Arizona Opera to return to Tucson Music Hall in the fall

But through it all, Specter said, Arizona Opera’s supporters and donors stuck with the company, helping it to survive financially in a time that many companies nationwide have struggled.

“I think that we have to have the humility to say that this has been such an incredibly challenging time for our company and our community and the world as a whole,” Specter said. “I think we are grateful for the outpouring of support that has gotten us to the point where we can announce this season. The community has risen to the occasion and we are in a strong position to rise in the new season.”

Arizona Opera, which was launched in 1971 as the Tucson Opera Company before expanding to Phoenix five years later, has produced more than 170 fully-staged operas and concerts in its 50 years. Specter joined the company in 2016 as its eighth general director.

The 2021-22 season opens with “The Copper Queen,” airing in October on the company’s on-demand site, The film, being produced by an all-female cast — a first for Arizona Opera — tells the story of Julia Lowell, a resident in 1910 of Bisbee’s Copper Queen Hotel who was forced to live in captivity to service the town’s men. The opera was composed by Clint Borzoni with a libretto by John de los Santos.

On Dec. 11 and 12, Arizona Opera’s McDougall Red Series will feature the holiday-themed mariachi opera “El Milagro del Recuerdo (The Miracle of Remembering),” a prequel to “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna,” the first-ever mariachi opera which the company presented to critical acclaim and sold-out audiences in the 2014-15 season. “El Milagro” was composed by Javier Martinez, the son of the late José “Pepe” Martinez, who composed “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” and was music director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.

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