A tremendous love and admiration for Italian music and opera is one of the lesser-publicized aspects of the Mexican culture. Each year there are productions across Mexico and the well-informed audiences tend to respond with great enthusiasm. So, it is no surprise that you would find a world-class opera production like Lucia di Lammermoor being performed at a theatre in Central Mexico.
The rich tradition of opera in Mexico is due in part to appearances by such legendary singers as Maria Callas, who sang at the lovely Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in the early 1950’s. The opera career of the Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo is inextricably tied to Mexico, as his parents brought him there when he was quite young and exposed him to music during his youth. In what is generally considered to be his operatic debut, he sang the minor role of Borsa in Verdi’sRigoletto on September 23rd, 1959 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. His stellar international career took off from that modest beginning with appearances at the preeminent theatres world-wide, including in Mexico. Domingo first interpreted the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca in a 1961 performance in Mexico City  .
While the capital city figures prominently in the Arts, there are diverse venues for opera in Mexico, including the relatively new Teatro del Bicentenario in Central Mexico. The theatre was established on the occasion of Mexico’s Bicentennial in 2010 and has consistently offered high-quality theatre, dance, music and opera productions since its inception. The Director, Alonso Escalante came to the Teatro del Bicentenario on the heels of a stellar career as the Director at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. His artistic vision integrates perfectly with the conceptual underpinnings of the theatre as a beacon for the arts in Central Mexico. In an interview, he articulated that it is not just a matter of presenting high quality productions, but it is also important to strike a careful balance between the traditional and the contemporary in order to appeal to a wider audience.