Cruzar la Cara de la Luna
Featuring Mariachi Los Camperos
“Thoughtful, articulate, and musically convincing” – SB Independent
Read our review here!
Opera Santa Barbara opened its ambitious 21|22 Season with the company premiere of the celebrated Mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (“To Cross the Face of the Moon”).
With music by José “Pepe” Martínez, founder of the Mariachi Vargas de Tecatlán, and lyrics by Martínez and acclaimed American stage director Leonard Foglia, the 75-minute opera tells the multi-generational story of one family’s journey across decades and borders to find one another and to make a home together.
Directed by Octavio Cardenas (Madama Butterfly, 2019) and conducted by David Hanlon, who conducted the 2010 Houston premiere, Opera Santa Barbara’s new production of Cruzar la cara de la luna featured Grammy-Award winning, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, who performed the opera at its New York City premiere in 2017 and the Houston revival in 2018. Some of Opera Santa Barbara’s favorite artist perform the principal roles: Tenor Daniel Montenegro, Mario in Opera SB’s 2020 Il Postino, and baritone Efraín Solís, Malatesta in last April’s Don Pasquale, take up the roles of the half-brothers Rafael and Mark; former Opera SB Chrisman Studio Artists Kelly Guerra and Sergio Gonzalez, play the young couple of Chucho and Lupita. Bernardo Bermudez takes on the central role of the immigrant pater familias Laurentino, alternating between ages 25, 50, and 75, and Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez is his beloved wife Renata; Chrisman Studio Artist Raphaella Medina makes her Opera SB debut as the American-born granddaughter Diana. The set, which alternates between contemporary Houston, 1950’s Mexico, and the Chihuahuan Desert is designed by Adam Crinson, with lighting design by Brandon Baruch, both in their Opera Santa Barbara debuts. The performance will have songs and spoken dialogue in Spanish and English, with English supertitles projected above the stage.
David Hanlon is a composer, conductor, and pianist praised by Maestro Patrick Summers as “one of the major compositional voices of the young generation.” David is currently writing The Pigeon Keeper with librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, commissioned by the Opera For All Voices consortium led by Santa Fe Opera. David’s last collaboration with Stephanie was the chamber opera After the Storm, whose premiere he conducted at Houston Grand Opera. The Houston Chronicle lauded the score as “haunting” and “stirringly successful.” David has often written work for Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), including his chamber opera Past the Checkpoints about undocumented immigrants (featured in Opera America’s 2014 New Works Forum) the chamber vocal piece The Ninth November I Was Hiding, about his grandfather's arrest during Kristallnacht, and Power, based on a text by a high-schooler about bullying.
David often works with Wolf Trap Opera, which recently premiered his orchestration of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon, praised by Opera News for its many“charms” and its “savory, nearly Straussian shimmer.” His other Wolf Trap commissions include the children’s opera Listen, Wilhelmina! With Wilhelmina librettist Kathleen Kelly, David wrote Texanische Liebeslieder about German immigration to Texas, based on oral histories in the Texas German dialect archives at UT-Austin. Since its premiere, it has been revived several times in Austin and Ann Arbor, and broadcast on Austin’s KMFA.
David is also a conductor with a focus in new work, praised by the Washington Post for his interpretive skills and “precise baton.” Most recently, he conducted at Houston Grand Opera the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo, which he also co-arranged. Previously, David made his debut at Chicago Opera Theatre, conducting Stefan Weisman and David Cote's The Scarlet Ibis. Among other world premieres, David has long been associated with the mariachi operas Cruzar la cara de la luna (World premiere and recording, as well as its revivals in Houston, Lyric Chicago of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and New York City Opera.) and El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (World premiere at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and revivals at San Diego and HGO and Fort Worth.) He has orchestrated numbers from both Mariachi operas for Minnesota Opera’s Opera Afuera concert in 2021.
