Opera Prize 2025

Hôtel Moctezuma

Hôtel Moctezuma is a multi-language existential thriller about decolonization and climate change.


Decolonizing opera: Hôtel Moctezuma is an original work inspired by Vivaldi’s opera Montezuma (1733) and Alejo Carpentier’s novel Concierto Barroco (1974). In Hotel Moctezuma the colonial and patriarchal narratives are switched to a perspective of decolonization and feminism. Mexican artists, composer Diana Syrse, and librettist Carlos José Pérez Sámano joined by Polish emerging director Ewa Rucinska and French choreographer Jean Hostache, all gathered to talk about decolonization, immigration, and its relation to climate change, as well as the female presence in history.

We want to use Latin American Magic Realism poetics not only as part of our narrative and visual aesthetics but also, as a non-offensive tool to open the conversation about decolonization, its relations with climate change, and female under-representation in historical narratives. The opening on the aesthetics of the onyric carnival will allow us to avoid the traps of political accusations and rather open to the world of absurd, magic, paradoxes, and non-western vision of human relations.

The use of Latin American instruments in the orchestra as well as the inclusion of languages such as Nahuatl (Aztec),Tzotzil (Mayan) in multi-language libretto, show the innovative approach of the team to the modern opera.

Xóchitl, a young Mexican woman on a European tour finally arrives at her dream destination, Venice! A meticulously planned trip promises romantic delights - sightseeing, a private gondola tour, and a candlelit dinner on Piazza San Marco. However, unforeseen complications appear. Arguments with her fiancé and a sinking luxury hotel threaten to shatter her dream vacation.

The story takes a surreal turn- Venice's beauty turns into an enigmatic maze, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. The story becomes an existential thriller, challenging our perception of reality and the nature of human relationships, making this journey a mesmerizing and thought-provoking odyssey.

Artistic Team

The core team of the project is composed of 4 artists who have been developing the opera already since 2021, since their residency "Paroles&Musique" at the National Opera and Orchestra of Montpellier. The members are Diana Syrse (composer, Mexico-Germany), Carlos José Pérez Sámano (librettist-Mexico, U.S.), Ewa Rucińska (stage director, Poland), and Jean Hostache (choreographer, France). The team has gathered around the project after meeting in 2019 in the ENOA workshop "Young Opera Makers" in Aix-en-Provence and realizing they feel a strong artistic connection, share a common admiration of the aesthetic of Magical Realism, and all their respective backgrounds are out of traditional operatic careers and can be described as...eccentric. EX-CENTRIC means weird, bizarre, out of the ordinary but at the same time it also means: not placed in the center, but in the periphery. This is a word that describes best the link that bonds such a diverse team of artists born in non-WesternEuropean countries, raised in different aesthetics, coming from non-classical backgrounds, for some sharing a wild imagination and aiming to bring a fresh and new approach to the rules and definition of what opera of tomorrow could be. All of the team members are successful in their domains and bring with them to the project a fantastic selection of collaborators (talented performers, acclaimed stage designers, experts, and advisors in decolonization).

Co-producing Partners

Teatr Narodowy



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