10 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10019
For tickets call: CenterCharge 212.721.6500
Théâtre du Châtelet
Originally from Hermosillo, Mexico, Octavio Moreno participated in the young artist program at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and the 2010 Paris International competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli Competition in Mexico City. He has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera in the Heights, Bellas Artes Opera in Mexico City, and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, among others. He created the role of Laurentino for Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, and the role of Xihuitl for El Pasado Nunca Se Termina. He has also sung Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Vronsky in Anna Karenina, John Proctor in The Crucible, Germont in La traviata, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role in Rigoletto, Sourin in The Queen of Spades, and Belcore in The Elixir of Love. Moreno composed and released his first solo album in 2013 titled “Amar a esa mujer,” accompanied by mariachi. Recently he sang Junius in The Rape of Lucretia for the University of Arizona.
Cecilia Duarte created the role of Renata in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, premiered by Houston Grand Opera in 2010 and revived in 2013. She has toured with this production to Paris, France; Lyric Opera of Chicago; San Diego Opera; Arizona Opera; and most recently, Fort Worth Opera. She has been active in the circle of contemporary music, giving life to new roles such as Gracie in A Way Home (HGOco world premiere), Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt (HGO world premiere), First responder/Harriet in After the Storm (HGOco world premiere), Alicia in Some Light Emerges (HGOco world premiere), as well as chamber pieces. She can be heard in the most recent CD recording of Daniel Catán songs, Encantamiento. An early music enthusiast, Duarte sings often with Ars Lyrica Houston, Merury Houston, the Bach Society Houston, the Festivalensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Festival de Musica Barroca de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Other opera roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Sarelda in The Inspector, Tituba in The Crucible, Loma Williams in Cold Sassy Tree, and others. She is also an active jazz singer.
Efraín Solís is a recent graduate of the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, where he sang Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, and Schaunard in La bohème. This season, he joins West Edge Opera for Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande and sings Handel’s Messiah with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Last season, he sang Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis and Livermore Valley Opera and joined Opera Saratoga as Dick in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock. He sang a recital at El Camino College Center for the Arts, Handel’s Messiah with New Choral Society, a gala of Gershwin favorites with New Century Chamber Orchestra. Recent performances include Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette (Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Toledo Opera); Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio (Philharmonia Baroque); Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox (West Edge Opera); Gaspar in Donizetti’s Rita (New Century Chamber Orchestra); and Britten’s War Requiem (Berkeley Community Chorus). He is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera and holds degrees from San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Chapman University.
In the 2017¬–18 season, Maria Valdes makes her debut with Opera San José, first as Despina in Così fan tutte and later as Lisette in La rondine; makes her company debut with The Berkshire Opera Festival and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; and, on the concert stage, performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Symphony; Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony; and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Bellingham Festival of Music. Last season, she returned to San Francisco Opera to cover the role of Gilda in Rigoletto and went on during a performance when a colleague fell ill. An alumna of the SongFest program in Los Angeles, she was heard in a solo recital of Nordic, Spanish, and Latin American music. Other season highlights included performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Chattanooga Symphony, and with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the West Coast premiere of Scott Ordway’s Tonight We Tell the Secrets of the World. She also performed Handel’s Messiah with Concert Royal at St. Thomas Church in New York City.
A graduate of San Francisco’s Adler Fellowship Program, Daniel Montenegro made his Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera debuts as Luis (a role he originated) in El Pasado Nunca Se Termina. Recent seasons include Giovanni in La hija de Rappaccini with Gotham Opera, his European debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mario in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, and significant role and company debuts including Roderigo (Otello) with San Francisco Opera, Alfredo (La traviata) with New Orleans Opera and Minnesota Opera, Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) with Washington National Opera, Pang (Turandot) at the Hollywood Bowl, Pong (Turandot) with San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, and Roméo (Roméo et Juliette) with Tulsa Opera and the Castleton Festival. In 2016, Montenegro made his company debut in the role of Mario in Il Postino with Opera Saratoga, his professional role debut as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Arizona Opera, and made his company debut with Fort Worth Opera as Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. The 2017–18 season includes his San Diego opera debut as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Vanessa Alonzo created the role of Lupita for the world premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon at HGO in 2010, and reprised the role to open the 2011–12 season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, with Arizona Opera, in a restaging at HGO, and with San Diego Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 2015, Alonzo created the role of Juana in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished. She also toured this opera in San Diego, Houston, and Chicago. Alonzo is lead female vocalist in the Houston-based Latin-fusion group Los Guerreros de La Musica, which has been recognized as the Best Latin Band in the East Texas Music Awards. Other honors include the International Leadership Award, given by the Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation in 2014 for her outstanding career; and the Best in the U.S. Vocalist Award in the 1999 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal competition judged by the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Her credits include tours to Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and Vietnam. In 2002, she performed for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Television credits include El Show de Cristina on Univision as a participant in Festival de Rancheras and a finalist on Estrella TV’s Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento in 2011.