In addition to his commissioned work at HGO, David has conducted Gregory Spears’ The Bricklayer, Jack Perla's River of Light, and Jeeyoung Kim’s From My Mother’s Mother. He assisted on numerous productions, including the premieres of Spears's O Columbia, Iain Bell's A Christmas Carol, André Previn's Brief Encounter and Christopher Theofanidis's The Refuge in addition to productions of Lohengrin, Tosca, Serse, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
David served as Lorin Maazel’s assistant conductor for the Castleton Festival, where he prepared La Fanciulla del West for performances in Castleton and Spain, prepared both chorus and orchestra for concert performances, at times substituting for the Maestro in those concerts on short notice. He is also former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. As an Adler, he conducted the premiere of Jack Perla’s Love/Hate and debuted his four hand piano piece ¡Bang Kiss Kiss Bang! He assisted on SFO operas including Nixon in China, Siegfried, Don Giovanni, and the premiere of Heart of a Soldier. He also works as an assistant conductor and chorus master at Wolf Trap Opera and Washington Concert Opera and as a pianist at Dallas Opera and Philadelphia Opera.
David is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Wesleyan University. He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and two daughters.
Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Opera News has praised him for “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Puccini’s La bohème for Minnesota Opera, Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei for Des Moines Metro Opera, Die Fledermaus for Baylor Opera, and Florencia en el Amazonas for the Tulsa Opera YAP program. Upcoming projects see him direct the world premiere of Bless Me, Ultima for Opera Southwest, Turandot for Mississippi Opera, Falstaff for Intermountain Opera, The Tender Land for Des Moines Metro Opera, and La rondine for Minnesota Opera.
Mr. Cardenas’s recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include Rappaccini’s Daughter for Des Moines Metro Opera, The Magic Flute for Opera Neo in San Diego, The Giver for Minnesota Opera, and As One for UrbanArias for which MD Theater Guide acclaimed “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”
As the former Director of Opera for Baylor University, Mr. Cardenas directed productions of L’elisir d’amore, The Turn of the Screw, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Rita. He currently serves as the Head of the Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and in addition to having been on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera. He joined the Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Program for four consecutive seasons, working on all main stage productions and directing Andrew Sinclair’s production of Les pêcheurs de perles. Other directing credits include Susannah at Loyola Opera Theatre, which won the award for “Best College Production 2012” by the Gambit Magazine in New Orleans.
Mr. Cardenas received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from UCLA, a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Centenary College in Louisiana.
Stage Director / Carmen
November 2016 (debut)
ADAM CRINSON IS A SCENIC DESIGNER FOR THEATER, OPERA, AND DANCE. HE CURRENTLY RESIDES IN NEW YORK CITY WORKING PRIMARILY AS A FREELANCE ARTIST. ADAM HAS NOW DESIGNED SCENERY AND COLLABORATED ON OVER 100 PRODUCTIONS WITH COMPANIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.
ADAM BEGAN HIS CAREER AS A DESIGNER IN 2008 IN METRO DETROIT. HE SERVED AS THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR WITH THE JEWISH ENSEMBLE THEATRE FROM 2011-2013 WHILE ALSO COLLABORATING AND DESIGNING PRODUCTIONS WITH THE RINGWALD, MATRIX THEATRE CO., ARTXDETROIT, MICHIGAN OPERA THEATRE AND WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY.
IN THE SPRING OF 2013 ADAM MOVED TO CHICAGO TO CONTINUE AND ADVANCE HIS WORK IN THE DESIGN FIELD. IN THE TWO YEARS THAT HE SPENT IN CHICAGO ADAM WORKED WITH SUCH COMPANIES AS SUGAR CREEK OPERA, PEGASUS THEATRE CO., TEATRO VISTA, BRAVO!, AND LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO.
ADAM MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY FOLLOWING HIS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON WITH DES MOINES METRO OPERA. HE BEGAN WORKING WITH THEM IN 2012 AS PROPS MASTER AND TRANSITIONED INTO THE ROLE OF ASSISTANT SCENIC DESIGNER IN 2014, WHILE ALSO SERVING AS SCENIC DESIGNER ON THEIR SECOND STAGES SERIES. THIS SUMMER HE WILL RETURN AS THE ASSISTANT SCENIC DESIGNER ON CANDIDE, WOZZECK, AND LA BOHEME WHILE ALSO SERVING AS THE SCENIC DESIGNER FOR THE 2ND STAGE'S PRODUCTION OF BON APPETIT FEATURING JOYCE CASTLE AS JULIA CHILD.
