelson Denman
In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize ecosystem rights through their constitution. Bolivia became the second in 2010.This landmark legal precedent is a story about people and their struggle for environmental justice. It is the beginning of a new history for humanity and the earth.
Ecuador, Bolivia and South America are some of the most biodiverse places in the world. It is also beset by pollution and destructive development. In the midst of this devastation, a beautiful story of redemption and cultural renewal is told by small indigenous communities working with the Ecuadorian activists and concerned global citizens.
I decided this was a ripe topic for educating all of us through music and story. Opera, including folk opera, is an ideal medium to teach this important historical decision. Already, other countries and communities in the US are looking to emulate Ecuador’s vision at the state and national levels. “The Rights of Nature” can inspire other countries and municipalities to adopt these principles of earth justice.
“The Rights of Nature” celebrates through music, dance and culture, the visionary decision giving constitutional rights to nature, and shows that it is the path forward for human culture, society& civilization around the world. The music reflects the diversity of Ecuador influences from the urban cities to the rural rainforest, mountains and beach cultures.
The folk opera will be written through collaboration and interviews with the people of Ecuador, Bolivia and South America, as well as people in North America. It will be rehearsed through workshops, performed in Ecuador and Bolivia, and Santa Fe, and then submitted to opera companies around the world to interest them in producing the piece.
The audience for this project will be varied and diverse: environmental groups, art aficionados, farmers & gardeners, progressive governmental and legal organizations, and visionary educational communities. The CELDF will be highlighted in the opera program and a portion of the proceeds will support their innovative work.
I hope you feel as passionate as I do about the potential to spread this message, and I look forward to working with you. Please forward this to anyone you know who might be interested. I’ll be in touch to see how you want to help move this project forward.