Miguel de Aranda
Miguel de Aranda, born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, studied singing at the Music Academy CEPAC (Centro Profesional Artistico y Cultural) in his hometown. He has been conducted by the late José “Pepe” Martínez, former music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and Rosario Martinez Pérez, director of performing arts at the school. His discography includes three recordings. He has participated in several mariachi festivals accompanied by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán (2003, 2006, 2008, 2011). In March of 2017, he created a promotional video for the Mexican Heart Foundation with the theme “Corazon Mexicano” (The Heart of a Mexican)
Miguel Nuñez is a Chicago-based actor and director. He was last seen in Evening at The Talk House (A Red Orchid Theatre). Other selected Chicago credits include Into the Beautiful North (16th Street Theatre), which he also co-directed; What of the Night? (Cor/Stage Left); Bobby Clearly (Steep Theatre); The Play about My Dad (Raven Theatre); El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (Lyric Opera of Chicago/Houston Grand Opera/San Diego Opera); Romulus (Oracle Theatre); Death and the Maiden, Oedipus El Rey (U/S Victory Gardens); PINKOLANDIA, Yasmina’s Necklace (16th Street Theatre); The Three Musketeers, The Blue Shadow (Lifeline Theatre); I Put the Fear of Mexico in ’em (Teatro Vista); and The Ghost Is Here (Vitalist Theatre). He has also worked at the Goodman Theatre, ATC, Gift Theatre, Wildclaw and many other companies. His work can be seen in numerous award-winning films and national commercials. He is an artistic associate at 16th Street Theatre. Nuñez trained at Black Box in Chicago and at the National Theater University in Caracas, Venezuela.
José “Pepe” Martínez ( Music and Lyrics )
The late José “Pepe” Martínez was born in Tecalitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, and joined his first mariachi band as a violinist at the age of 12. He began writing music when he was 19 years old, and in 1966 formed his own mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. In 1975, he joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and his work with that ensemble established him as a composer and arranger, marking a new era for Mariachi Vargas and creating a sonic style that has become synonymous with el mejor mariachi del mundo—the best mariachi in the world. “Somos Novios” and “El Cascabel” are two of the first songs Martínez arranged for his new group; original works such as “Violín Huapango,” “Lluvia de cuerdas,” “Mexicanísimo,” and “Viva Veracruz” with its rapid violin ricochets—a Martínez signature—followed. He was the music director of Mariachi Vargas from 1975 until he stepped down after the 2013–14 season. Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera and premiered in 2010, was his first opera. He later composed El Pasado Nunca Se Termina with librettist Leonard Foglia, which premiered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015. He passed away April 23, 2016.
Leonard Foglia ( Book and Lyrics, Director )
In opera, Leonard Foglia has directed the world premieres and subsequent stagings of Moby-Dick (Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, where it was filmed for PBS), Everest (Dallas Opera); Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera); The End of the Affair (Houston Grand Opera); Three Decembers (HGO); and It’s a Wonderful Life (HGO). His production of Dead Man Walking was produced by New York City Opera and has been seen across the United States as well as Teatro Real in Madrid. For Broadway, he directed Master Class, Wait Until Dark, Thurgood (filmed for HBO), The People in the Picture, On Golden Pond, and The Gin Game. Off-Broadway credits include Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes From The Field (filmed for HBO) and Let Me Down Easy (filmed for PBS), One Touch of Venus at Encores!, The Stendhal Syndrome, and If Memory Serves. As a librettist, he wrote (and directed) El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished, with composer José “Pepe” Martínez, which premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago; A Coffin in Egypt with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, which premiered at HGO; Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon with composer Martínez, which premiered at HGO and has played across the county as well as Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
David Hanlon ( Conductor/Music Director )
David Hanlon has led Cruzar la Cara de la Luna since its Houston Grand Opera premiere, including revivals at HGO, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and Fort Worth Opera. He also conducted the premiere of El Pasado Nunca Se Termina at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and in its performances in Houston and San Diego. Hanlon is a frequent guest at HGO as both a conductor and composer. He conducted the premieres of his chamber operas After the Storm and Past the Checkpoints, as well as Gregory Spears’s The Bricklayer and Jack Perla’s River of Light. He also conducted the premiere of Jack Perla’s Love/Hate with the San Francisco Opera Center, and Hanlon’s children’s opera Listen, Wilhelmina! at Wolf Trap Opera. Hanlon has assisted on many world premieres, including The Refuge, Brief Encounter, A Christmas Carol, and O Columbia at HGO and Heart of a Soldier at San Francisco Opera, where he also assisted on Nixon in China, Siegfried, and Don Giovanni. Hanlon served as Lorin Maazel’s assistant conductor for the Castleton Festival, where he prepared operas, choral and orchestral works, and often substituted for the maestro in performance. Hanlon regularly assists at companies including Philadelphia Opera, Dallas Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Washington Concert Opera.