IN JANUARY OF 2017 ADAM COLLABORATED WITH KRISTINE MCINTYRE AND KATHY MAXWELL ON AN IMMERSIVE PRODUCTION OF DAVID T. LITTLE's OPERA SOLDIER SONGS. A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION AT A LIVE MILITARY POST, CAMP DODGE IOWA ALLOWED DES MOINES METRO OPERA TO TRANSFORM ONE OF THEIR HALLS AND EVEN CONTRIBUTED TWO HUMVEE's FOR SET DRESSING AND ADDED EFFECT. IN OCTOBER OF 2018 THE SAME TEAM REUNITED TO COLLABORATE ON AN IMMERSIVE AND IN THE ROUND PRODUCTION OF TOM CIPPULO'S GLORY DENIED.
OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS INCLUDE THE COLLEGIATE PREMIER OF ELIZABETH CREE AT LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, KISS ME KATE WITH SIMPSON COLLEGE, THE MAGIC FLUTE WITH OPERA IOWA AND BON APPETIT WITH DES MOINES METRO OPERA.
ADAM WAS BORN IN ROYAL OAK, MI AND ATTENDED WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN.
Brandon Baruch is a Los Angeles-based light artist who specializes in designing experimental theater, opera, dance, and immersive performance. This is Brandon's first production with Opera Santa Barbara. Opera design highlights include Overland Industry's Iceland (Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles); Four Larks Frankenstein (The Wallis, Beverly Hills—Ovation Award); and Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater). Other design highlights include The Duat (Center Theatre Group's Digital Stage); The Demise (New York Musical Festival); Bataré (West Coast Tour); Dana Foglia Dance's VATIC (LA, Long Beach, and NYC); and The Second City's Twist Your Dickens (Kirk Douglas Theater, Los Angeles.) In 2017, Brandon made his European design debut with Ghost Road Company's Asterion at The Grotowski Institute in Wroc?aw, Poland. His design work has also been seen in New York, Chicago, Tempe, and throughout California. In July 2021, Brandon designed and helped launch Liquid Light Flight, a trapeze and aerial arts festival at Wild Arts Collective (New Paltz, NY), a community of makers devoted to igniting new ideas, living sustainably, and sharing access to artful spaces immersed in nature. The most intimate piece Brandon has designed was for an audience of one in the immersive theater piece Hamlet Mobile (Capital W—Touring.)
Mariachi Los Camperos
The Grammy award winning ensemble, Mariachi Los Camperos was founded in 1961 by Jose Natividad “Nati” Cano Ruiz. Mr. Cano played a fundamental role in the development of mariachi music in the United States by training and mentoring new generations of mariachi musicians. The Mariachi “Giant” was a visionary leader that wanted to take the mariachi performance out of customary locations such as Cantinas and into concert halls where celebrities performed. Nati Cano fulfilled his dream by presenting Los Camperos and performing at casinos in Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe and other places where mariachis had never previously performed. Los Camperos became well known and in 1964, they were the first Mariachi to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 1969, Mr. Cano opened the first ever Mariachi Dine and Show at “La Fonda Casa de Los Camperos” now known as a Landmark in the city of Los Angeles, California. Today, mariachi restaurants all over the world are modeled after La Fonda.
Mariachi Los Camperos, one of the most popular mariachi ensembles in the world, is noted for innovative shows and distinction as a concert ensemble. The group has performed for over 60 years on stage and television, including various PBS specials, “In Performance at the White House”, “The Spirit of Mexico”, “Viva La Tradicion” and others. Motion pictures such as: “Sex in the City 2”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jerry Maguire” and many more. The Grammy Award-winning ensemble has recorded and performed with many artist including Pedro Fernandez, Pepe Aguilar, Angeles Ochoa, Eugenia Leon, Lila Downs, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel and many more. Including, the collaboration on Linda Ronstadt’s 1987 milestone album, “Canciones de Mi Padre” and Ronstadt’s sequel album, “Mas Canciones” (released in 1992), they toured with the singer nationwide.
On October 3rd, 2014 Los Camperos mourned the death of Nati Cano. His passing was greatly felt by followers, students and performers worldwide. Mr. Cano left the group to the musical director, Jesus "Chuy" Guzman whom has served as the musical director since 1992.
