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El Paso Opera and Ballroom Marfa are proud to announce the Texas premiere of “Vidas Perfectas,” the Spanish-language production of the avant-garde American composer Robert Ashley’s (1930-2014) groundbreaking work “Perfect Lives” (1983), which concerns a bungled bank robbery in the American Midwest. Originally commissioned by The Kitchen in New York City and subsequently produced for the BBC as a seven-episode television opera called “Perfect Lives,” “Vidas Perfectas” switches the locale to the U.S-Mexico border, the landscape inspired by Marfa, TX, and the language to Spanish. The opera tells its untraditional story through an innovative combination of video and live performance. An opera that incorporates chanting, storytelling, meditation and ecstatic revelation, “Vidas Perfectas” challenges the way we think about language, opera, television, and performance.

David Grabarkewitz, El Paso Opera’s general and artistic director, calls the production “fun, funky and weird. It’s not traditional opera storytelling; expect to see an edgy performance.” He says experiencing “Vidas Perfectas” will be like stepping into a modern art installation.

“Vidas Perfectas” comes to El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and Marfa after a successful debut at The 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. All seven episodes are being recorded and edited for television and will be released on CD and DVD;  “Vidas Perfectas” will continue to tour internationally as a live performance.

WHAT: “Vidas Perfectas,” the Spanish-language version of Robert Ashley’s “Perfect Lives,” an opera-for-television in seven episodes, directed by Alex Waterman.

WHEN: Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Tricky Falls, 209 South El Paso St., El Paso. TX 79901
Episodes: El Bar (The Bar), El Banco (The Bank), El Supermercado (The Supermarket), El Parque (The Park)

Sunday, July 13 at 5 p.m.
Museo de la Revolucion en la Frontera, 16 de Septiembre and Avenida Juárez, 32000 Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
Episodes: La Iglesia (The Church), El Salon (The Living Room), El Patio De Atras (The Backyard)

Friday and Saturday, July 18-19 at 7:30 p.m.
Ballroom Marfa, 108 San Antonio Street, Marfa, TX 79843
Friday Episodes: El Supermercado (The Supermarket), El Banco (The Bank), La Iglesia (The Church), El Salon (The Living Room)
Saturday Episodes: El Parque (The Park), El Bar (The Bar), El Patio De Atras (The Backyard)

WHO: Produced by El Paso Opera, Ballroom Marfa, and Alexandra Rosenberg; a version premiered in April as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York City.

TICKETS: IN EL PASO: $7.50 (unreserved), $20 (reserved) and $50 (tables with service).
Available through the El  Paso Opera office 581-5534;; Tricky Falls,; or purchase them at Eloise, Bowie Feathers and Maria’s Closet.

IN JUĂ€REZ: General admission is free. VIP seating with reception is 550 pesos or $40.00 US; visit

IN MARFA: Ballroom Marfa performances have free admission; for information visit

For more on Vidas Perfectas and Robert Ashley:

The New York Times

Art in America


The Brooklyn Rail