Bastien and Bastienna. All singers know Mozart’s short, three-character singspiel about two young lovers and the mischievous but benevolent soothsayer who toys with them. It’s easy to stage and fun to sing, but goes by oh so quickly. Now it has a companion piece in Robert X. Rodríguez’s La Curandera as Opera Colorado premieres it on 13 May. Inspired by Mozart’s opera, Rodríguez’s work is an original story set in Mexican folk tradition. Mozart’s soothsayer is replaced here with the village “curandera” or folk-healer (and magician), and there are three additional characters. Rodríguez set his own English libretto, which is peppered throughout with Spanish words and phrases. “There are many popular proverbs and idiomatic expressions from both Mexico and Spain,” Rodríguez explains. “The libretto also incorporates actual curandera incantations, rituals and procedures from Mexican folklore as well as current practice in Mexico and the United States”.
HL 50338530The music of La Curandera, likewise, pays homage to Mozart with a Mexican flavor. There are arias, spoken dialogue, accompanied recitatives, and intricate opera buffa ensembles. Yet, there are also sounds of mariachi, and authentic Mexican melodies used throughout including folksongs, textures, harmonic patterns, and the Mexican national anthem Mexicanos al grito de Guerra.