Chuy Guzman is known for his musical arrangements that highlight the skills and voices of the group. He is widely recognized as arranger, director, instructor, and musician in the genre of Mariachi music. Mr. Guzman has served as head instructor for numerous international mariachi festivals in the United States and Mexico. He is the Musical Director for the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (MMAP) in San Fernando and continues as the instructor for Music of Mexico, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Under Guzman’s Direction, in 2006 Mariachi Los Camperos received a Grammy nomination for their Album “Llegaron Los Camperos”, In 2008 Mariachi Los Camperos took home a Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Music Album with “Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas". They later released a 2015 Grammy-nominated musical tribute to Nati Cano called: Tradición, Arte, y Pasión, this album gave Mariachi Los Camperos a Grammy nomination. Determined for a Grammy Award, In January 2020 at the 62nd Grammy award celebration, Mariachi Los Camperos took home another Grammy Award with their album release “De Ayer Para Siempre” for Best Regional Mexican Music Album.
A graduate of San Francisco’s prestigious Adler Fellow Opera Program, American tenor Daniel Montenegro is recognized for his flexible and distinctive voice and a varied repertoire of bel canto, verismo, and contemporary roles.
In 2015, Daniel made his Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera debuts as Luis (a role he created) in El Pasado Nuca se Termina. Recent seasons include Giovanni (La Hija de Rappaccini) with Gotham Opera and his European opera debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mario in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino along side Plácido Domingo, as well as a number of significant role and company debuts including Roderigo (Otello) with San Francisco Opera under Nicola Luisotti, Alfredo (La Traviata) with New Orleans Opera and Minnesota Opera, Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) with Washington National Opera, Pang (Turandot) at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Pong (Turandot) with San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Tulsa Opera and the Castleton Festival, and most recently, Mario in Il Postino with Opera Saratoga, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Arizona Opera, and Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in his debut with Fort Worth Opera. The 2017-2018 season included a concert of excerpts from La bohème with the Quad City Symphony, Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in his debut with both New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and his San Diego opera debut as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas. The 2018-2019 season and beyond sees him as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus, Alfredo in La Traviata with Arizona Opera, Luis in El Pasado Nuca se Termina with Fort Worth Opera, and making a return to San Francisco Opera.
Daniel features on ‘Great Voices Sing John Denver’ alongside Plácido Domingo and many other key operatic names; produced by legendary arranger and music producer Milt Okun, the disc was released on the MRI Associated label in June 2013.
The San Francisco Chronicle exclaims, “For theatrical charisma and musical bravado, it would be hard to top the performance of baritone Efraín Solís.” He is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship and while with the company, sang his first performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La cenerentola, Schaunard in La bohème, Silvano in Un ballo in maschera, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. In the 2020-21 season, he joins Opera San Jose and Florida Grand Opera as Charlie in Heggie’s Three Decembers and Utah Opera as Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen. Future engagements include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose and a return to Opera Southwest, originally scheduled for this season. Last season, he returned to Utah Opera as Lieutenant Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night and Virginia Opera as Di Cosimo in Catán’s Il postino in joining the Cincinnati Song Initiative for a program of songs by Granados and Turina. His debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the Peasant in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and return to the role of Schaunard in La bohème with Fort Worth Opera were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.
He joined Houston Grand Opera’s HGOCo, New York City Opera, and El Paso Opera as Mark in Martinez’s Cruzar la cara de la luna. Other recent performances for the baritone include Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Utah Opera, Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, and Toledo Opera; Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis and Livermore Valley Opera; Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio with Nicholas McGegan conducting Philharmonia Baroque; El Payador in Piazzola’s Maria de Buenos Aires with Opera Southwest, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande and Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox with West Edge Opera; Fiesque in Maria di Rohan with Washington Concert Opera, Gaspar in Rita with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Dick in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock with Opera Saratoga. He joined both Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera for concerts of opera favorites.
Mr. Solis sang his first performances of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem as a guest artist at Concordia College. He joined the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra for Britten’s War Requiem and both Las Vegas Philharmonic and New Choral Society for Handel’s Messiah. An active recitalist, he has previous joined the New York Festival of Song for multiple programs of Spanish repertoire and has been presented in a Schwabacher Debut Recital in San Francisco and offered an additional recital program at the El Camino College Center for the Arts.
He is an alumnus of the prestigious Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, at which he sang Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and covered Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. He is also a former member of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program. In 2013, he was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and sang arias from Rodelinda and Le nozze di Figaro on the famed company’s stage with Marco Armilianto conducting. He was also a finalist in Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition and the Loren L. Zachary Society for the Performing Arts National Vocal Competition. He holds a Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, at which he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and while at Chapman University, his performances included Beethoven’s Mass in C and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.
