Houston Grand Opera crossed the Atlantic to open the season at the illustrious Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with the first-ever Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon). This pioneering work about the nature of the immigrant experience -- with music by composer and writer José "Pepe" Martínez (music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán) and lyrics by Broadway director and author Leonard Foglia -- struck a universal chord. Reporting from Paris, the reviewer for Classical TV said: "This was heartfelt, sophisticated, shockingly melodic music that is direct and brimming with emotions. . . At the end of this moving work, Théâtre du Châtelet shook with applause. You could hear weeping (I was not alone in getting teary-eyed), but most of all you heard the shouts of joy at the discovery of something wonderful and fresh." A recording of Cruzar -- captured live at last season's world premiere in Houston -- is now available on CD from Albany Records, showcasing a score that resonates with plaintive, folk-like balladry as well as rousing Latin dance rhythms.
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