Mariachi meets opera in the world premiere: El Pasado Nunca Se Termina

El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (The Past Is Never Finished), the brand-new mariachi opera commissioned by Lyric Unlimited, has its world-premiere performances in March. The opera reunites the team of José “Pepe” Martínez (music) and Leonard Foglia (librettist/director), who created the wildly successful Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, which had its first Chicago performances in 2013.

The acclaimed Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, the “World’s Best Mariachi,” will return to Chicago for the world-premiere performances of El Pasado on March 28 and 29 at the Civic Opera House. Mariachi Aztlán, an award-winning group from the University of Texas Pan-American, appeared in the preview performances that took place at Benito Juárez Community Academy in Pilsen on March 13-15 and later this week at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on March 22.

Morelos, Mexico. 1910.  The son of a wealthy landowner returns to his parents’ home to find his future…only to fall deeply in love with a humble servant girl. As forbidden personal passions burn, so too do political ambitions. It is the eve of the Mexican Revolution. And what happens on the hacienda changes destinies forever. El Pasado is a gripping, deeply emotional story that takes audiences from long-ago Mexico to present-day Chicago. It is a tale of lovers and freedom fighters, scandal and heroism, hopes and dreams-and the legacy of our ancestors that lives within us all.

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El Pasado stars Abigail Santos Villalobos (debut), Daniel Montenegro (debut),Paul La Rosa, and Ricardo Rivera (debut). The cast also features Vanessa Alonzo,Cassandra Zoe Velasco (debut), Luis Ledesma (debut), Sebastien E. De La Cruz(debut), Octavio Moreno, and Miguel Nuñez (debut). De La Cruz is the talented young mariachi who has gained a national following both as a semifinalist on NBC’sAmerica’s Got Talent in 2012  and from his two performances of the National Anthem during the 2013 NBA Finals. Alonzo and Moreno appeared in Lyric’s 2013 presentations of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. La Rosa is an alumnus of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s premier artist-development program.

Tickets for all performances are available now at the following prices: Genesee Theater tickets are $10 to $25; and Civic Opera House tickets are $25 to $125. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 312-827-5600.

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