Metropolitan Opera Competition Winners - concert

March 19, 20, Sunday 5pm, Monday 2pm
SM Playhouse, Independencia 82
$500, $600, Sunday, Monday

The Sunday show is nearly sold out.
An extra show is now on sale for Monday, 20 March at 2pm.

You can purchase reserved-seat tickets by clicking any of the links above or by visiting You can also purchase with cash or card at the door of the San Miguel Playhouse starting one hour before the performance.

Some ideas are so obvious that it unaccountably takes years for people to see what's right in front of them. The Metropolitan Opera inaugurated a singing competition in the 1930s for young North American talent, but it was not until 2018 that the MetOpera National Council (MONC) figured out that Mexico is part of the North American continent, and expanded the competition to include young Mexicans.

San Miguel was selected as the audition site. In that first year, 2018, Yunuet Laguna, a young native of Zacatecas, took first prize. She now has her own dressing room at the Metropolitan Opera, and last season sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. She's been written up in Opera News, and appears headed for stardom.

Since then, apart from pandemic interruption, there has been a special concert in San Miguel every March to feature the previous year's winners of the MONC competition in Mexico.

This year, a pair of Mexican MONC winners, both sopranos with star potential, will perform at the San Miguel Playhouse, on Sunday, March 19, at 5pm and Monday, March 20, at 2pm. The singers are Cristina Nakad, 27, from Puebla City, and Dulce Guadarrama, 28, from Estado de México. Pianist Andres Sarré will accompany them.

This is no ordinary program. Instead of the usual assortment of arias, each soprano will perform what is known in opera as a monodrama, a work for one singer, fully staged with costumes and stage props, directed by theater veteran Ragnar Conde. The opera literature contains many superb monodramas, from Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung to William Bolcom's From the Diary of Sally Hemings.

The acknowledged masterwork of the form is Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice), with a libretto by Jean Cocteau, the French writer and filmmaker, based on his play, about a woman in a last, desperate phone conversation with her lover, who is leaving her to marry someone else. In 2020, the play was adapted as a short movie directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Tilda Swinton.

Cristina Nakad will perform Poulenc's one-act opera. Nakad, who so impressed the MONC judges, has a lot of stage experience for her young years, having enacted roles such as Pamina in Mozart's Magic Flute and the female lead in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

The other monodrama on the program is an excerpt from a longer opera, Zerbinetta's bravura monologue from Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, with a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The performer, Dulce Guadarrama, was recently one of the stars of the opera gala given annually at the Teatro Macedonio Alcalá in Oaxaca, with the Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra.

The San Miguel Playhouse was chosen for this concert because it is a theatrical event, and because the theater has a system for English and Spanish supertitles, which will make it possible for the audience to follow every word of the two dramas. Reserved seat tickets are 600 and 500 pesos.


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