The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) will present its forty-first world premiere, To Cross the Face of the Moon / Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, commissioned by HGO through its Song of Houston project. Music by José “Pepe” Martinez, music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and featuring him as “Chucho,” with libretto by acclaimed Broadway director and author Leonard Foglia, the opera will be performed in concert by a cast that includes mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, baritone and HGO studio alumnus Octavio Moreno, and Martinez, together with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, on Saturday, November 13, 2010, at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas. This will be Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán’s only Houston performance in 2010.
The new opera was the brainchild of HGO General Director and CEO Anthony Freud, who attended a performance by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and was struck by the resonances between mariachi and operatic traditions. “Opera arias and mariachi songs tell human stories of love and loss, family and country; through music they aim their narratives straight at the heart,” says Freud. “It seemed to me that the two traditions were a natural fit. I wanted to be certain that we respected the integrity of both traditions in the piece we created, so it was also natural to turn to Pepe Martinez to compose it, given how strongly he has influenced contemporary mariachi repertoire, and to Leonard Foglia, whose truly operatic style of storytelling and theatricality is his signature, to write the lyrics.” He added, “I am truly thrilled that we will have the honor of performing the world premiere with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, who are supreme practitioners of the art of mariachi music.”
Saturday, November 13, 2010
8:00 p.m., Brown Auditorium, Wortham Theater Center
500 Texas Street – Houston, TX 77002
Tickets and Information: www.houstongrandopera.org / 713-228-6737
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan will be back in Texas the following month for the San Antonio 16th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, which takes place November 28 through December 5, 2010. The week long festival culminates with a concert by Mariachi Vargas on Saturday, December 4 at the Municipal Auditorium at 7:30 pm. For more information visit www.mariachimusic.com or call 210-225-3353. To purchase tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com.