Gen. García (Joseph Evans), flanked by Sgt. Guzman (Pablo Bracho, left), the Lieutenant (Jonathan Green, right), and the Colonel (James Maddalena, far right), makes a speech to send off the ship while singers Chucho and Ulises (Scott Hendricks and Chad Shelton, top middle) wait above.
Gen. García (Joseph Evans), flanked by Sgt. Guzman (Pablo Bracho, left), the Lieutenant (Jonathan Green, right), and the Colonel (James Maddalena, far right), makes a speech to send off the ship while singers Chucho and Ulises (Scott Hendricks and Chad Shelton, top middle) wait above. Brett Coomer
Listening to a radio announcement, passengers aboard the Invincible realize their ship is doomed—clockwise from top left: Orquídea (Laquita Mitchell), Lucero (Ana Maria Martinez), Ulises (Chad Shelton), Magali (Zheng Cao), Chucho (Scott Hendricks), and La China (Heidi Stober).
Listening to a radio announcement, passengers aboard the Invincible realize their ship is doomed—clockwise from top left: Orquídea (Laquita Mitchell), Lucero (Ana Maria Martinez), Ulises (Chad Shelton), Magali (Zheng Cao), Chucho (Scott Hendricks), and La China (Heidi Stober). Brett Coomer
ACT ONE:The setting is the fictional Caribbean island of Salsipuedes in 1943. It's the middle of World War II, and the action opens at the Hotel Ambos Mundos.
Ulises and Chucho, singers in a popular music band, have just married sisters Lucero and Magali. While the festivities are in full swing, a military envoy interrupts. He says that Gen. García, the dictator of Salsipuedes, has declared war on Nazi Germany. Ulises and Chucho are summoned to sing the national anthem at the port. There, the ship called the Invincible will be launched to protect the island from enemy submarines. Wedding reception or not, the singers have to go.
At the port, a carnival atmosphere prevails. García gives a patriotic speech. Suddenly, the frigate starts to leave the dock before Ulises and Chucho have a chance to jump off. Their brides come down to the pier just in time to see their husbands disappear. They curse their fate.
Lucero and Magali discuss their predicament. Meanwhile, at sea, Ulises and Chucho beg Capt. Magallanes to drop them off at the nearest port so they can get back home to their brides, but the captain refuses to return until he completes his mission.
Back in the presidential office, García celebrates his declaration of war. While he wants to be known as a hero, he also sees the opportunity to make some money by secretly selling Caribbean delicacies — especially anchovies — to the Germans. So Magallanes' mission, as it turns out, is a rather pedestrian one: to deliver those precious anchovies.
Magallanes docks at the remote Puerto Alegre. There he meets his liaison with the Nazis, Madame Colette, in her run-down bar, where Ulises and Chucho begin to drown their sorrows. The captain announces he will head for home that night. Two young women, La China and Orquídea, have been flirting with Ulises and Chucho. They hear the announcement and beg Magallanes to take them to the big city on board his ship. Magallanes agrees, and they leave to get their suitcases.
Outside the bar, who should they bump into but Lucero and Magali, exhausted from their travels in search of their missing husbands. When Lucero and Magali ask them if they know anything about the ship, the girls reply that's exactly where they're headed and drop a little hint that two famous singers are expecting them. Jealous and angry at their husbands' apparent betrayal, the brides also board the frigate. A moment later, Ulises and Chucho stagger out of the bar, singing about their impending reunion with their wives. Little do they know what awaits them.
ACT TWO: A party is going full throttle on board the ship. Lucero and Magali are disguised so Ulises and Chucho won't recognize them. The wives decide to play a little game of competition with the flirtatious girls La China and Orquídea. But it proves to be too much, and Magali leaves the party in tears. Lucero then puts a stop to everything by revealing her identity to Ulises.
Up on deck, Magali sadly sings about her husband's betrayal. Chucho appears and begins to explain everything. It's then that they discover that Magallanes is communicating with the German submarines. They raise the alarm and seize the captain.
Unaware that García is also involved, the young lieutenant gets in touch with the Presidential Palace. García loses his cool, and blames Guzmán, his right-hand man. Guzmán will have none of it. Seeing this as his chance to grab power, he pulls out his gun and shoots García. He then announces to the nation that García has taken his own life and that Nazi submarines have sunk the Invincible, with its full cargo of national heroes. There are no survivors.
All on board become terrified as they realize that the Invincible has no firepower. To top it off, they're surrounded. Magallanes decides to sacrifice himself to save his honor. While he creates a distraction, drawing fire to the ship, the others escape in lifeboats. Magallanes dies for them, fighting the German submarines to the end. Ulises, Lucero, Chucho, and Magali realize that they can have a fresh start, even if it is on a remote island in the Caribbean. In the distance, they see a port called Good Fortune. As they begin to row, the opera ends.