The opera, co-produced by Opera Southwest and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, is based on the beloved coming-of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya, and this is a rare opportunity to see the book come to life on the operatic stage.
"It's a really powerful story and it really captures New Mexican culture," says Armienta. "It brings together the Spanish culture, the Native American culture, the Mexican culture and the spiritual power of that place."
The story is about the relationship between a young boy, Antonio Márez y Luna, and his mentor into the spiritual universe of New Mexico, the Última of the opera’s name. She is a curandera, a traditional Native healer or shaman, and she's able to connect to the power of the natural world, as embodied in the rivers and plains of New Mexico.
Check out this trailer for a 2012 movie based on the book.