Opera Santa Barbara opens its ambitious 21|22 Season with the company premiere of the celebrated Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (“To Cross the Face of the Moon”). Performances will be held Friday, October 1, at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 3, at 2:30pm at the Granada Theatre. This production marks the company’s first production at the Granada Theater since November 2019, and the first performance of the theater’s fall season.
With music by José “Pepe” Martínez, founder of the Mariachi Vargas de Tecatlán, and lyrics by Martínez and acclaimed American stage director Leonard Foglia, the 75-minute operetta tells the multi-generational story of one family’s journey across decades and borders to find one another and to make a home together.
“We are thrilled to be returning to the Granada with a work that is approachable in so many ways”, said Opera Santa Barbara Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas. “For us this is the time to open up our doors wide and make theater a place of healing for everyone in our community. We are all thirsty for live music and a sense of community right now, and Cruzar is the ideal vehicle for this emotional reopening, with its signable tunes, moving story, and message of resilience and regeneration,” said Protopapas.
To that effect, the company has announced that a limited number of tickets for this season’s productions will be available to all patrons on a name-your-own-price basis. The name of this new initiative, made possible by a grant by the Walter and Holly Thomson Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee, is You Decide! “This means that any patron who finds our published prices too high is invited to make their own decision on how much to pay”, said Protopapas. “Producing opera with professional singers, orchestra, and stagehands is very expensive, and tickets typically cover less than 50% of the cost. Still, we want our performances to be accessible to everyone, and trust patrons to choose their own price knowing that every dollar goes towards supporting vibrant, live, Santa Barbara-made music theater.”
Directed by Octavio Cardenas (Madama Butterfly, 2019) and conducted by David Hanlon, who conducted the 2010 Houston premiere, Opera Santa Barbara’s new production of Cruzar la cara de la luna features Grammy-Award winning, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, who performed the opera at its New York City premiere in 2017 and the Houston revival in 2018. Some of Opera Santa Barbara’s favorite artist perform the principal roles: Tenor Daniel Montenegro, Mario in Opera SB’s 2020 Il Postino, and baritone Efraín Solís, Malatesta in last April’s Don Pasquale, take up the roles of the half-brothers Rafael and Mark; former Opera SB Chrisman Studio Artists Kelly Guerra and Sergio Gonzalez, play the young couple of Chucho and Lupita. Bernardo Bermudez takes on the central role of the immigrant pater familias Laurentino, alternating between ages 25, 50, and 75, and Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez is his beloved wife Renata; Chrisman Studio Artist Raphaella Medina makes her Opera SB debut as the American-born granddaughter Diana. The set, which alternates between contemporary Houston, 1950’s Mexico, and the Chihuahuan Desert is designed by Adam Crinson, with lighting design by Brandon Baruch, both in their Opera Santa Barbara debuts. The performance will have songs and spoken dialogue in Spanish and English, with English supertitles projected above the stage.
Only 50% of the Granada Theater’s capacity of 1500 seats will be sold. Detailed health protocols can be found on the Granada website
Reserved tickets can be purchased online at granadasb.org, and are currently priced at $189, $149, and $89. You Decide! (pay-what-you-can) tickets are available by phone only, through the Granada Box Office, at (805) 899.2222.