Peruvian-American mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra was most recently noted as a "standout" in the Wall Street Journal for her performance at the Tanglewood Music Center as Mrs. Doc in Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place. She has been featured at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Bard Music Festival. Ms. Guerra has performed with a variety of ensembles including the Albany Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, The Orchestra Now, Contemporaneous, Opera Parallèle and BluePrint. She is in candidacy for her DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of California Santa Barbara.
2019-20 Chrisman Studio Artist
Ms. Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Mexican-American Mezzo-Soprano, is known for her “warm tones and a lyrical upper range showed her voice to be flexible and easy to listen to” –Laurie D. Goldenhersh, LaurisList. She most recently made her Opera Santa Barbara mainstage debut as Renata in Cruzar la cara de la Luna. A three-time Opera Buffs grant recipient, highlight engagements include the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the 2021 International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia, where she studied with superstar Soprano, Jennifer Rowley, Eufemia in Bizet’s Don Procopio with Pacific Opera Project, Frida Kahlo in Frida with the 2019 Opera Steamboat Summer Intensive, Prince Orlofsky in Vienna, Austria with the 2019 Vienna Summer Music Festival and as Marcellina with the 2018 Prague Summer Nights Festival, in collaboration with world- renowned tenor, Lawrence Brownlee and contralto, Rosalind Plowright. She is a current member of the 21/22 Chrisman Studio Artist program. Recent engagements La Seconda Cercatrice (Suor Angelica, Virtual Production), The Abbess (Suor Angelica), Mercedes (Carmen), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Hansel (Hansel und Gretel), Olga (The Merry Widow), Siebel (Faust), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Nancy (Albert Herring) in partnership with the LA Opera Britten/100 Celebration and Suor Dolcina (Suor Angelica). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Mary’s College and a Master of Music degree from California State University, Los Angeles. She has also been a member of the Santa Barbara Opera Chorus since 2018. She coaches with Douglas Sumi and studies voice under Reid Bruton.
Venezuelan American Tenor Bernardo Bermudez, started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, in Caracas Venezuela. He has recently began essaying roles and repertoire for the Tenor voice. Currently living in the United States he has performed in productions and concerts with companies including San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Anchorage Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, The San Diego Symphony, Opera North, Union Avenue Opera, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera and The Music Academy of the West to name a few. His operatic roles performed as a Tenor include Don Jose in Carmen, and will be performing The Messenger in Aida in San Diego Opera production in fall 2019. As a Lyric Baritone roles include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Diego Rivera in Frida, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Silvio in Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas, other roles include El Dancairo and Morales in Carmen, Marullo in Rigoletto, Schaunard in La Boheme, Price Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, as well as Morald in the North America stage premier of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. He participated as a voice fellow at the prestigious Summer Festivals at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California, under the direction of famous American Mezzo Soprano Marilyn Horne, Opera North in New Hampshire under the direction of Louis Burkot as well as Opera Neo in San Diego California under the direction of Peter Kozma. He received 1st place in NATS LA singing competition, 1st place winner in AEIOU, 39th Annual Opera Scholarship and Competition, finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and 2nd place winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition. Most recently he has received the Music Academy of the West Alumni Enterprise award in 2019 and 2020. Mr. Bermudez is also co-founder of Opera4Kids a new non-profit organization, whose mission is to use the transformative power of live vocal and classical music performance, to educate young audiences about theatre and music, in a culturally enriching environment.
Sergio González, tenor, received his Master's degree under the tutelage of César Ulloa at the SF Conservatory of Music, where he also holds his Bachelor's degree. He was seen as Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata and as Trin in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera. The summer of 2014 he performed the role of Don Ottavio with the Mendocino Music Festival in Mozart's Don Giovanni. The spring of 2013, he performed the role of Ernesto with North Bay Opera in Donizetti's Don Pasquale where he also covered the role with Arizona Opera in 2014. The summer of 2013, he performed the title role in Britten's Albert Herring with the Green Mountain Opera Festival. In the summer of 2012 he was an apprentice artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera program. He returned in 2014 to Kentucky Opera to sing Benvolio and cover Tybalt in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Plasson. González was also recently seen as Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Giuseppe Finzi, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and as Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. This is his second year as a Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara, last season he covered the role of Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and will cover the role of Lindoro in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri in 2015.
