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The precise meaning and origin of the word Mariachi is debated among scholars – some say the word is a variation on the French mirage, meaning marriage as the music of mariachi was frequently played at weddings. Others claim the word has roots which may reflect the name of the wood (Pilla or Cirmio) used by a tribe of indigenous peoples in what is now modern day Mexico (coincidentally, this wood is used to make guitars, an instrument synonymous with mariachi). Regardless of its precise meaning, mariachi is one of the most invigorating and enthralling musical styles in the world.  

One of the highlights of our season this year is our presentation of the world’s first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.

Originally commissioned in celebration of the anniversaries of Mexican Independence and Revolution, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna features the legendary Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Holding the title of the first mariachi opera, Cruzar tells the story of a multi-generational Mexican-American family and their struggle with coming to terms with the meanings of home and family.

Arizona Opera will open its 2014-2015 season by presenting the world’s first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. This emotional work revolves around a modern immigrant family struggling with issues of home, family and identity. This opera is sung in both English and Spanish, and audiences will be enthralled as the passionate worlds of mariachi and opera join together to become one electric, theatrical experience.

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