Los Angeles Opera Announces Premiere of Carla Lucero’s Spanish-Language ‘The Three Women of Jerusalem’

By David Salazar

The Los Angeles Opera has announced that will be presenting “The Three Women of Jerusalem” next Spring at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The performances are set for March 19, 2022.

The Spanish-language opera will be composed and written by Carla Lucero and will feature a cast of hundreds, including a multitude of performers joining in virtually. The work is based on the Passion narrative of the Eighth Station of the Cross, which depicts the women who wept for Jesus as he was on his way to his crucifixion.

This opera will represent a plethora of firsts for the company. It will be the first by a female composer and the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned for performances at the Cathedral. It will be the LA Opera’s first production at the cathedral since the pandemic forced the cancelation of its 2020 and 2021 productions. It will be the LA Opera’s first large-scale public performance to feature musicians via conferencing.

“I grew up hearing my father and grandparents speaking Spanish,” said Lucero in a press release. “It’s a passionate and beautiful language that I am proud to have as part of my heritage. My siblings and I understood it and spoke it on a basic level until learning it formally in school. Then, as an adult, my music has taken me all over Latin America and Spain, and my parents retired in Mexico 30 years ago. I am able to speak it more naturally now and really love the nuances of the language, some of which don’t exist in English. I’m hoping that the Spanish-speaking communities of Los Angeles and beyond will accept this as a love letter from me to them.”

The opera will be directed by Eli Villanueva with James Conlon conducting.

Lucero is a Los Angeles Native who studied at CalArts. Her work includes the 2001 opera “Wuornos,” the 2019 opera “Juana,” and another upcoming work about Helen Keller that is set for its premiere in 2024.