El Milagro del Recuerdo (The Miracle of Remembering)

Music by Javier Martinez, Libretto by Leonard Foglia

San Diego Civic Theatre
1100 Third Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Friday, December 1, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 2:00 pm

A heartwarming holiday mariachi opera full of family traditions, love, and dreams of a better tomorrow.


In a small town in Michoacán, Mexico, two women, Renata and Lupita, are raising their families while their husbands, Laurentino and Chucho, work as braceros in the United States. Laurentino manages to come home for Christmas, but his return enflames an ongoing argument with Renata about his long work trips. Will Laurentino’s urge to support his family overshadow Renata’s desire to keep her family together in a rapidly changing world?

This new mariachi opera, a prequel to 2013’s Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, lovingly explores family traditions in the face of life-changing decisions and dreams of something more.

Sung in Spanish, this opera marks the welcome return of mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa, who made her Company debut as La Badessa/Zita in 2022’s The Puccini Duo, as Josefina. She is joined by mezzo-soprano Sishel Claverie as Renata and baritone Héctor Vásquez, who made his Company debut as Capitán in 2018’s Florencia en el Amazonas, as Aba. Stage Director Leonard Foglia (Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, El pasado nunca se termina, and Moby-Dick), returns to stage his libretto.

LANGUAGE – Sung in Spanish with English and Spanish text projected above the stage

RUN TIME – 1 hour and 15 minutes, with no intermission.

Pre-Opera Talk

The pre-opera talk begins at 6:40 pm before the 7:30 pm Friday evening performance. The Sunday matinee pre-opera talk begins at 1:10 pm before the 2:00 pm curtain.

Mainstage Post-Opera Talk-Back

Stay after the performance for a Talk-Back. Once the curtain falls, there will be a 10-minute break, then join us in the front of the Dress Circle section where you can ask questions of the stars and cast (subject to availability), and find out what really happened onstage and backstage during the performance!

Sishel Claverie Headshot square 470x470

Sishel Claverie

vanessa alonzo bw 470x470

Vanessa Alonzo

Claudi Chapa new as of 9 13 23 square 470x470

Claudia Chapa

Hector Vazquez 470x470

Héctor Vásquez

Cast Guadalupe Paz

Guadalupe Paz
La Mujer

Leonard Foglia 470x470

Leonard Foglia

Synopsis in English

It’s Christmas Eve in 1962 in a small town in Michoacán, Mexico, and the tight-knit community is rehearsing for their annual pastorela. In this traditional folk drama, a group of shepherds tries to reach the city of Bethlehem to meet baby Jesus by following a bright star that is guiding their way. They are stopped by Satan, who tries to tempt them off their path, but Saint Michael the Archangel defends them from the prince of evil. While some of the older members of the community have performed almost every role over the years, 7-year-old Rafael will be participating in his very first pastorela this year.

The town’s plaza is decorated for the festivities, and townspeople are dressed as angels and shepherds. Renata and Lupita are best friends, and their husbands are away in the United States, working to help support their families. This is the first time they will be separated for the holidays.

Sinopsis en Español

Back to Top