THE DESERT ROSE MUSICAL Staged Reading to be Presented at The San Diego Repertory Theatre

Rosalinda, a young farmworker woman becomes an international pop star and loses her soul along the way. Only love can save her.

By: Dec. 06, 2021

THE DESERT ROSE MUSICAL Staged Reading to be Presented at The San Diego Repertory Theatre

The Desert Rose musical is a story about the triumph of pure love over evil in a setting that shows some of the most disinherited yet essential workers in our society, migrant farmworkers, and Mexican immigrants. Life presents forces to contend with and choices that have deep consequences. Rosalinda, a young farmworker woman becomes an international pop star and loses her soul along the way. Only love can save her.

Throughout this new musical eclectic dynamic music and powerful universal themes ignite the soul.

The creative journey has evolved over the last year and included development of the script which began August of 2020. Since then, the San Diego Repertory Theater produced an online reading of this work.

The Desert Rose was originally conceptualized by Federico Lanuza and Cynthia Morales 1985 and in 2019 his daughter Celeste Lanuza decided to finally produce and work on the musical while keeping its relevance to today. The book for the musical has been developed by a team of writers that include Federico Lanuza, Cynthia Morales, Celeste Lanuza, and Herbert Siguenza. Lyrics are by mother, father, and daughter team Celeste Lanuza, Cynthia Morales, and Federico Lanuza. Mr. Lanuza is the leading composer of this piece, and his daughter Ms. Lanuza joins as a Co-Composer collaborating to create additional songs in the score.

San Diego Repertory Theatre, playwright in residence Herbert Siguenza, and the Lanuza family bring this musical staged presentation as an opportunity for potential sponsors, donors, and partners to assist in the development of this musical with hopes to fully produce the work in the next year.

Ms. Lanuza produced The Desert Rose as a part of the Off-Broadway NYC International Fringe Festival at the Kraine Theater in Lower Manhattan to a sold-out house October of 2019, and as a musical concert at the Green Room 42 just one week before the COVID pandemic March of 2020, as well as at the San Diego Repertory Theater in January of 2020.

San Diego native and recent lead actress in the San Diego Repertory Theater's production of Octavio Solis' Mother Road, Celeste Lanuza, is the leading producer of this musical and has worn many hats from Co-writer, Co-Director, Co-Musical Director, Choreographer, and Actress of the Desert Rose. Her career in theater performing and choreographing at the Guthrie Theater, starring at The Old Globe Theater, and vast experience producing her music, and dance theater works at the San Diego Repertory and beyond energizes this endeavor. Continually collaborating musically with her father in current theater and film compositions stimulates the Desert Rose eclectic score.

Federico Lanuza has recently composed for the Mark Taper Forum in LA for the film episodes called Salvi Chronicles, the film 57 Chevy, and Buford Gomez episodes presented by the San Diego Repertory Theater. He has also composed for Academy Award nominated film In the Name of the People, PBS Film 1492. Federico is returning to theater from past engagements with The Old Globe Theater, as musical arranger for Corridos Remix by Luis Valdez, and La Jolla Playhouse to name a few.

Cynthia Morales' past work in the migrant fields in her late teens, Federico Lanuza's years growing up in Tijuana as a working childhood musician, their collective work with migrant students and families in education, and Ms. Lanuza's as a Chicana in-between two cultures inspired this work. The creators of this musical come from a family of immigrants from Mexico and Honduras who inspire this story.

Bringing a full Latinx creative team is important because it is still rare to have a writers, directors, choreographers, and composers behind Latinx stories.

The team of actors for this upcoming San Diego musical staged performance includes Herbert Siguenza, Celeste Lanuza, Victor E. Chan, Jason Heil, Marlene Montes, Julio Hanson, Susan DeLeon, Natalia Hill, Belen Siguenza, and Dino Beltran.

This performance is directed by Herbert Siguenza, musical directed by Federico Lanuza, and choreographed by Celeste Lanuza and will also be accompanied by live music.

Musical genres in this musical score range from Mexican indigenous, blues rock, Chicano oldies, cumbia, pop, bolero, polka/norteño, flamenco rumba, classical, and Latin Pop.


Private Showing for potential sponsors and producers

The staged reading presentation for The Desert Rose is free and accepting donations at the door as well as online tax-deductible donations through Fractured Atlas. Additional information and questions may be inquired by contact

The Desert Rose Staged Performance will take place at The San Diego Repertory Theater in Downtown San Diego, Monday December 13th, 2021, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

RSVP here:

All patrons, including children, attending San Diego REP performances must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the prior 72-hours.
- All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their
nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue.
- You will not receive a ticket. Your name will be at the door.