José "Pepe" Martinez: Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (2011)
by Brian Shircliffe (vocals), Brittany Wheeler (vocals), Cecilia Duarte (vocals), David Guzman (vocals), Juan Mejía (vocals), Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán (vocals), Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Octavio Moreno (vocals), Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo (vocals)
Houston Grand Opera, which probably holds the record for the most commissions by any major American opera company, commissioned Cruzar la Cara de la ... Show synopsis Houston Grand Opera, which probably holds the record for the most commissions by any major American opera company, commissioned Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) to celebrate the 2010 anniversaries of Mexico's War of Independence (1810) and Revolution (1910). The composer and author of the lyrics is José "Pepe" Martinez, director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, with the book by the composer and theater director Leonard Foglia. The poignant story traces the impact on families of the immigration of men to work in the U.S., leaving wives and children in Mexico, and concludes with the eventual reconciliation and reunion of one family. Martinez's music isn't crossover -- an attempt to synthesize classical and mariachi -- it's the real thing. The mariachi songs and dances are punctuated by concise spoken interactions that advance the plot. It's a genuinely moving opera, one that in just a few strokes establishes sympathetic characters and dramatic situations, and it resolves in a...
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