Cesar Galindo ( Costume Designer )
Renowned fashion designer Cesar Galindo is a native of Houston. He has been designing dresses, gowns, and suitings for nearly 30 years. In addition to designing his own collection, he has also been a contract designer for private clients such as Joan Jett, Courteney Cox, and Madonna, and for established labels including L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Dolce&Gabbana, and Calvin Klein. Galindo began his career in fashion by designing corsets and period costumes for the Miami City Ballet and then for HGO, where he designed costumes for the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers (2008) and was an assistant costumer for Maria de Buenos Aires. He moved to New York in the mid-1980s to continue his work as a designer and pursued his fashion career as a showroom manager at TSE Cashmere. After a year, he went on to design for Carmelo Pomodoro, an international sportswear designer. During this time, Galindo began developing his own line, a signature collection specializing in dresses for social and evening events. He first came to prominence in July 1993, when one of his creations, worn by supermodel Karen Mulder, appeared on the cover of Elle magazine. The Cesar Galindo brand is distributed domestically and internationally.
Andrew Harper ( Sound Designer )
Andrew Harper is an independent sound designer, production engineer, and consultant for theater, opera, ballet, educational programs, and special events. Recently, for Houston Grand Opera, he designed the sound for the world premieres of The House without a Christmas Tree (2017), It’s a Wonderful Life (2016), and A Coffin in Egypt (2014), as well as for Carousel (2016), Sweeney Todd (2015), and A Little Night Music (2014). Harper has designed sound for many seasons for Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars. Some recent favorites include Dreamgirls, The Rocky Horror Show, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, In the Heights, Million Dollar Quartet, and Heathers. Additionally, Harper also serves as a sound design consultant for the Houston Ballet, amplifying last season’s Cacti and most recently Mayerling. For Generations Theatre, he worked on Sweeney Todd, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Spring Awakening.
Keturah Stickann ( Choreographer/Assistant Director )
Keturah Stickann’s recent directing credits include Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera Colorado, Seven Deadly Sins/ Pagliacci for the Virginia Opera, L’Orfeo and La traviata for Chautauqua Opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites for Rutgers University, Orpheus and Euridice for The Vermont Opera Project, Macbeth for Kentucky Opera, Il trovatore for Knoxville Opera, Madama Butterfly for Opera Colorado, and Don Quichotte for San Diego Opera. She is a frequent collaborator with Leonard Foglia, and their projects include the world premieres of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life (associate director and choreographer) and Moby-Dick (associate director/movement director), Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt (assistant director), and Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain (associate director). Upcoming productions include Turandot at San Diego Opera, L’Orfeo ed Euridice for Florida Grand Opera, and Norma for Opera Southwest.
Gary C. Echelmeyer ( Lighting Realizer/Technical Supervisor )
Gary C. Echelmeyer is making his debut with New York City Opera and currently resides in Brooklyn. His work in opera includes Little Women at Rice University; Die Fledermaus at Southern Utah University; Il viaggio a Reims, Amelia, and The Magic Flute at Roosevelt University Chicago; and The Elixir of Love at Tulsa Opera (associate lighting designer). He was involved with more than 35 productions with Houston Grand Opera. In musical theater, he was the associate lighting designer for Hal Prince’s Evita 2017¬–18 International Tour debut in South Africa; associate lighting designer for The Little Mermaid 2017 National Tour with 5th Avenue Theater (Seattle); How To Succeed In Business, In The Heights, Million Dollar Quartet, Mary Poppins, A Christmas Story, A Chorus Line, Murder Ballad and more with Theater Under The Stars (Houston, Texas). With Texas Repertory Theater, he lit The Little Shop of Horrors; A Christmas Story; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and others; and with Illinois Wesleyan University, his credits include Passion and Of Thee I Sing. He has also worked with numerous symphony orchestras and dance companies.