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Bless Me, Ultima: A Mexican-American Opera [West Coast premiere] // San Jose

Bless Me, Ultima
A new Mexican-American Opera
by Héctor Armienta

Based upon the 1972 novel by Rudolfo Anaya.

April 20-22nd. 3 PERFORMANCES at The Mexican Heritage Theater – School of Arts and Culture @ MHP in San Jose, CA

Bless Me, Ultima is a new Mexican-American opera on the power of destiny by composer/librettist Héctor Armienta. The opera is based on the acclaimed coming-of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya, who is is widely recognized as the godfather of Chicano literature. The world premiere, which took place in New Mexico on February 18th, 2018, performed to sold out crowds.


Three Performances:
April 20th – 7:30 pm
April 21st- 7:30 pm
April 22nd- 2:00 pm

The Story
It is the story of Antonio Marez, a young boy, at the time when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. Ultima is a curandera, or shaman, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past- a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world… and will nurture the birth of his soul.

About the Novel
The novel is considered one of the best in Chicano literature and is one of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Reads. Richard Rodrigues has characterized the novel as an “important contribution to literature in a pluralistic United States,” and others consider it the quintessential Chicano coming-of-age novel. In 2013, the novel was made into a movie. Most recently, Author Rudolfo Anaya was awarded the National Humanities Medal by Former President Barack Obama for his literature.








Suzanna Guzman
Suzanna Guzman as Ultima

Nicholas McKee

Nicholas McKee as Antonio

Roberto Perlas Gomez
Roberto Perlas Gomez as Tenorio

Alexandra Sessler

Alexandra Sessler as Maria Marez
Pedro Ledesma
Pedro Ledesma as Gabriel Marez
Michael Orlinsky
Michael Orlinsky as Narciso

Flora Mendoza

Flora Mendoza as The Owl

Andrew Metzger
Andrew Metzger as Pedro/Lupito

Temirzhan Yerzhanov

Temirzhan Yerzhanov – Conductor

Masterworks Chorale
Members of Masterworks Chorale – as The Chorus

This production is funded by:
The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The Office of Cultural Affairs San Jose, Applied Materials Foundation, the County of Santa Clara,  Castellano Family Foundation, Knight Foundation, Fleisshacker foundation, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco, and Friends of Opera Cultura.

NEA    Fleishhacker Foundation CAC  Applied Materials Foundation   Office of Cultural Affairs     The County of Santa Clara     Castellano Family Foundation    Knight Foundation

April 20 2018


Start: 04/20/2018 @ 7:30 pm
End: 04/22/2018 @ 2:00 pm
Cost: $15 – $40
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Website: Visit Event Website


Mexican Heritage Plaza

1700 Alum Rock Avenue
San Jose, CA 95116 United States

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