Immerse yourself in a vibrant musical celebration of Hispanic heritage!

Opera Arlington cordially invites you to Recuerdos (Remembrances), a colorful evening of song in honor of Hispanic music and heritage. The musicians of Opera Arlington will guide you on a journey through the musical traditions of Mexico, Spain, and beyond. Don’t miss a lineup of DFW’s rising stars, including soprano Judith Rodriguez, mezzo-soprano Lauren Salazar, tenor David Mejía Jr., guitarist Sergio Hernandez Felix, and pianist Boeun Kim. ¡Nos vemos allí!

NOVEMBER 9, 2023

Tate Springs Church

Upper Room, Education Building B
4001 Little Rd. Arlington, TX 76016

Duration: approx. 1 hour


Admission is free for all! Donations are optional and will be gratefully accepted in support of the artists.


La Petenera from La Marchenera (1928)
by Federico Moreno Torroba (1891–1982)

Judith Rodriguez, soprano | Boeun Kim, piano
Three hours before the dawn, the moon searched for the sun, going from star to star, ah! seeking his radiance.And I have fallen for a stranger who captured me with his eyes; I go from sigh to sigh, ah! seeking his heart.The first rose, the most exquisite, that flowers in my rose garden, as I yield it to him, I will say ...Take it. Take it, this first bloom, and your heart and mine beat within us as one heart, within one being.Take it; keep it locked safely away within your breast, for my heart is already on its way to you.Take it; I want to give it to you.
Town crier, town crier, hear, and proclaim this: for whom is this fond affection that I have found in my heart?Surely everyone knows, but the beloved of my soul does not.Take it; that is what a true lover does!

Lágrimas mías (My Tears) from El anillo de hierro (1878)
by Pedro Miguel Marqués (1843–1918)

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano | Boeun Kim, piano
My tears, wherever they may be, will not fall from my eyes.The ardent fire of passion has left my heart ashen.Woe is me! Woe is me! I was born to weep, sorrowful and abandoned.Like leaves falling at the jolts of a hurricane,Thus, with my grief, fall away my illusions of love—such love.Woe is me! Woe is me! Sorrowful and abandoned, I don't know why I was born.

Bendita cruz (Blessed Cross) from Don Gil de Alcalá (1932)
by Manuel Penella (1880–1939)

Judith Rodriguez, soprano | Boeun Kim, piano
Blessed cross that my mother gave me, weeping, as she died. She is with me and comforts me.To contemplate it is my delight; I look at it and kiss it. It is my cross that brings light to my soul.It is my only happiness, my protection and my guide; it is my cross.Mother!  Star that guides me on my way!  Mother! Don’t let this cruel destiny be fulfilled!Stay with me, don’t abandon me, so that by day and night, my soul may be with you.Mother! If my life must be weeping and sorrow, take me with you! Take me with you!

Habanera Todas las mañanitas” (Every Morning) from Don Gil de Alcalá (1932)
by Penella

Judith Rodriguez, soprano | David Mejía, tenor | Boeun Kim, piano
Every morning, the dawn returns and carries away the sad and treacherous night.The sun of happiness returns to the soul again, and with its light, the hope of a new day.Sing and do not weep, my heart, do not weep, ay! for this hope will be the dawn of your love, ay!Sing and do not weep, my heart, do not weep, ay!,The dawn will return, and it will carry away your sorrowful night.


Siete canciones populares españolas (Seven Popular Spanish Songs) (1914)
by Manuel de Falla (1876–1946)

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano | Sergio Hernandez, guitar
1. El paño moruno (The Moorish Cloth)On the fine fabric in the shop, there fell a stain. It sells for less, for it has lost its value. Ay!
3. Asturiana (Asturian Song)To see if it might console me, I drew near a green pine.And the pine, since it was green, wept to see me weeping.
4. JotaThey say we're not in love, since they never see us talk; let them ask your heart and mine!I must leave you now, your house and your window,And though your mother may disapprove, farewell, sweet love, till tomorrow.
5. Nana (Lullaby)Sleep, little child, sleep, my darling; sleep, my little morning star.Hush-a-bye, hush-a-bye, sleep, my little morning star.
6. Canción (Song)Since your eyes are traitors, I'm going to forget them;You don't know what it costs—"From the air"—dear girl, to gaze into them—"Mother, to the shore, Mother."
They say you do not love me, but you loved me once.Make the best of it—"From the air"—for the sake of what you've lost—"Mother, to the shore, Mother."
7. Polo Ay! I have an ache in my heart of which I can tell no one.A curse on love, and a curse on the one who made me feel it! Ay!
(Adapted from the translations by Richard Stokes.)


Alma mía (My Soul) (1933)
by María Grever (1885–1951)

David Mejía, tenor | Boeun Kim, piano
My soul, alone, always alone, with no one to understand your terrible suffering,Always feigning an existence full of happiness and delight...If I found a soul like mine, how many secrets would I tell them?A soul that, gazing at me, without a single word, told me everything with its eyes;A soul that intoxicated me with its soft breath; a soul that, kissing me, felt what I feel.Sometimes I wonder what would happen, if I found a soul like mine.

