Mariachi Opera “Cruzar La Cara de la Luna” Feb. 16-18th

Only Three Performances Featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan 

The world’s first mariachi musical Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) created by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan’s Jose “Pepe” Martinez and Broadway’s Leonard Foglia, will have its Los Angeles premiere at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) on Friday, February 16 at 8:00pm, Saturday, February 17 at 8:00pm and Sunday, February 18 at 3:00pm.

Performed in Spanish with projected English surtitles, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna is epic journey told in song about lost loves divided by borders. Tackling a timely tale, the legendary Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan combines the traditional music of Mexico with high drama to depict the cross-border story of two families and three generations.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan’s late Music Director, José “Pepe” Martínez, composed the music, joining forces with noted director/writer Leonard Foglia to create this full-length mariachi musical, which was commissioned by and premiered at Houston Grand Opera in 2010.    

Seven years later, its themes of human struggle are more relevant than ever.  The Soraya now presents the Los Angeles premiere in an original production directed by Dan Guerrero – with Mariachi Vargas, now lead by music director Pepe Junior (son of Jose “Pepe”) making its fourth appearance at the venue.  The Soraya’s new original production with an all-Los Angeles cast and creative team, follows successful performances in Chicago, San Diego and Paris.

The cast includes Daniel Rodriguez at Laurentino, Alba Franco-Cancél as Renata, Suzanna Guzman as Lupita and Natalia Ferreiro as Diana, Johnathan Arana as Rafael, and Daniel Mora as Victor .   The music producer is Suzan Garcia.  Cruzar la Cara de la Luna is produced by The Soraya under the direction of Thor Steingraber.

“The Soraya has become an important home for Latin and Mexican regional artists,” said Steingraber.  “And Spanish-speaking audiences of all generations celebrate their musical heritage at the Valley’s premiere venue.  No musical ensemble better quenches that thirst for authentic performance experiences than Mariachi Vargas, having sold-out three previous performances at The Soraya.  And no performance in Los Angeles this year better exemplifies a commitment to reaching the city’s Hispanic community.”

“We are proud to create a new production of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, with director Dan Guerrero and musical director Jose “Pepe” Martinez Jr., son of the piece’s composer.  This is a passion project for Martinez and everyone involved,” concluded Steingraber.


Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera as part of the Song of Houston: Mexico 2010 project that celebrated the anniversaries of the Mexican revolution and independence, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna tells of the migration of a Mexican family and their journey to the United States, a journey of sacrifice and loss.

Cruzar is a story of a family divided and defined by the border they have crossed and re-crossed over several generations. Laurentino, an octogenarian Mexican laborer, lies dying in his Houston home, surrounded by his current family, but remembering and longing for the family he left behind and lost many years before.  The memory of his beloved wife, Renata, who attempting to cross the border, fills his mind, and the musical proceeds in fluid shifts between past and present, English and Spanish, Mexico and Texas.

Laurentino’s families and memories come together in a rich, vibrant mariachi score.  The title poetically refers to the annual Mexican migration of monarch butterflies, as Laurentino longs to once more see the butterflies’ nighttime crossing over the moon.


Theater and opera director and librettist Leonard Foglia has had his work seen on Broadway, across the country, and internationally.  Recently, he directed two world premieres: Joby Talbot’s Everest at the Dallas Opera and Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at Santa Fe Opera.

Calendar Listing for Cruzar la Cara de la Luna

Date: Friday, February 16 at 8:00pm

Saturday, February 17 at 8:00pm

Sunday, February 18 at 3:00pm

Venue: The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)

18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330

Tickets: Prices Starting at $43.  Prices subject to change.

By Phone   (818) 677-3000




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