Opera - Fura and the emerald mountains

Aria - Fura remembers - sung in English and Chibcha [Columbia] 



Synopsis of the Imagined Opera

A new opera re-evaluating historic and contemporary Colombian identity through the re-telling of an ancient myth from multiple perspectives. What part of our identities are truly reflected in the mythology of our culture and whose stories do they really tell?

Tena and Fura were immortal beings created by Are, the father god of the Muisca people, one of the many indigenous tribes of pre-Hispanic Colombia. The couple are blessed with a life of abundance until a mysterious stranger arrives in the kingdom and Fura, without realising what was happening, became very close to him. This act of infidelity to Tena triggered the loss of their sacred immortality and their tragic, bloody, downfall. Their tragedy is immortalised in the two mountains that bear their names and the world-renowned emeralds that lie deep within the rock of the region, said to be the tears of Fura.

Throughout the opera the myth is endlessly retold and reinterpreted. We witness Fura’s feminist perspective that reverses the patriarchal stereotypes of the popular myth; we hear it retold through the eyes of Pedro Simón - a Spanish monk who documented the Muisca people for the colonisers of the 16th and 17th century; we also see how a present-day Emerald dealer twists the myth for her own commercial gain.

This kaleidoscope of insights and interpretations allows us to challenge and re-define accepted notions of Colombian identity and shine a light on the rich diversity of identity and experience throughout the country and throughout history.



Julieth Lozano - Soprano

After completing her BMus at the Universidad Central, Colombian soprano Julieth Lozano was awarded a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music, and continued her studies at their Opera Studio with Dinah Harris. Julieth is an Irene Hanson Scholar and a Sybil Tutton award holder. 

In 2016, she was selected to take part in Georg Solti’s Academy summer programme, and sang Zerlina Don Giovanni for Project Opera at the Verbier Festival, where she was awarded the Prix Thierry Mermod for singers. Other operatic roles include Susanna Le nozze di FigaroLauretta Gianni Schicchi, Vixen The Cunning Little Vixen (RCMIOS), Le Ruisseau Les fêtes d’Hebé (Opera de la Bastille/RCM), Despina Così fan tutte and Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro (Teatro Heredia), Susanna Il segreto di Susanna and Serpina La serva padrona (Teatro DOM-V, Macau) and Tytania A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Opera al Parque, Colombia).  

She has participated in masterclasses with Angela Gheorghiu, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Richard Bonynge, among others. Other prizes include the 2018 President’s Award (given by HRH the Prince of Wales)First Prize in the Emmy Destinn Young Singers’ Awards 2015 and First Prize at Colombia’s National Singing Competition in 2014. 


Bradley Wood - Repetiteur

New Zealander pianist Bradley Wood has just completed a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music. As a soloist, he has performed with all of New Zealand’s major orchestras and has taken part in many masterclasses with prominent artists and teachers including Stephen Hough and Vladimir Ashkenazy. In 2015, he was awarded 1st Prize and the Audience Prize in the New Zealand National Concerto Competition. He has performed solo, chamber and song recitals in prestigious venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields and St James’s Piccadilly. In 2018, he was a finalist in the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, and was invited to perform in their Edinburgh Fringe Festival concert series. Bradley has a passion for collaborating with instrumentalists and singers, and works with both regularly. As a member of the Tasman Duo, he received the Pettman/ROSL Chamber Music Scholarship leading to a concert tour of the United Kingdom. Recently, he was one of only six pianists selected to participate in the Georg Solti Accademia in Venice, where he had the opportunity to be coached on the art of Italian Opera by world renowned répétiteurs and conductors. He is currently Head of Music for the Bloomsbury Opera Company, who have recently had successful performances of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. In September 2019, Bradley performed with two singers in the Wigmore Song/Independent Opera International Song Competition at Wigmore Hall. 


Creative Team 

Alex Mills - Composer

Alex Mills is a Welsh composer based in London. 

His first opera, Dear Marie Stopes, about birth control and women’s bodily freedom, premiered in London in 2018 and was revived in 2019 at King's Place. The Stage called it “a first-rate addition to the catalogue of one-act operas”. His second opera, Leonardo, explored the often-overlooked queer identity of Leonardo da Vinci and premiered at the V&A in 2019, the 500th anniversary year of Leonardo’s death.

Outside of opera, he has written for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Grammy award-winning US-ensemble Eighth Blackbird, Hermes Experiment, Ligeti Quartet, Juice Vocal Ensemble, and Liam Byrne.

His work has been performed at the Barbican, LSO St Luke’s, Cheltenham Music Festival, Café OTO, The National Gallery, The V&A, Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Wellcome Collection museum, the Sónar music festival (Barcelona), Melbourne Recital Centre (Australia), and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. 

The Guardian have described his work as “music of supernatural poignancy, melodic but otherworldly, narratively urgent but poetically impressionistic."


Camilo Menjura - Librettist

Versatile, award winning musician, Camilo Menjura is an independent singer, guitarist, composer and choir leader. After studying Music & Classical Guitar in Bogota (Colombia), he moved to the UK in 2006 where he continued with his music studies. 

He has constantly nurtured his musicianship with courses on production, arranging, music direction, and choral music plus masterclasses -in the UK and Spain-, and formal qualifications from Morley College and the London Centre of Contemporary Music [Middlesex University BA Degree: ‘Music production and Performance’]. 

Camilo’s work over the last eleven years includes varied rolls as a guitarist (session, band & solo), composer (music for theatre, singer songwriter), performer, arranger and choir leader, along with several educational projects. In 2020 Camilo contributed to the writing of the Aria ‘Fura Remembers’ for the 12:42 project organised by the National Opera Studio with composer Alexander Mills under the direction of David Sulkin.

His guitar/charango & flute playing have been featured in the TV Series ‘The Fixer’ (ITV), Scottish film ‘Donkeys’, the documentary ‘Winds of Change’ and the Peruvian film “Retablo”.