María de Buenos Aires

Astor Piazzolla

A tango opera (1968)
Libretto by Horacio Ferrer
Sung in Spanish with spoken German texts

21 July 2018 - 8 pm, Werkstattbühne
1 ½ hours (no interval)
María de Buenos Aires

The only opera written by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla is a declaration of love for tango and its native city Buenos Aires. María is born “one day when God was drunk”. She leaves the poor suburbs for the city centre, where she is seduced by tango music and becomes a prostitute. She is killed in a black mass by thieves, pimps and murderers. The second half of the opera takes place after her death: she is condemned to reside in a hell, which turns out to be Buenos Aires itself. As her own shadow she now walks the city, writes letters to trees and chimneys, and gets caught up with a grotesque circus of psychoanalysts. At the end she gives birth to another María, who is perhaps herself...

María is the embodiment of tango. She goes through metamorphoses accompanied by an ingenious fusion of different tango styles with classical music and jazz. But tango doesn’t die, so at the end we witness a spectacular rebirth.

Piazzolla’s María isn’t an opera in the traditional sense. It’s more of a song cycle with loosely connected numbers which are linked by a common subject but don’t form a plot in the conventional sense.

Price EUR 32


vocalist | narrator Christiane Boesiger

accordion & percussion Christian Bakanic
violin & mandola Klemens Bittmann 
double bass & vocals Eddie Luis

production concept Olivier Tambosi

Additional information