Published May 30, 2023
BY TERESA FRAHM
After three years of youth-led production, “Sirena,” an original musical created by the Big Sur Fiddle Camp, will premier at the Carmel High School performing arts center on June 28.
From songwriting to choreography to performing, “Sirena” is a collaborative and entirely original endeavor. Started as a casual musical exercise during the quarantine, what began as individual songs written by Fiddle Camp alum and principal composer Sekoya Sleeth became a synergetic effort to create a fully-fledged storyline featuring pirates, princesses and themes of friendship, greed and loyalty.
“It was really cool how it went from just a silly idea to something concrete we actually get to make into a performance,” says Lili Menkel, a soon-to-be Carmel High School graduate and “Sirena” collaborator and performer. “Creating the music together was a really special thing.”
In its initial form, the songs that would become “Sirena” were more of a bonding exercise among the participants of the Fiddle Camp than an intentional attempt to complete a full musical.
“It got to a point where the kids started acting it out and coming up with dances,” says artistic director and co-writer Lygia Chappellet. “And pretty soon we realized we actually have a whole show here, and if we’re willing to refine it, we could take it all the way.”
Currently involving 22 students and several adult advisors and performers, the musical is looking to grow before its opening night.
“At the moment, it’s whoever can bring in their best friend,” says Chappellet.
The show plans to run from June 28 to July 2 and will be performed at the Carmel High School performing arts center.
“I’m really excited about what I see,” says Chappellet. “The excitement and tenacity these kids bring is really exciting.”