A Way Home synopsis

May 4, 2012 at 11:53 am

A Way Home – Synopsis

Cecila Duarte as Gracie in HGO's production of A Way Home

As the opera begins, Marisol has just passed away, leaving her husband and daughter behind, and has returned as a Monarch butterfly. In order to survive the winter as a butterfly, Marisol must travel back to her hometown in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, for safe haven in the Oyamel firs. Marisol travels with Kárani, the lead butterfly of the migration, who acts as her spiritual guide. Meanwhile, Gracie (daughter) and Thomas (husband) begin their trip to Mexico in order to complete Marisol’s last wishes – to meet Marisol’s estranged father, Agustin, and scatter her ashes in the butterfly reserve.

As Thomas and Gracie make their way to Mexico, Marisol is never far behind. Though they cannot see her, Marisol continues to try to comfort her daughter and husband, lamenting their pain. Kárani helps Marisol embrace her new identity, and as Gracie and Thomas cross into Mexico, the two butterflies celebrate their freedoms from the human burden of borders.

When Thomas and Gracie arrive in Mexico, they go to Marisol’s childhood home and meet Agustin. Agustin never forgave Marisol over her emigration to the United States, and he lambasts Thomas for honoring her wishes to be cremated. The argument is left unresolved, and Gracie and Thomas depart for the butterfly reserve to lay Marisol to rest.

During their hike, Gracie and her father bicker. Thomas goes off to find the right spot to scatter Marisol’s ashes, and Gracie bolts to the woods, attempting to prove she no longer needs her father’s guidance. However, she loses her way in the vast reserve, and collapses in despair as night draws near. Realizing Gracie is gone, Thomas and Agustin resolve their differences in order to find her. As they search, Marisol and Kárani arrive just in time to save Gracie from the freeze of night. As the opera closes, Marisol has found her way home, and her family has learned to understand the dual nature of that home.

Libretto by Irene Keliher

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