Commended for her colorful timbre and moving performances,
mezzo-soprano Raphaella Medina has made appearances in opera, concert, musical theater, and theater throughout the United States and internationally.
In the 2021 - 2022 season, Raphaella joins Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist, performing the role of Diana in the mariachi opera, Cruzar la cara de la luna.
This past summer, Raphaella was a Summer Concert Artist with Florentine Opera, performing concerts throughout the Lake Michigan region.
During the 2019/20 season, Raphaella joined Opera Columbus as a Resident Artist, covering Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Ottavia in an innovative production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, as well as giving concert performances with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Central Ohio Symphony. She was also named a Bonnie Bell Encouragement Award winner by the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.
In the 2018/19 season, Raphaella made her debut with BARN Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, originated the roles of Shop Woman and Mrs. Leak in the world premiere of Lolly Willowes (MATCH, Houston), debuted as a soloist with the Simpson University Symphony and the Paradise Symphony, co-wrote and premiered a devised theater work, SMALL UMBRELLAS, and made her television debut as Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with Spiritus Productions/KIXE Channel 9 in collaboration with the PBS documentary series, Shakespeare Uncovered. Raphaella was also named a San Francisco District Winner and a Western Region Finalist in the 2018/19 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
Previous season highlights include Raphaella’s role and house debut as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Opera in the Heights (2017), originating the role of Oldest Daughter in the world premiere of The Woman of Salt (2017), singing the title role in The Ugly Duckling with Opera Saratoga (2018), and being announced the winner of Mobile Opera’s Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser Competition (2018).
Raphaella has performed roles with Opera in the Heights, BARN Opera, Opera Saratoga, Seagle Music Colony, Moores Opera Center, and the FSU Opera. Favorite roles include Rosina, Stéphano, Dorabella, Dolly Oblonsky (Anna Karenina), and Isabela (La hija de Rappaccini).
In addition to her work on the opera stage, Raphaella has participated in Carnegie Hall’s series of masterclasses led by Joyce DiDonato which were broadcast internationally by Medici.tv. She has also participated in Marilyn Horne’s Carnegie Hall masterclass series The Song Continues and has appeared in recital with Stephanie Blythe.
Raphaella holds a Master of Music from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Florida State University College of Music.
Where is home?
Is it where we are born?
Or where we live most of our lives?
Is it with the family we leave behind or with the new ones we create?
To Cross the Face of the Moon / Cruzar la Cara de la Luna follows three generations of a single family, divided by countries and cultures. As a Mexican/American man deals with the approaching death of his father, he is forced to face these questions about his own place in the world – straddling two cultures – as well as that of his immigrant father and his American daughter. As long-buried secrets are revealed, he finds himself dramatically re-evaluating his own understanding of what makes a family. Like the Monarch butterflies that migrate every year to the birthplace of his father, the members of the Velasquez family must travel both physically and spiritually between Michoacán and Texas and look deep into their hearts before they learn where they truly belong. —Leonard Foglia
¿Cómo clasificaría a su casa?
¿Es donde hemos nacido?
¿O en el que vivimos la mayor parte de nuestras vidas?
¿Es con la familia que dejamos atrás, o con los nuevos que creamos?
La historia de Cruzar la Cara de la Luna sigue a tres generaciones de una misma familia, dividida por países y culturas. En Cruzar la Cara de la Luna un hombre mexicano-americano se preocupa por la muerte de su padre. Está obligado a enfrentarse a estas preguntas sobre su propio lugar en el mundo – un hombre viviendo entre dos culturas. Mexicano como su padre, un inmigrante de Mexico y Americano como su hija que ha nacido en los Estados Unidos. Cuando secretos enterrados se empiezan a revelar, el hombre se encuentra revaluando su propia comprensión de lo que hace una familia. Al igual que las mariposas monarca que migran cada año a la ciudad natal de su padre, los miembros de la familia Velásquez deben viajar tanto física como espiritualmente entre Michoacán y Texas y mirar profundamente en sus corazones antes de aprender donde realmente pertenecen.
Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival
Carlitos Café y Cantina
COMMUNITY ACCESS TICKETING
Walter and Holly Thomson Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee
Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation