Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A mariachi opera makes sense in San Diego

El Milagro del Recuerdo moves audience to tears

Guadalupe Paz as La Mujer - Image by Karli Cadel
Guadalupe Paz as La Mujer

The San Diego Opera is on a roll that started with last season’s production of *Tosca*. October saw continuing an exquisite concert featuring Latonia Moore and J’Nai Bridges, and now SDO has triumphed with El Milagro del Recuerdo—*The Miracle of Remembering*.


El Milagro is a mariachi opera of sorts. I say, “Of sorts” because the show was mic’d and, as we all know, microphones are not a part of opera unless the performance is outdoors. That being said, I was happy that the show used amplification because it allowed the singers to be more personal with their characterizations.


I found the music, the performances, and the production to be exactly what I needed. I have grown tired of entertainments that are based upon identity instead of actions. I am fed up with fictions that focus on leadership, aka power, instead of love. I am sick to death of creative types who are trying to subvert the audience’s expectations instead of telling a story with heart.


El Milagro had heart, it told a beautiful story, and it focused on the power of love and family. There was no drumbeat of freeing those oppressed by their imperialistic overlords. This was a story about the tension between providing and being present. This was a story about regret and reward. I should say that at times the writing got blatant with its messaging but just a tad.


As the show was coming to its conclusion I found myself wondering how it would end. Would it all be wrapped up nice and neat like a Hallmark Christmas? To his credit, librettist Leonard Foglia did not resolve the tension and choices the characters were facing. Instead, the characters choose to embrace and enjoy the time, the moment, they have together instead of worrying about the future. It is left up to us, the audience, to debate the fate of the characters.


Sponsored
Sponsored

Regarding the mariachi style, I quite enjoyed it. I found myself forming a relationship with the trumpets in the orchestra pit. It felt as if they played the role of a Greek chorus, commenting on the drama that was unfolding. Every time they played, and it was often, I felt my friendship with the trumpets increase.


The singing was solid across the entire cast but two singers must be acknowledged for their superlative performances. The first is tenor Felipe Prado in the role of the local priest. The consistency of tone was impressive and his top notes were exciting and beautiful at the same time.


Guadalupe Paz, in the role of La Mujer or The Woman, was perfect. Her voice was not overly operatic in the role but neither was it too light. Paz presented a sound that suited the function of her character. It was beautiful but with depth. When the true identity of her character was revealed there were gasps in the audience followed by the wiping of tears.


This is the direction San Diego Opera needs to continue in. A warhorse such as *Tosca* followed by a concert of world-class singing and then a show of modest proportions that moves an audience to tears.


Video:

El Milagro del Recuerdo



Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gonzo Report: House of Blues’ Voodoo Room hosts Friko and Mind’s Eye

All-ages venue gives emerging acts a shot at reaching San Diegans of different generations
Next Article

Encinitas goes beyond plastic straw ban

New rules allow only reusable or compostable cups, plates, bowls, trays, take-out boxes, stir sticks, lid plugs, and utensils
Guadalupe Paz as La Mujer - Image by Karli Cadel
Guadalupe Paz as La Mujer

The San Diego Opera is on a roll that started with last season’s production of *Tosca*. October saw continuing an exquisite concert featuring Latonia Moore and J’Nai Bridges, and now SDO has triumphed with El Milagro del Recuerdo—*The Miracle of Remembering*.


El Milagro is a mariachi opera of sorts. I say, “Of sorts” because the show was mic’d and, as we all know, microphones are not a part of opera unless the performance is outdoors. That being said, I was happy that the show used amplification because it allowed the singers to be more personal with their characterizations.


I found the music, the performances, and the production to be exactly what I needed. I have grown tired of entertainments that are based upon identity instead of actions. I am fed up with fictions that focus on leadership, aka power, instead of love. I am sick to death of creative types who are trying to subvert the audience’s expectations instead of telling a story with heart.


El Milagro had heart, it told a beautiful story, and it focused on the power of love and family. There was no drumbeat of freeing those oppressed by their imperialistic overlords. This was a story about the tension between providing and being present. This was a story about regret and reward. I should say that at times the writing got blatant with its messaging but just a tad.


As the show was coming to its conclusion I found myself wondering how it would end. Would it all be wrapped up nice and neat like a Hallmark Christmas? To his credit, librettist Leonard Foglia did not resolve the tension and choices the characters were facing. Instead, the characters choose to embrace and enjoy the time, the moment, they have together instead of worrying about the future. It is left up to us, the audience, to debate the fate of the characters.


Sponsored
Sponsored

Regarding the mariachi style, I quite enjoyed it. I found myself forming a relationship with the trumpets in the orchestra pit. It felt as if they played the role of a Greek chorus, commenting on the drama that was unfolding. Every time they played, and it was often, I felt my friendship with the trumpets increase.


The singing was solid across the entire cast but two singers must be acknowledged for their superlative performances. The first is tenor Felipe Prado in the role of the local priest. The consistency of tone was impressive and his top notes were exciting and beautiful at the same time.


Guadalupe Paz, in the role of La Mujer or The Woman, was perfect. Her voice was not overly operatic in the role but neither was it too light. Paz presented a sound that suited the function of her character. It was beautiful but with depth. When the true identity of her character was revealed there were gasps in the audience followed by the wiping of tears.


This is the direction San Diego Opera needs to continue in. A warhorse such as *Tosca* followed by a concert of world-class singing and then a show of modest proportions that moves an audience to tears.


Video:

El Milagro del Recuerdo



Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Holo Holo Festival showcases music of the Pacific Islands

Featured local artists include Eli-Mac and Lea Love
Next Article

Mission Valley Christian Fellowship wants people to love, grow, and help

Reading the Bible is a good place to start
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.