Lyric Opera of Chicago presents “Canciones y arias” April 11 & 12
Lyric Opera of Chicago is proud to present Canciones y arias, a special performance showcasing the many musical connections between mariachi music and opera. Featuring the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán from the University of Texas Pan-American, along with Suzette Mayobre and classical singers Sonja Krenek (soprano) and Carlos A. Feliciano (tenor), Canciones y arias will be performed on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m., at Benito Juárez Community Academy (1450 W. Cermak Rd.) in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
The hour-long performance, directed by Matthew Ozawa, showcases the drama and intensity of storytelling through song—both traditional mariachi songs and classical arias—using examples of popular Mexican musicians like singer Jorge Negrete and composer Manuel M. Ponce, as well as operatic excerpts from Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, and more. The program traces the ties between the traditional art form of opera and the modern sounds of mariachi music, exploring the roots of mariachi—from indigenous folk music, African and European influences to the Western classical musical tradition of opera.
Tickets for this event are just $5. Call 312-827-5600 or visitlyricopera.org/canciones to purchase in advance. Tickets are also available at the door one hour prior to each performance (cash only). This program is offered in partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Chicago Mariachi Project.
Before and after the concert, attendees can view an exhibit by youth artists from Yollocalli Arts Reach in the lobby. Additional post-concert activities include a short performance by the student mariachi ensemble of the Chicago Mariachi Project.
Canciones y arias is a project of Lyric Unlimited, a multifaceted program of expanded community engagement and artistic initiatives that includes Lyric’s longstanding education programs. It builds on Lyric Unlimited’s successful presentations of the world’s first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, in Pilsen and Waukegan during the 2012-13 season. In addition to the performances, Lyric Unlimited is planning special activities and performances for school groups and youth mariachis in Pilsen and Waukegan. Mariachi Aztlán will visit schools in both areas to work with students on developing their musicianship skills and learning more about the history of mariachi and the relevance of classical vocal and instrumental training.
Canciones y arias is generously sponsored by The Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc., Quaker Foods North America, Maria Bechily, and Mr. and Mrs. Alejandro Silva. Lyric Unlimited is supported in part by a generous grant from the Hurvis Family Foundation.