Houston Grand Opera Brings Recognition to UNESCO-Protected Mariachi with Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna
"A tremendous and moving work of exceptional melodic beauty." — Classical TV
After last December's premiere run in Houston of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world’s first mariachi opera, the Houston Chronicle called the piece "a bold first-time fusion" that "succeeded on all fronts." With the November announcement by UNESCO that mariachi has been added to its World Heritage List, Cruzar is now at the forefront of the effort to gain international recognition for this vibrant genre of music. Those who were not able to see the September performances of Cruzar at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris will be able to experience the work stateside, in performances to be announced soon. More immediately, the Albany Records album of Cruzar is available on CD and in digital form.
Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera through its "Song of Houston: Mexico 2010" project (in celebration of the anniversaries of Mexican independence and revolution), Cruzar la Cara de la Luna chronicles three generations of a family divided by countries and cultures, depicting the emotional-spiritual connection to one’s country of origin; the challenges of being a stranger in a strange land; and the very nature of home that is at the heart of the immigrant experience. Acclaimed Broadway director Leonard Foglia wrote the libretto, and the score is by José “Pepe” Martínez. The CD of Cruzar features Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán – the world's top mariachi ensemble, led by Martínez – along with mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte as Renata (praised by the Houston Chronicle for her "intensity and conviction") and baritone Octavio Moreno as Laurentino (hailed as "warm and sympathetic").