The Chicago Opera Theater (COT) will present the Chicago premiere of Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera, María de Buenos Aires on April 20, 24th, 26, and 28th at the Harris Theater. María delves into Argentina’s “Dirty War”, the period between 1976 and 1983 when the country was ruled by military juntas which murdered upwards of 30,000 citizens in order to obliterate any perceived opposition to the government.
Through Astor Piazzolla’s “nuevo tango” music and Horacio Ferrer’s poetry, María tells the tale of an Argentinian woman who struggled against a brutal dictatorship.
“Our María represents the passion of the Argentinian women who were as seductive as the tango while resilient and strong enough to overcome dictatorship in a country where the machismo culture predominates,” explains COT general director Andreas Mitisek. “Taking the tango to its most brutal extreme, the ‘Dirty War’ was a dance of torture, covered in blood, and danced by the highest echelons of society and power. In María, the tango is a dance of life and death. Piazzolla embraced the tango in an extreme way. He took it to a deeper level. He intensified everything about it – the harmonies, the form, the noises, the jerks; he created a revolution within the tango.”
Performances of María de Buenos Aires take place on April 20 at 7:30 p.m., April 24 at 7:30 p.m., April 26 at 7:30 p.m., and April 28 at 3:00 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance. Tickets range from $35 to $125; reduced prices are offered to subscribers. First-time subscribers receive a 30% discount on partial-season tickets (2 shows). Tickets can be purchased by calling the COT Box Office at 312-704-8414 or at www.chicagooperatheater.org.
COT is also offering audiences the opportunity to explore the world of Maria De Buenos Aires with Viewpoints events featuring movies, lectures, and art exhibits:
- April 7, 2013, 12:00 pm – The Official Story at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W Fullerton Ave. This Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film (1985) is the story about a well-to-do Argentine high school teacher, suspecting that her adopted daughter might be the child of a murdered political prisoner of the Dirty War. She reveals an abhorrent truth of political corruption that leaves her life irrevocably shattered. COT’s general director Andreas Mitisek will introduce COT’s production of Maria de Buenos Aires after the movie screening, with live performances to follow. $5 for COT Subscribers (code: COT) and $9 for general admission.
- April 9, 2013, 6:00 pm – Burnt Oranges, a Screening with Silvia Malagrino at Instituto Cervantes, 31 W Ohio. Chicago filmmaker Silvia Malagrino’s film examines the long-term effects and repercussions of Argentina’s 1970’s state terrorism in her award winning documentary through a combination of intimate witness narration, interviews, documentary, and re-created footage. This personal and beautifully artistic account is a reminder of the global obligation to defend human rights and democratic values. After the film, Eileen’s members may stay for a discussion with Silvia Malagrino and listen to excerpts from COT’s production of Maria de Buenos Aires. This event is a collaboration between the Instituto Cervantes, the Argentine Consulate, and Chicago Opera Theater. $10 suggested donation
- April 17, 2013, 5:00 pm – The “Desaparecidos” and Maria de Buenos Aires at National Museum of Mexican Art 1852 W 19th St. Latin American Art expert and “El Duende” in COT’s upcoming Maria de Buenos Aires, Gregorio Luke explores the art and politics of Argentina’s Dirty War in connection with theproduction. Join in on the discussion of how Argentina’s history and art are reflected with Maria. Following the event there will be excerpts from COT’s production of Maria. The art galleries open at 5:00 pm, a meet and greet with Gregorio Luke and COT’s General Director Andreas Mitisek starts at 6:00 pm, and the lecture begins at 6:30 pm.The event is a collaboration of Chicago Opera Theater and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
For more information on any of these events, please visit www.chicagooperatheater.org.