María de Buenos Aires

Music by Astor Piazzolla
Libretto by Horacio Ferrer

In the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina, María is born, “with a curse in her voice.” Seduced by the city, María turns her back on her former, innocent life. As her world devolved into darkness, the gritty streets claim her as their own. María is made of flesh and blood, but her immortal spirit will be harder to kill in this surreal, supernatural, and spiritual journey set to the beat of Argentine tango.

Sung in Spanish

Friday, November 11 8pm
Sunday, November 13 2pm

The W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre

We want everyone to experience opera!

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, Kentucky Opera welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to experience the power of opera, regardless of financial situation. If you would like to attend a performance and cannot afford a full-priced ticket, please click the button below and a member of our staff will respond with options to ensure you can attend.

Kentucky Opera - María de Buenos Aires at the Brown Theatre in Louisville Kentucky, November 11 & 13, 2022.
Kentucky Opera - María de Buenos Aires at the Brown Theatre in Louisville Kentucky, November 11 & 13, 2022.
Everett McCorvey

Everett McCorvey

Jose Maria Condemi

Jose Maria Condemi


Kelly Guerra

Kelly Guerra

Avatar Placeholder
El Duende

Milton Loayza

Luis Ledesma

Luis Ledesma

Creative Team

Andrew Boyce
Scenic designer

Andrew Boyce

Avatar Placeholder
lighting designer

Thomas C. Hase

Charles Heightchew
Costume Designer

Charles Heightchew

Avatar Placeholder
Wigs & Makeup Designer

Cass Brake

Alice Baldwin
Properties Master

Alice Baldwin

Avatara Placeholder
Production Stage Manager

Peter Nictakis


María’s life is the surreal, dreamlike story of the tango. Born in the slums of the port of Buenos Aires, she embodies everything that is the tango: totally consumed by passion, yet never destroyed. María fights for survival and freedom, never surrendering.

Scene 1: The Duende conjures up the image of María through a crack in the road.

Scene 2: María awakens to the theme of tango that is her soul.

Scene 3: The Duende and a Sleepy Poet tell the story of María: “She was both Goddess and Prostitute.”

Scene 4: María introduces herself: “I am María tango, María slum, María night, María fatal passion.”

Scene 5: The Sleepy Poet falls in love with María, but she rejects him.

Scene 6: María arrives in the center of Buenos Aires.

Scene 7: María is seduced by the bandoneon of corrupting María. She senses her imminent death.

Scene 8: The Duende accuses the bandoneon of corrupting María. They duel.

Scene 9: María’s body is condemned to death, but her Shadow is allowed to return to the streets.

Scene 10: Funeral rites are performed for the first death of María.

Scene 11: María’s body is buried, but her Shadow wanders lost in the city’s underworld.

Scene 12: Lacking all sense of identity, the Shadow writes a letter to the trees and the chimneys of Buenos Aires.

Scene 13: The Duende sends a message to the Shadow: María will be reborn.

Scene 14: A frantic search ends with the miracle of conception.

Scene 15: María’s Shadow announces that it will give birth.

Scene 16: A carefree, yet peculiar Sunday in Buenos Aires. The Duende describes the birth of all births. Who is the child? Is it María resurrected? Has it all ended? Or is it just beginning? No one can answer the question.