Long Beach Opera's presentation of Robert Xavier Rodríguez's bio-opera about Frida Kahlo is often delightful, and the outdoor garden setting at MOLAA adds to the atmosphere and charm, with pin lights of stars above and the occasional sizzle and pop of nearby fireworks punctuating the merrily macabre music-making, which is a blend of traditional Mexican folk songs and classical styles deftly administered by conductor Kristof Van Grysperre and a small ensemble. Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella is vibrant in the title role, while Venezuelan lyric baritone Bernardo Bermudez is a charismatic counterpart as Kahlo's lover Diego Rivera. Local soprano Alejandra Martinez and New Orleans native David Castillo are also impressive in supporting roles.
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