Houston Grand Opera’s Popular Mariachi Opera, El Milagro del Recuerdo, Returns on December 8
Javier Martínez and Leonard Foglia’s family-friendly, HGO-commissioned original opera comes home for the holidays
On December 8, 2022, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) welcomes the holiday season with the return of composer Javier Martínez and librettist Leonard Foglia’s heartwarming, family-friendly, company-commissioned mariachi opera, El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering.
Only the third mariachi opera ever to be written, El Milagro del Recuerdo made its celebrated world premiere in 2019 and has now become a Houston holiday tradition. It is a prequel to the world’s first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon, which made its sensational debut at HGO in 2010. The operas share interconnected stories of multiple generations of a loving family caught between two worlds.
El Milagro del Recuerdo takes the family back to Christmastime in Michoacán, Mexico. Laurentino, a bracero working in the United States, has returned home to spend the holidays with his family and reunite with his wife Renata, who worries that his time away is changing him. The two face a life-changing decision: stay with family in Mexico, or leave for the promise of a better life. As the characters reconnect while feeling the pull of both sides of the border, the opera explores the traditions that bind us together while celebrating family togetherness at the holidays.
Much of the original cast returns for this revival production, including beloved mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte as Renata and the members of virtuoso mariachi group Trio Chapultepec. Acclaimed bass-baritone Federico De Michelis makes his role debut as Laurentino. Librettist Leonard Foglia directs, with conductor Benjamin Manis taking the podium.
A co-production with Arizona Opera and San Diego Opera, the opera runs one hour and 18 minutes with no intermission. It is sung in Spanish with projected English translation.
The cast includes Cecilia Duarte as Renata, Federico De Michelis as Laurentino, Vanessa Becerra as La Mujer, Vanessa Alonzo as Lupita, Rafael Moras as Father Matías, Miguel De Aranda as Chucho, Héctor Vásquez as Aba, and Claudia Chapa as Josefina. Vincent Pequeño, William Carlton Galvez, and Israel Alcala of Trio Chapultepec will be joined by the HGO Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Manis.
PERFORMANCE DATES AT THE WORTHAM CENTER INCLUDE:
Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets range from $30 to $210. For more information and to buy tickets, visit HGO.org or call the Box Office at 713-228-6737.
PHOTOS BY LYNN LANE