Ester (Being) from Nostalgias del Abuelo (2014)
by Nico Gutierrez

David Mejía, tenor | Boeun Kim, piano
You are the mage of my illusions, the blue instigator of my desires,The liveliness in all my songs, and the astral vision of my sleeplessness.The graceful purity of your prayers, and your divinity from heavens unknownSpread a multitude of consolations beneath the ravaging sounds of my pain.So don't be surprised how much I adore you.And I know that you sprinkled your gold dust over me, and over my dream,Opening your broach, so that, when you struck my desolate path with your magic wand, oh! fairy!You filled my nights with twilight.

Estrellita (Little Star) from 2 Canciones mexicanas (1912)
by Manuel Ponce (1882–1948)

Judith Rodriguez, soprano | David Mejía, tenor | Boeun Kim, piano
Little star in the distant sky, which sees my pain, which knows my suffering,Come down and tell me if you love me a little, because I can't live without your love.You are a star, my beacon of love! You know that I will soon die.Come down and tell me if you love me a little, because I can't live without your love.


Habanera from Carmen (1875)
by Georges Bizet (1838–1875)

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano | Boeun Kim, piano




La Llorona (The Weeping Lady) from Coco (2017)
based on a Mexican Folk Song

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano | David Mejía, tenor | Sergio Hernandez, guitar
Woe is me, Weeping Lady, up in the sky blue.Though it cost me my life, Weeping Lady, I won't stop loving you.I climbed the highest pine tree, Weeping Lady, to see if I could spot you.As the pine tree was tender, Weeping Lady, at seeing my tears, it wept too.Woe is me, Weeping Lady, up in the sky blue.Though it cost me my life, Weeping Lady, I won't stop loving you.

Recuerdame (Remember Me) from Coco (2017)
by Robert Lopez (b. 1975) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (b. 1972)

David Mejía, tenor | Sergio Hernandez, guitar


Amor Eterno (Eternal Love) from Coco (2017)
by Juan Gabriel (1950–2016)

Judith Rodriguez, soprano | Sergio Hernandez, guitar
You are the sadness of my eyes that weep in silence for your love.I look in the mirror and see, in my image, the time I have suffered because of your goodbye.I force myself to forget you; I’m always thinking of yesterday.I prefer to be asleep than awake from how it hurts that you’re not here.How I wish, ah, that you were alive, that your dear eyes never would have closed, and to be looking into them.Eternal love, and unforgettable, sooner or later I will be with you, and we can go on loving each other.I have suffered so much for your absence; since that day, I’m not happyAnd even though my conscience is clear, I know I could have done more for you.My life is dark loneliness, as lonely as your tomb. You are the love that gives me the saddest memory of Acapulco...Eternal love, eternal.

Cielito Lindo (Dear Beloved) (1882)
Mexican Folk Song

David Mejía, tenor | Sergio Hernandez, guitar

La Bamba (1958)
Mexican Folk Song, as popularized by Ritchie Valens (1941–1959)

Full Company
To dance the Bamba, you need a bit of grace.A bit of grace, for me and for you.I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain—but for you, I will be!Bamba, bamba!


Judith Rodriguez, soprano | @divazarzuelera

Praised for a warm, luxurious lyric soprano voice with “impressive flexibility” (Texas Classical Review), Judith Rodriguez is a Spanish music specialist based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Equally at home on the operatic stage and in the concert hall, she has performed to wide acclaim from audiences across the United States and Europe. With her first album release this season, Dreams of Gold: Zarzuela Arias by Barbieri, Judith’s passion for Zarzuela shines through as she delves into this fascinating genre's historical heritage and artistic legacy. In 2019, Judith Rodriguez was invited to sing a Zarzuela program at The Hall of the Americas in Washington, D.C., under the sponsorship of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That year, she also made her operatic debut in Florence, Italy, singing the title role in the opera Suor Angelica, under the direction of Adrian Sylveen, Artistic Director of Connecticut Lyric Opera.

From her first starring role as Dolores in La Dolorosa, under the baton of Maestro Germán Gutierrez, Judith was “baptized by fire” into the genre of Zarzuela. She went on to study abroad in Spain, immersing herself in the study of Spanish language, texts, music, and performance, under the influence of her mentor, Belén Genicio. In 2008, she made her professional debut in Madrid as Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly to great success.  Excellent reviews continued to pour in throughout Spain for her interpretation of versatile roles such as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, the title role of Marina, Pepita in Pepita Jimenez, and Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. By 2011, Judith had returned stateside and embarked on sharing the gift of Spanish music with the community. She went on to perform Zarzuela with organizations such as Opera on Tap, Opera in Concert, The House of Spain, The Orchestra of New Spain, and the Fort Worth Opera. Judith Rodriguez has sung under the direction of Pascual Ortega, Dolores Marco, Montserrat Font, Michael Thomas, Hector Guzman, Adrian Sylveen, and Joe Illick.  After living and performing in Spain for many years and falling in love with Zarzuela, Judith looks forward to sharing this centuries-old art form with audiences worldwide.  

