Music of the Americas to Present Major Premiere of Puppet Opera

By David Salazar

Music of the Americas is set to present the U.S. premiere of the 1934 Afro-Cuban puppet opera “Manita en el suelo” on July 29, 2022.

The opera was composed by Alejandro García Caturla to a libretto by Alejo Carpentier. The production will be directed by Doug Fitch.

The opera is a parody for puppets in one act and five scenes. It tells the story of three fisherman, each a representative of Cuba’s main ethnicities during colonial times, as they face off against a storm. But when they eat a sacred rooster, a supernatural being, Manita, will wreak havoc on them. That, in turn, causes Manita a major punishment. Eventually, all is resolved and everything ends happily.

The opera will star Héctor Herrera Álvaro, Christian Gómez, Ricardo Rivera, Ricardo Sepúlveda, Ana Carmela Ramírez, and Morena Galán. The puppeteers are Andy Manjuck and Dorothy James.

Sebastian Zubieta conducts an ensemble of musicians.