The traditional Mexican tale of the Weeping Woman called La Llorona is retold as Opera Cultura presents Hector Armienta‘s musical drama this weekend in San Jose. Founder and Artistic Director Armienta says his is the only opera company in the country that focuses on works for the Latinx community. The three performances are at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
There’s more information at the Opera Cultura website.
“There’s a very famous corrido, or folk song, called ‘La Llorona,’ the Weeping Woman, that’s sung throughout Mexico, and also in the southwest, and California,” Armienta says. “It’s the story of a woman – a woman of Mexican-Indian descent who marries someone, a Mexican, but who is Spanish, or we would say criollo. They get married, he betrays her with another woman. She goes mad, she drowns her children in the river, and her soul is forever tormented.” The musical drama he wrote retells that story, the first part of a trilogy he calls Ancient Waters. “My version of La Llorona incorporates Mayan mythology, and one of the reasons I wanted to do that was to explore what would motivate someone, and this woman, to kill her children. Whether or not the gods sort of moved her from one place to another, and in doing so, was asked to explore Fate and Destiny.” The piece had its world premiere in 2008, and this Fall will have its Mexican premiere (to coincide with the Day of the Dead) in Tequila. Armiento says Opera Cultura arose from wanting an outlet for his works, but also to give greater exposure to Latinx performers, and their traditions. “The goal for myself and for Opera Cultura Is to share the stories of my community, both within the community, but also to make cultural connections to those that may not be familiar with our stories.”