The Alamo City Opera has a special treat for tango lovers this weekend. The company is closing its 2017-18 season with Astor Piazzolla’s tango operetta “Maria de Buenos Aires” which will have two performances at the Buena Vista Theater on the campus of UTSA Downtown.
Described in the press release as “a surreal spiritual journey set to the beat of Argentine tango,” the operetta tells a story of a poor girl named Maria who ventures to explore Buenos Aires, falls in love with tango, gets mixed up with all sorts of underworld characters and becomes a prostitute. After her death, her Shadow returns to the city. That’s where things get a bit bizarre, but it’s all wrapped up in nuevo tango, great singing and fiery dance.
Appearing as Maria is Columbian soprano Catalina Cuervo who practically owns this role. She has been Maria in fifteen different productions, including those staged by the Atlanta Opera, the Florida Grand Opera and the Cincinnati Opera. Joining her on stage will be baritone Jose Rubio as the minstrel El Payador, and Blas Canedo Gonzalez who will play the complex part of El Duende, the goblin-narrator of the tale. A 10-piece orchestra conducted by Alamo City Opera’s music director Kristin Roach will play the seductive score and a chorus of tango dancers will complete the stage tableau.
The operetta, which premiered in Buenos Aires in 1968, will be sung in Spanish with English surtitles.