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano | @laurensalazarmezzo

Lauren Salazar, mezzo-soprano, is rapidly gaining recognition for her fiery portrayals of opera’s heriones. She will make her Opera Arlington debut this season as Third Wood Sprite in Dvořák's Rusalka. Her recent performances include the title roles of Carmen and Dido (Dido & Aeneas) with UNT Opera, Gianetta (The Gondoliers) with TEXAS Outdoor Musical Drama, Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia) and The Girl - Trio (Trouble in Tahiti) with UNT Opera, Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors) with Music On Site, as well as Annio (La Clemenza di Tito) and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with the Butler Opera Center. This season, she will sing the roles of Dorothée (Cendrillon) and Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) with UNT Opera and will perform in the chorus of Fort Worth Opera's La Bohème. Lauren is completing her Master of Music degree, as well as pursuing a Graduate Artist Certificate in Opera and an M.B.A in Music Business, at the University of North Texas. She holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from The University of Texas. An avid photographer and arts administrator, she has worked for various arts organizations across the United States, including Butler Opera International Voice Competition, Brevard Music Center, Wintergreen Music Festival, North Texas Vocal Arts, the University of North Texas College of Music, and Baylor Opera Theatre.

David Mejía Jr., tenor |  @davy1030

Originally from Brownsville, Texas, rising young tenor David Mejía is recognized for his nuanced vocalism and infectious stage presence. He recently won 1st Prize at the 2023 National NATS competition (Advanced Tenor-Bass Voices) in San Diego, California. This season, he also made his debut at NYC’s Lincoln Center with the American Pops Orchestra and placed 2nd for male vocalists in the U.S. David performs with The Dallas Opera’s Education and Outreach Program, and has appeared with numerous ensembles across Texas, including Diversitá Opera Arts Company, Awaken Ensemble, Pasión RGV, and Orpheus Chamber Singers. He received his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from UT Arlington and is now pursuing his M.M. in Voice Performance at Texas Christian University, where he is the Graduate Assistant for Opera.

Sergio Hernandez Felix, guitar | @sergioplaysguitar

A native of Mexico, bilingual guitarist Sergio Hernandez Felix has received numerous prizes, including the first place at the University of Texas Pan-American Guitar Competition.  He is a recipient of several scholarships, including Carrion De Los Condes Classical Guitar Workshop Scholarship, UWM Chancellor’s Award Scholarship, Agah Classical Guitar Endowment Scholarship and Maria Aurora Arrese Scholarship Endowment.  He has been an active participant in Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Mexico and Carrion De Los Condes Classical Guitar Workshop over the year and in 2014, gave a concert at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria. 

Sergio received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a focus on classical guitar at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Quantz and Dr. Jonathan Dotson.  Sergio holds a master’s degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied with Cuban Guitar virtuoso Rene Izquierdo. He is currently completing his Doctoral in Musical Arts at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of prestigious guitarist Bokyung Byun. In 2023, Sergio was one of the winners of the UNT William Gammon Henry Concerto Competition. This achievement has earned him the opportunity to perform with the UNT Concert Orchestra as a soloist. 

Boeun Kim, piano

Boeun Kim is a collaborative pianist and vocalist from South Korea who passionately brings opera and vocal repertoire to life throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. Boeun has served as a repetiteur and coach for numerous operas, including Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. She has performed in music festivals throughout South Korea as a collaborative piano fellowship recipient, such as the Art Song Festival and Baroque Music Festival. She has also served as a collaborative pianist for the Master Chorale and Sunhwa Fine Arts High School in Korea. She received her Master of Music degree from University of North Texas, studying collaborative piano with Steven Harlos and Elvia Puccinelli, where she also studied early music and organ performance with Christoper Hammer. She received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance from University of Texas at Arlington, and her Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance is from Seoul National University in Korea. Boeun has been working as a staff accompanist at University of Texas at Arlington since 2018 and is in demand as a collaborative pianist and coach for both solo and chamber performances.   


Bree Nichols, D.M.A.


Founder and General Director of Opera Arlington, Bree Nichols is an Arlington-based soprano, vocal educator, and arts professional who has performed across the United States and internationally. An innovator in community opera initiatives, Bree founded Stafford Opera Troupe in her hometown of Stafford, Virginia in 2016, where she created the Summer Opera Program offering free training and performance opportunities to emerging singers. At Stafford Opera Troupe, she served as General Director and Music Director for three seasons, producing operas such as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Viardot's Cendrillon. In addition to her work with Opera Arlington, Bree currently serves growing musicians on the faculty of NTX Vocal Arts Exchange. A Fulbright grantee to the Czech Republic in 2021–22, Bree is known for her interpretations of Czech vocal music in addition to a diverse operatic repertoire. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree from University of Georgia. 


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