Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Ferrer
Maria de Buenos Aires

About

Long Beach Opera general director Andreas Mitisek set the piece during the 1976-83 “Dirty War” in Argentina, when an estimated 30,000 people were abducted, tortured, murdered or simply disappeared.

Mitisek boiled down Ferrer’s surrealistic text, combining characters to create three singing or speaking parts, a menacing silent figure, and using the Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre to take on various dancing and non-dancing roles. Did the music bear the weight of this story? Absolutely. The result is a 70-minute tour de force. –– LA Times  

But Mitisek has certainly created a piece of effective theater, and everything contributed powerfully to a sensual, oppressive atmosphere. The action was set behind a scrim, creating an otherworldly effect, and Dan Weingarten’s lighting was starkly dramatic. Adam Flemming’s black and white videos were hypnotizing, and were the main vehicle for setting the aforementioned historical political context. Members of the Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre were a silent, brooding presence. –– Gazettes

Reviews

I’d like to go out of my way to praise Mitisek’s reinvention. Repurposing the original plot—with its more overt religious themes and fantastical elements—into a work of social and political commentary without changing a word is something I’ve rarely seen done so successfully in any art form, let alone opera. It is one of those rare works whose gravity only truly sets in upon reflection.

...stunning new production of Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer’s “Maria de Buenos Aires. A 70-minute tour de force. The unity of conception is everywhere. Long Beach Opera has another hit on its hands.

It’s a powerful interpretation that gives the opera a new dramatic arc while making a hard-hitting political statement. The all-important musical through-line (the opera was conducted by Mitisek himself) is maintained, as Piazzolla’s tangos lilt, slither, slide, and occasionally scream,...

Compelling 'Maria de Buenos Aires' a triumph for director Andreas Mitisek. This production of "Maria" is, needless to say, a triumph for Mitisek, who is credited as production designer and for the video concept.

Credits

Long Beach Opera  2012 

Conductor: Andreas Mitisek
Stage Director/Concept: Andreas Mitisek
Lighting Designer: Dan Weingarten
Video Designer: Adam Fleming
Choreographer: Nannette Brodie
Sound Designer: Bob Christian

Maria: Peabody Southwell
El Duende/Older Payador: Gregorio Luke
Young Payador: Gregorio Gonzalez
Actor: Mark Bringelson

Nannette Brodie Dance Theater

Chicago Opera Theater  2013 

Conductor: Andreas Mitisek
Stage Director/Concept: Andreas Mitisek
Lighting Designer: Dan Weingarten
Video Designer: Adam Fleming
Choreographer: Gustavo Ramirez Sansano
 

Maria: Peabody Southwell
El Duende/Older Payador: Gregorio Luke
Young Payador: Gregorio Gonzalez
Actor: Mark Bringelson

Luna Negra Dance Theater 

Photos

Long Beach Opera 2012

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Chicago Opera Theater 2013

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