• "...[A] moving story with universal appeal, performed with enormous zest and color..." – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
• "...[A] remarkably compelling and compact work... [A] persuasive immigration story told in heartfelt musical terms..." – Dennis Polkow, Newcity Stage
• "...[A]n emotional journey for the audience, especially for those who are reminded of their own story or that of a relative..."– Gisela Orozco, Hoy Chicago
• "The energy of Martinez and his fellow musicians was tremendous. ...All the songs were beautifully performed by the Vargas group and the actor-singers." – Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times
Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world's first mariachi opera, first commissioned by Lyric general director Anthony Freud when he was with Houston Opera, is the story of "one family, two countries, one life-changing secret." Presented in April by Lyric Unlimited, the new audience development and community engagement branch of Lyric Opera. Let's look a little bit closer at Cruzar by the numbers:
• Approximately 7520 total audience members attended Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at one of 5 performances.
• Cruzar was presented at 3 venues in 3 different neighborhoods: the Civic Opera House in Chicago's Loop, Benito Juárez Academy in Pilsen on Chicago's South Side, and the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on Chicago's North Shore.
• 42% of the Cruzar audience members at the Civic Opera House were attending their first performance at Lyric.
• 2 internationally renowned mariachi groups performed in Cruzar in Chicago: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Aztlán.
• Cruzar is the 1st Spanish-language composition performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Chicago Tribune classical music critic John von Rhein summarizes: "By presenting the Midwest premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) as the latest project of its Lyric Unlimited program, the company fulfilled several objectives. It reached out to members of the city’s Mexican and Latino communities through an art form many of them had never experienced before. It promoted cross-cultural understanding. It called attention to the multicultural diversity and vitality that help to make Chicago unique among major American cities. It made potential new friends for the company while exposing Lyric regulars to a more populist form of entertainment than they are used to." BRAVO to all who made Cruzar a tremendous success!