The first ever Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon, follows the two families of Laurentino, a Mexican man who has moved to the United States to work, even though that means leaving behind his wife Renata and son Rafael. Although he sends money home, and visits when he can, his choices have tragic consequences for his family left in Michoacán. Decades later, he lies dying. Now an elderly man, cared for by his American son Mark and granddaughter Diana, Laurentino questions the true meaning for him of ‘family’ and ‘home’ after a life straddling two cultures, a life in which he kept so many secrets from those he loved. Even as he draws his final breath, the two strands of his life finally come together in an emotional reunion, and Laurentino perhaps finds the answers he needs to rest peacefully.
Embroidered with the ultimate symbol of migration, the Monarch butterfly, Cruzar is set in Texas and Mexico in both the past and the present. José ‘Pepe’ Martínez’s groundbreaking score blends the unique sound of a Mariachi trio with a full opera orchestra in a new orchestration by David Hanlon. Martínez collaborated on the libretto with the eminent writer and stage director, Leonard Foglia, who also wrote the book and directed the premiere production.
This production of Cruzar will be the first full-scale opera to be supported by the new Butler Fund for Spanish Programming.
The cast for Cruzar will all be performers from this internationally recognized young artist development program in Mexico City, performing alongside acclaimed U.S.-based artists, the Austin Opera Orchestra, and the Mariachi musicians of Trío Chapultepec. The trio comprises three much sought-after musicians from San Antonio—Vincent Pequeño, Israel Alcala, and William Carlton Galvez. Trío Chapultepec performed in Austin Opera’s Bella Noche de Música concert at Waterloo Park in April 2023.