21 | NOV | 2019
Motecuhzoma II arrives at Mexico City
It will be presented at 19:00 in Mexico City's Zócalo - Photo: Taken from Motecuzoma II ópera's Facebook account

Motecuhzoma II arrives at Mexico City

07/11/2019
18:26
Newsroom
Mexico City
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In the framework of the 500 years of Mexico’s Conquest the monumental opera “Motecuhzoma II” will be presented at Mexico City's main square

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In the framework of the 500 years of Mexico’s Conquest, today and tomorrow at 19:00 in Mexico City’s main square, the monumental opera “Motecuhzoma II” will be presented. According to the organizers, it looks to resignify our history, the cultural syncretism, and the combination of two human groups with all its lights and shadows created between Spain and Mesoamerica and that was written by Samuel Máynez Champion.

There will be approximately 150 people involved: 14 actors, 6 soloists, 30 singers of the UNAM0s Stacatto chorus, 40 dancers of the Tlaltikpak group from Tláhuac, 10 horsemen, 40 musicians from Mexico City’s Philarmonic Orchestra (OFCM), and 15 dancers.

The cast is made up of Rubén Luque, Rogelio Marín, Rafael Negrete, Cristina Nakad, Amed Liévanos, Jacob Bravo, Paola Gutiérrez, Jorge Caso, and Corina Mora, among others. The stage direction is in charge of José Luis Cruz (México) and Ignacio García (Spain).

It is a re-elaboration of the dramma per musica Motezuma by Vivaldi, made in accordance with historical sources on the Conquest, particularly a detailed collection of texts that conform The Broken Spears. A space inside the melodrama for the indigenous reply about its own colonization.

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When the Spanish arrived in Mexico Tenochtitlán, they did not know how to pronounce Motecuhzoma and they said Muteczumo, which later became Moctezuma.

Samuel Máynez Champion carried out a detailed and thorough research for over a decade. He wrote the opera based on a musical score by Antonio Vivaldi titled “Motezuma,” which had been missing for almost three centuries and was found in Kiev in 2002.

The music had severe mutilations and it was in such a poor condition that it urgently required restoration. The process to restore the lost music and the re-elaboration of the manuscript took Máynez to extract the work from the baroque tradition to give it a real historical sense.

For such an ordeal, he had the support of Miguel León-Portilla and Alfredo López Austin, top researchers of pre-Colonialism, as well as the endorsement of playwright Vicente Leñero, poet Juan Bañuelos, and Francesco Fanna, who directs the Antonio Vivaldi Italian Institute since 1997 in Venice’s Giorgio Cini Foundation, and who comes specially to direct the opera.

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In 2010, “Montezuma” was staged, a piece from the 18th century written by Frederick the Great, an absolutist monarch, music lover, and musician who ordered the opera to Carl Heinrich Graun. It was interpreted in Italian and produced by the Festival Theater der Welt 2010 with the coproduction of international festivals such as Edinburgh and Cervantino.

In Spain, this production, made by Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes with the direction of Claudio Valdés Kuri, caused polemic in a defensive sector that felt it offended Cortés, their national hero.

Cortés is not a hero in Valdés Kuri’s play, which contrasts with an idealized Moctezuma.

The OFCM and the Yodoquinsi group will recreate pre-Colonial rhythms and will interpret the musical score of this plurilinguistic and pluricultural piece, sung in Náhuatl and Maya.

Today, it will be broadcast live in Mexico City’s Culture Ministry website and tomorrow on Channel 22.

Did you know the Mayan culture met the digital world?

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