Remember Mexico’s baritone Octavio Moreno who sang Un Mundo Raro during the 18th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza student presentation in San Antonio in Dec.? Well he plays the role of Laurentino in the Houston Grand Opera’s Cruzar La Cara de La Luna playing at the Wortham Center – Brown Theater Thurs., March 21 and Sat. & Sun., March 23 – 24. For those who saw Octavio during the Extravaganza, you can relive the moment of his fantastic performance with the video link above. For those who missed it, enjoy. He’s amazing. His voice is simply breathtaking. Seeing him in Houston this week is a must!
Octavio started singing mariachi music when he was young. His passion for music evolved into opera. He has performed with the Houston Grand Opera in Cruzar La Cara de La Luna since Nov. 2011. Octavio still enjoys mariachi music and is working on his first mariachi CD scheduled to be completed in a few weeks. He originally thought the CD would be recorded with a big band but after spending time with Mariachi Vargas’ vihuela player Miguel Angel Barron in Paris in September, he decided to record with mariachi. “I spent time with Miguel at his studio in Guadalajara in January and recorded 13 songs — all are original. Eleven are mine, 1 is Daniel’s (Martinez) and the other is Miguel’s,” he says recently from his new home in Houston. “This was a fun project I had in mind for a few years, and now, we just made it happen.”
This week, Octavio has his opera hat on with the lead role of Laurentino in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. The opera tells a poignant story of family, of place, and of a long-kept family secret. Early on patriarch Laurentino leaves his Mexican birthplace in the province of Michoacán and moves to the U.S., where his children and grandchildren are born. Laurentino grows old in the U.S. and his dying wish is that his ashes be transported back to Michoacán. His family honors his request but in so doing, the family learns about the wife and child Laurentino had left behind in Mexico! One family divided by countries and cultures is now confronted with difficult questions of national and personal identity, family bonds, and just where is home. “This very human story asks the question, where is home? Is it the country where we live or the country where we were born?” says Freud. “All of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, and Cruzar la Cara de la Luna is a compelling stage work that echoes that collective experience. This is our story!”
Cruzar la Cara de la Luna will be performed entirely with the world’s preeminent Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. This presentation is part of Lyric Unlimited, a multifaceted program of expanded community engagement and artistic initiatives aimed at exploring ways in which opera can resonate with individuals and communities with little or no prior interest in opera.
Opening night is Thursday at 7:30 p.m. For tickets log on to https://www.houstongrandopera.org/Site/Tickets/calendar/view.aspx?id=1302