Like a Virgin

She might be the most popular woman in the Valley.

If you pay attention around town, you'll see renderings of La Virgen de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), a Mexican image of the Virgin Mary, whether it’s in the form of murals, statues, or street wear. Apparently, her likeness was born way back in December 9, 1531, when she appeared to indigenous Mexican Juan Diego on the north side of the Hill of Tepeyac, a spot that would eventually become Mexico City.

Nowadays – specifically, Friday, December 11, and Sunday, December 13 – an opera called Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Roses explores those miraculous interactions. The story of a humble man's encounter with a divinity that would later come to symbolize the nation of Mexico premiered in May 2008. For its Phoenix performances, Isola Jones of the Metropolitan Opera sings as Our Lady of Guadalupe and Robert Breault as Juan Diego, while ASU Herberger School of Music composer James DeMars incorporates indigenous music with performances by Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai and Aztec percussionist Xavier Quijas Yxayotl.

Fri., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2009