MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES: A Tango Opera performed with FIRE by the OCM

In a spellbinding evening that resonated with the passionate rhythms of Buenos Aires, the concert version of MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES unfolded its enchanting tale last Thursday, November 23rd in Montreal’s Salle Pierre-Mercure.

Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah with tango dancers from Corazón de Tango dance troupe, Photos by Tam Lan Truong

Under the baton of the Orchestre classique de Montréal’s maestro Jacques Lacombe, a stellar ensemble brought Ástor Piazzolla’s musical brilliance and Horacio Ferrer’s evocative libretto to life, creating an sensual experience that seamlessly blended opera and tango.

Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah

Starring the incomparable mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah as the hauntingly captivating María, alongside the formidable baritone Clarence Frazer as El Payador and the charismatic Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon as actor El Duende, the performance was nothing short of a visual and sonic masterpiece.

Nesrallah’s mezzo-soprano prowess breathed life into the character of María ( a prostitute that is redeemed) , taking the audience on a poignant journey through the sultry streets of Buenos Aires , the depths of Hell and beyond.

Denis Plante – Bandonéon

Three dancing pairs from the Corazón de Tango dance troupe, Adam Cicchillitti on guitar, and Denis Plante on bandonéon added layers of authenticity to the production, infusing each note with the fiery spirit of the tango.

The synergy between the performers was palpable, creating a symbiotic relationship between the music, dance, and narrative.

Corazón de Tango dance troupe,

MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES, originally premiered in 1968, is a tango opera that defies convention, weaving a surreal and mystifying plot that explores the depths of passion, tragedy, and redemption.

The synopsis, tracing María’s ill-fated journey from the poverty-stricken suburbs to the heart of Buenos Aires, and her subsequent rebirth and redemption, unfolded like a mesmerizing dream. The city itself, portrayed as a hellish landscape, became a character in its own right, serving as a haunting backdrop to María’s tumultuous life and afterlife.

The libretto, skillfully exploring parallels between María and religious figures like Mary or Jesus, adds a layer of complexity that transcends the boundaries of traditional operatic storytelling.

The sensual acrobatic dancing and plot narrative, coupled with Piazzolla’s evocative compositions, held the audience in rapt attention, making them active participants in María’s poignant odyssey.

The juxtaposition of the tango dance with the operatic form, while unconventional, proved to be a stroke of genius, creating a performance that was both visually and aurally captivating.

MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES, in its concert incarnation, transcended the confines of a traditional opera, delivering an immersive experience that led to a rousing round of applause from the audience .

The show had not just entertained; it had transported everyone to the passionate streets of Buenos Aires, leaving an indelible fiery mark on their hearts and souls.

To learn more about up-coming concert performed by the Orchestre classique de Montréal please visit their website :