Maria de Buenos Aires | Harris Theater | Classical | Chicago Reader

Maria de Buenos Aires All Ages Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., April 20, 7:30 p.m. and Wed., April 24, 7:30 p.m. 2013

Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Astor Piazzolla’s 1968 tango “operita” sets it in the oppressive Argentina of the 1970s, when military juntas ruled and 30,000 people vanished. That’s an intriguing choice—not because Piazzolla’s music, an impressive blend of traditional tango with elements of classical and jazz, needs any help holding your attention, but rather because Horacio Ferrer’s heated, agonized, and darkly poetic libretto could benefit from an anchor in the world we know. The original story, told in flashback by a nonsinging narrator, follows a doomed prostitute (symbolic of the Argentine people) from the streets of Buenos Aires to hell and back; in this version, she and her husband are revolutionaries, captured and tortured by the brutal regime. Conceived, directed, and conducted by COT general director Andreas Mitisek, Maria de Buenos Aires is an import from his other company, the Long Beach Opera, where it ran last year with the same cast and earned an ecstatic review from the Los Angeles Times. In Spanish with English supertitles. This production runs through Sun 4/28. —Deanna Isaacs

Price: $35-$125, half price for students

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