Houstonians were the first to experience the late Daniel Catán’s “Salsipuedes, A Tale of Love, War, and Anchovies.” This month, the operaitc comedy returns to town courtesy of the University of Houston’s Moores Opera Center.
The production transports audiences to the island of Salsipuedes in the Caribbean. Musician brothers Ulises and Chucho are married in a double wedding but have no time to celebrate. Immediately following their nuptials, they are summoned to perform the national anthem at the sendoff for a ship that is supposedly headed to war. Honeymoons are further hampered when they find themselves stranded on the vessel as it begins its journey to intercept a Nazi boat.
“It’s a unique opera,” said Buck Ross, UH Moores Opera Center director. “It’s Daniel Catán’s only comedy, and it is driven by Caribbean music. Salsa rhythms maintain a steady presence throughout the score, and some percussionists remain on stage during the opera.”
Ross is directing “Salsipuedes” and Brett Mitchell, UH assistant professor of music, is conducting the orchestra. Joseph Evans, UH professor of voice, reprises his role as General Garcia, which he originated in Houston Grand Opera’s original production.
“Salsipuedes” performance times and dates are as follows:
- 7:30 p.m., Oct. 26, 27, 29
- 2 p.m., Oct. 28
Tickets are $20, $15 (for faculty, staff and alumni) and $10 for students and seniors.
“Salsipuedes” was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera and premiered in Houston in 2004. The Moores Opera Center will deliver the second American production of the opera.
“Salsipuedes” is part of the Moores Opera Center’s “Daniel Catán Project,” an initiative to produce all of the composer’s works at UH. At the time of his death, Catán had just worked with the center on the second U.S. production of “Il Postino.” His widow Andrea Puente will attend Oct. 26 and 27 performances of “Salsipuedes.”