Bless Me Ultima

A Workshop Presentation

June 17, 2017

510 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Based on Rudolfo Anaya’s epic Mexican-American novel Bless Me Ultima, Opera Cultura will present excerpts of a new opera written by composer/librettist Héctor Armienta. Special guest artist is internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman, who will sing the role of Ultima.

Seating is limited (100 seats) so make reservations right away.You won't want to miss this event!
Tickets will be available at the door.


Following the presentation, there will be a private-post reception. Join us for refreshments to celebrate the performance and meet the artists! Attendance will be limited to 25 guests for this special event.

2:00pm Bless Me Ultima Presentation ($15.00)
3:00pm Private Post-Reception ($30.00)

*PLEASE NOTE: You must purchase an "Adult-General" ticket AND a "Private Post-Reception" ticket  if you plan to attend both the performance and  the reception. 

**Children under age 12 can attend for free and do not need to purchase a ticket.


The opera will have its world premiere in Albuquerque New Mexico in 2018. Opera Cultura will present the west coast premiere later that year.


Antonio Marez is a young boy when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he 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.

The novel was published in 1972, is considered one of the best in Mexican-American literature and is one of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Reads. In 2013, the novel was made into a movie.

Suzanna  Guzman       
Suzanna Guzman (Ultima)

Other noted artists include Igor Vieira (as Tenorio), Alexandra Sessler (as Maria Marez), Andres Ramirez (as Gabriel Marez), Michael Orlinsky (as Narciso/Pedro), Ethan Hong (as Tony), Flora Mendoza (as The Owl), and Luca Lit (as Tony, Understudy). Paul Dab will serve as pianist.

World premiere will be co produced by Opera Southwest and the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Performance dates are February 18th, 21st, 23rd, and 25th, 2018.
The west coast premiere will be at the School of Arts - Mexican Heritage Theater April 20th, 21st, and 22nd, 2018.

The reading is funded in part by the Knight Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates and Friends of Opera Cultura.