Raquel Sáenz-Llano is a multidimensional artist and voice performer interested in shaping the future of vocal performance by singing new stories, such as the ones based on Hispanic myths.
Raquel Sáenz-Llano was born in Medellin, Colombia. She began her professional path in classical music and lyrical singing at the age of 15. She got a B.A. in Music (2015) (Voice) at Universidad EAFIT, Colombia, and an M.A. in Hispanic Studies (2019) at Louisiana State University.
In 2013, she made her debut as a singer-songwriter with her Cycle of Five Acapella Songs called Selva Vírgen at the Medellín Chamber of Commerce. She has won singing and chamber music competitions in Colombia and has participated in a theater production with a company called Fractal Teatro in Medellín. She was a member of the female voices ensemble called Vocalik, with whom she performed experimental vocal music around Colombia for the John Cage 100th Anniversary. In recent years, she has sung the National Anthem of Colombia at the Consulate of Colombia of New York and Miami and the National Anthem of Puerto Rico at The Loisaida Festival, in Manhattan, NY.
Raquel’s interest in opera and the stories that music narrates led her to find in the Hispanic myths and legends a source of inspiration for her music. She started imagining music that arises from her cultural roots because myths, legends, and oral traditions rarely appear as poetry or plots for the Classic and popular music of today. In 2014 she remembered and approached the legend of La Llorona with new eyes. From there, La Llorona became the inspiration for her story The Llorona, a version of the folktale aimed at an audience that can span the continent of America from north to south and east to west. After two years of writing and researching about the legend in Colombia, she won a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Hispanic Studies at Louisiana State University, where she defended her master’s thesis “La Llorona”: evolución, ideología y uso en el mundo hispano (“La Llorona: evolution, ideology, and use in the Hispanic world). She is currently rewriting the novel The Llorona. And she is about to record and release her debut album as a singer/songwriter called also The Llorona that contains part of the music composed for the novel. Her dream is to adapt The Llorona to the big screen.