Venue Details

Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theater
at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802
Website Get directions
4.0 / 5 Rated by 13 members
Review from Anita
Red Velvet 528 events 174 reviews

Interesting production. Story a bit scattered. Musical talent excellent.

reviewed Mar 30 2013 report as inappropriate
Review from Kathleen O'Nan
Red Velvet 112 events 70 reviews

This is not your grandparents' opera! A brilliant new opera (so new that both the composer and librettist are not only alive but were there and spoke at the pre-opera lectture!) based on thoroughly modern music. The singing was wonderful and the...continued

reviewed Mar 24 2013 report as inappropriate
Review from Cynthia S.
Red Velvet 162 events 25 reviews

Brilliant!!!!!! I'm saving my program from this premiere. It will be a collectors item years from now. What a fabulous addition to the modern opera repertoire!

reviewed Mar 24 2013 report as inappropriate
View All 11 Reviews
More Information


Based on the famous corrido, “Contrabando y Traicion” (Smuggling and Betrayal), the opera follows Camelia la Tejana and her lover, drug traffickers carrying marijuana from Mexico to Los Angeles until deceit by one leads to a deadly showdown. The colorful score with its unique blend of classical modernism, Mexican ballads, and popular norteño music, creates the perfect background for this timely story.

Composer Gabriela Ortiz incorporates into her score the accordion and tuba, instruments traditionally used in Mexican norteño music. “The music,” she affirms, “has that flavor of the north, but more like a hybrid, and always through my lens.” The New York Times says of her music, “Gentle-voiced, gracefully flowing, her music is fiery, rhythmically pointed and occasionally pugilistic.”

Rubén Ortiz Torres, internationally known for his video, photography and installation work, wrote the opera’s libretto and produced the graphic immersive videos that are projected onstage. Much of the footage was shot in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. He comments, “I conceived this more than an opera, but as a contemporary art piece.”

Participating in the production will be several members of the production team from its world premiere in Mexico City, including Mario Espinosa – stage director, Angel Ancona – lighting designer, Gloria Carrasco – set and costume designer. Andreas Mitisek will conduct.

Camelia la Tejana will be played by the rising young Mexican star, Enivia Mendoza. Uno Mas Uno newspaper commented that she had a “beautiful lyric soprano voice, perfect nuance and overtones…her Nedda was a revelation.” Pro-Opera Magazine called her “one of those Mexican artists that we should follow… we wonder why we have not heard of her more.” Mendoza has sung the role of Micaela in Carmen and Nedda in Pagliacchi for the National Opera Company of Mexico, among other roles with the company. She performed Laila in Bizet´s Les pêcheurs des Perles in Honduras and made her European debut in Braunschweig, Germany, portraying the role of Amelia in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.

Run time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

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