Maria de Buenos Aires - a Surreal Operita Tango in the Vaults

  • The Vaults


  • Theatre/Arts, Something A Little Different and Themed Nights
  • 25
  • Waterloo
  • Over 18
  • This event has taken place.
  • 22:30 - 02:00

OSKAR McCARTHY and A CURIOUS INVITATION present MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES - a surreal operita tango with music by the creator of tango nuevo Argentinian bandoneonist ASTOR PIAZZOLLA and words by Uruguayan poet HORACIO FERRER.

Descend into the Vaults and mingle with the lowlife of old Buenos Aires - thieves, card sharps, pimps and whores - where the Narrator will relate the story of Piazzolla's muse, María, a prostitute born in the slums “one day when God was drunk … with a curse in her voice.” Maria is seduced by the rhythms of the tango and soon becomes “the most sorcerous singer and lover” in Buenos Aires. But her “fatal passion” arouses the wrath of the languishing bandoneonist, who, driven to madness by Maria’s unrelenting freedom, conspires with a group of robbers and brothel madames to murder her. After her death, her Shadow returns to haunt the sordid streets she once walked, and only then does Piazzolla, along with his rival the Narrator, realise the error of his ways: “Maria is music, she can’t belong to anyone!” A modern day Passion Play, full of religious allusions and black humour, set to a soundtrack of tangos, milongas and waltzes.

This intimate 90-minute masterpiece featuring an 11 piece orchestra will be presented in the setting of an abandoned carnival. After the performance guests who, like María herself, refuse to depart the scene will be invited to tango into the small hours at our after show party.

Maria de Buenos Aires is presented by Oskar McCarthy and A Curious Invitation, by arrangement with Warner Chappell Music Limited. Directed by Ella Marchment with choreography by Rachel Drazek.

Astor Piazzola

An Argentine tango composer, arranger and bandoneón player: Piazzola's oeuvre revolutionised the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.

Horacio Ferrer

A Uruguayan-born poet, Horacio Ferrer rose to fame as Piazzolla’s lyricist and longtime collaborator. He composed more than 200 songs and authored several books about tango, including El Libro del Tango which turned into a key reference work on the subject.

Producers - Oskar McCarthy and Suzette Field
Director - Ella Marchment
Musical Director - Noah Mosley (conductor 6th/7th May and 3rd/4th June)
Movement Director - Rachel Drazek
Costume Designer - Nais Molines
Assistant Musical Director - Jeremy Walker (conductor 13th/14th May)

Maria - Clare Ghigo
Cantor - Ricardo Panela
El Duende - Sergio Jaraiz Lara
Piazzolla - Martin Espindola
Chorus - Antonio Hurtado, Frankie Wakefield, Brais Breijo, Cinthia Lilen, Tania Firth, Veronica Morejon

Violin 1 - Casper Ikeda
Violin 2 - Alec Harmon
Viola - Jocelyn Coates
Cello - Rachel Twomey
Double Bass - Mark McCarthy (Chris Weaver 3rd/4th June)
Flute - Simon Williams
Guitar - Scipio Mosley
Tuned Percussion - Artemis Reed
Percussion - Fran Lombardelli
Piano - Hélène Favre-Bulle




Ticket Event time Cost
Ticket of admission 22:30 - 02:00 £25.00



Leake Street, SE1 7NN



Nearest Station

Waterloo (Tube)

Getting there

Citymapper Google Maps Gett £15 off for first riders with code DMNGETT


A Curious Invitation


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Maria de Buenos Aires - a Surreal Operita Tango in the Vaults Maria de Buenos Aires - a Surreal Operita Tango in the Vaults Maria de Buenos Aires - a Surreal Operita Tango in the Vaults Maria de Buenos Aires - a Surreal Operita Tango in the Vaults