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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Opera Piccola Presents 'La Curandera' At Empire Theatre

Along with the San Antonio Symphony's "Rusalka," another opera is coming. It’s called "La Curandera," and it’s got a fascinating backstory.

“La Curandera is a very special opera for us," said Opera Piccola General Director Mark Richter about the opera written by former San Antonian Robert Xavier Rodriguez. It’s modeled after Mozart’s "Bastien and Bastiene," but with a twist.

"It’s definitely Mexican culture that’s going to be in the music and on the stage," Richter said.

Richter describes the story this way: "Two kids falling in love, and they get into a fight and they’re told to go to the Curandera for healing."

Music is provided live by a 10-piece orchestra, and there’s yet another twist.

“But there’s like an accordion in the bunch," Richter said. "You don’t have an accordion normally in an opera orchestra. That’s the kind of thing that’s going to add that wonderful flavor to the opera."

"A little jalapeño with the rest of the spices?" I said.

"Exactly!" said Richter.

"La Curandera" is sung in English and Opera Piccola is staging it at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater on a distinctly romantic weekend.

“It’s on February 15 at 8 p.m. and February 16, a 2:30 p.m. matinee," Richter said. "You’re in a beautiful place, you’re hearing beautiful music, it’s a great story. Opera really strikes at the sensitive part of anybody’s heart."

You can put that to the test on February 15.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii