New creation in pandemic: “La compuerta Nº12”, a digital opera by Miguel Farias and Christine Hucke based on the story by Baldomero Lillo

The creative process of the opera was conceived thanks to a Grant for Innovation in Education from Fundación Mustakis, obtained by Opera Latin America. Through the opera an educational model was develped which had the participation of young people from Chilean public schools who were part of a pilot during 2020.

Compuerta Nº12, is a digital opera-monodrama of composition and libretto by Miguel Farías and stage and film director by Chilean Christine Hucke, will premiere on January 22, 2021 on the Municipal Delivery digital platform. The opera is based on a story by Baldomero Lillo included in the book “Sub-Terra”, a short story writer and teacher of Chilean social realism.


The experimental opera tells the story of a deep Chile, where the baritone Patricio Sabaté plays Pablo, the leading character, who, wrapped in a dreamy aura in his workshop, recalls the pains of the sacrificed lives of the coal miners that marked his childhood.

“Compuerta Nº12 (Gate Nº12) is the result of a process of experimentation on other ways of communicating an art that is essentially, live and that today, as a result of the Pandemic, has pushed us to investigate it from a virtual side. The creative process was doubly interesting since we experienced it in parallel to a work on creation with young students, which connected us with a generation totally accustomed to the digital, sensitive and with clear opinions ”, commented Christine Hucke.


Miguel Farías said that “Compuerta No. 12 is a small sample of the strength of Baldomero Lillo’s narrative. Building the libretto and the music to create this opera was a very interesting process because Lillo’s stories are musical, and this one in particular speaks from the nostalgia of the present, a wear and tear of the everyday that is very poetic ”.



During the process of creating this opera, an innovative methodology in education was developed using Project-based learning (PBL) as a model that will be presented to the school world in March 2021. It was made possible thanks to a Fund for Innovation in Education, Fundación Mustakis, nominated by the Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA) theaters association and in collaboration with City Lab, Ecosisteam and the National Institute Extension Center (CEINA), the latter articulating the participation of young people from the emblematic high school in the project.

“The Covid crisis gives us the opportunity to generate turning points, profound change and innovation. The coming years will bring about a creative renaissance and we must put the arts at the service of society. Having developed an innovative methodology in education, based on the creative process of opera, confirms the above. Artists can make great contributions to other sectors of society ”, commented Alejandra Martí, Executive Director of OLA.


“The development of skills such as the capacity for innovation, creativity or the design of agile solutions, is at the basis of education, culture and art. This initiative is a model that encourages the transfer and learning of skills for the 21st century, ”says Ana María Raad, Executive Director of Fundación Reimagina.


The production of the opera had the support of the Municipal de Santiago theatre, the Cultural Corporation of the University of Concepción (Corcudec) and the artistic advice of the Foundation Center for Advanced Studies of Contemporary Music of Argentina.


“Baldomero Lillo’s work was founded on the southern side of the BioBío in the 19th century. A mining Wallmapu. Lillo is Lotino. The architecture of the tales of him are human beings and their circumstances in coal mines under the sea of ​​the Gulf of Arauco. Gate No. 12 is a whisper of the initiation rite of the mining “being” that is passed on between generations, ”explained Mario Cabrera, Director of Corcudec.


Lastly, Martín Bauer, Director of the CEAMC Foundation of Argentina pointed out that “the process surrounding the creation of the Opera Compuerta 12 showed us once again that obstacles are not necessarily impediments. The unprecedented circumstances in which we unexpectedly find ourselves forced us to exercise extreme imagination, creativity and also in some sense audacity. A creative process so full of different alternatives and nuances would never have occurred, had the pandemic and confinement not existed. The digital format, although it was at hand, acquired another dimension, and paradoxically, it became humanized. In the educational process, we discovered that distance strengthened interpersonal relationships and stimulated creativity and commitment in students: it was logical, somehow, it was necessary to live up to such an extraordinary event with a global reach. We all learned a lot, and this opera represents a point of arrival, and also a starting point for all this learning ”.


Artistic file:

Book based on the homonymous story by Baldomero Lillo

Music and Book: Miguel Farías

Director: Christine Hucke

Illustrations and Art Direction: Diego Urzúa.

Audiovisual production: Leonardo Cofré

Audio recording: Paulo Rojas

Baritone (Pablo elder and Father): Patricio Sabaté

Bass Clarinet: Kathya Galleguillos

Viola: Pablo Salinas

Synthesizers and electronics: Miguel Farías

A CEIA production in collaboration with Ópera Latinoamérica, the Municipal Theater of Santiago and Corcudec, with the support of the Mustakis Foundation.