“In Mexico, when you propose to your significant other, you propose by bringing a serenade with the mariachis,” says Arturo Chacón-Cruz, who started singing with the mariachis at age 14 in his native Sonora, Mexico. “My name started becoming more popular and people would ask for me. I was doing serenades a few times a week — late at night, sometimes one after the other.
He continued doing that for years until his mother intervened. “My mother wasn’t too happy with this, and she put me in private voice lessons so I would find discipline.”
He found discipline specifically in the world of opera, where he’s made a name for himself as an acclaimed, award-winning tenor, one who regularly tours the world performing with leading opera companies.
“I know it sounds a little bit cheesy, but opera keeps me [convinced] that you can still have hope and believe in the good of humanity, the good of the universe,” Chacón-Cruz says. “Opera is something that helps you reach your potential. If you have trouble forgiving, if you have trouble loving, if you have trouble finding people, opera is really something that will open you up.”
Chacón-Cruz is gearing up for his second engagement with the Maryland Lyric Opera, and his debut in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. “This is very special,” he says, praising the organization’s “outstanding orchestra” as well as its leadership team.
“MDLO is a company that is borne out of love for the music,” he continues. “It’s a company that does opera the proper way, with love and respect for music as the first choice.”
Un Ballo in Maschera is “is a very dramatic opera,” says Chacón-Cruz, who sings the principal role of Riccardo. “The role is fantastic. He’s a guy with the noblest of feelings. It’s very human. And that’s what I think opera is — finding the strongest of emotions and expressing them to the max, with the human voice [at] its fullest capacity.”
Arturo Chacón-Cruz performs in the Maryland Lyric Opera’s Un Ballo in Maschera on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $59 to $150. Visit www.mdlo.org or call 301-581-5100.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!