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The Sunday Opera: Hector Armienta's "Bless Me, Ultima" from Opera Southwest

Hector Armienta’s adaptation of “Bless Me, Ultima” from Opera Southwest is the featured production on this week’s Sunday Opera (9/27 3:00 p.m.).  Mexican-American composer Armienta based his libretto on the award-winning coming-of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya which deals with Antonio’s spiritual transformation against the changing backdrop of the American Southwest during WW II through his contact with Ultima, a traditional healer who knows both the ways of the Catholic faith into which Antonio was born as well as the indigenous beliefs of the generations of people who came before them.  Through her help, Antonio overcomes the pull between his mother’s faith and the nature-driven faith of Ultima, and Antonio becomes a man who is not one or the other but a better product of both.  

Our cast is headed by Kirstin Chavez as Ultima and Daisy Beltran as Antonio, and they are joined by Carols Archuleta, Carelle Flores, Javier Abreau, and Javier Ortiz.  Guillermo Figueroa conducts.  Join Michael Kownacky after the opera for more music by Mexican composers including highlights from Daniel Catan’s opera “Rappuccini’s Daughter,” Jose Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango and Sinfonia, and the Flute Concerto of Samuel Zyman.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.