Rosa Evangelina Beltrán
Interschool School of Music and Critical Studies – Alumnx/Faculty – Voice Arts + Creative Writing
RESTA/ORA is a composition for voice and keyboard based on a collection of twelve poems that activate “La respuesta” (“The Poet’s Answer”) by Mexican poet, Hieronymite nun, philosopher, playwright, and composer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). Written as a response to critiques by the bishop of Puebla and other male leaders of the Church who sought to restrict and reform the intellectual activities of women in convents, Sor Juana’s letter is an impassioned defense of women’s right to seek knowledge. The poems perform through an erasure-based process a translation of her letter and its concerns with gender, intellectual freedom, autobiography, silence, speech, historical Catholicism, and mysticism. This composition is a central piece in my current CalArts REEF Residency project, The Next Day There Is Less Grief, a collaborative exhibit that seeks to make feminist grief visible, audible, and tangible which will take place in the summer of 2023.