How do you express the bond between lifelong friends, musical partners, and mutual icons of mariachi when only one of them remains? That challenge is at the center of Totalmente Juan Gabriel, Aida Cuevas’ arresting 2018 ode to the late singer, songwriter, and Mexican pop icon Juan Gabriel. Cuevas, known as the Queen of Ranchera, is uniquely suited to the task: she has long challenged a historically male-dominated genre with her operatic range, a voice strong enough to overcome a dozen amplified instruments, and performances that overflow with passion. The Kansas City Star proclaims, “[Aida] Cuevas is to Mexico what Aretha Franklin is to the United States: a powerful voice that encapsulates the essence of her nation’s spirit.” In 2018, Cuevas became the first female ranchera singer to win a GRAMMY for Best Regional Mexican Music Album. She has now become the only artist authorized by Gabriel’s estate to record and tour his music. In Durham, Cuevas joins Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlán, an accomplished band that includes a five-piece violin section, three trumpets, a vihuela, and a guitarrón. In this dazzling production, they celebrate Gabriel’s bold sound and spectacular style. This essential celebration of traditional Mexican music celebrates the remarkable careers of two wildly popular and unforgettable artists.