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Stars of La Bohème sing at Pro Musica’s Gala Fundraiser

By Michael Pearl

Only a few miles outside San Miguel de Allende, but a galaxy away in well-being, is the Los Ricos community. It is isolated, lacks medical and other facilities and has a shortage of basic utilities. For the necessities of life, families must travel to San Miguel, which means walking miles to a bus stop on the main road. The village has a primary school with about 70 children, and it is here that Pro Musica initiated its ground-breaking program, Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason, teaching the basics of music to all the children in the school.

Pro Musica’s Gala Fundraiser benefitting Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason
Champagne reception & three-course dinner
Sat, Feb 9, 5pm
Hotel Posada de la Aldea, Upper Sala, Ancha de San Antonio 15
Entertainment by La Bohème stars and children of Los Ricos School
US$100 per person

It costs US$4,000 per year for each school to provide the instruments, teaching, and transport to teach the course for 44 weeks each year. Last year, the program was extended to a second school, similar in nature, Pedro Moreno. This year we want to extend the program to a third school near Atotonilco.

To underwrite the expansion of this program, Pro Musica is hosting its first ever Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, February 9. All profits from the event will benefit Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason.

It will be a spectacular occasion, held during San Miguel’s opera week, when Pro Musica’s own production of Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème, will play for three performances at Teatro Ángela Peralta. The Gala is on the Saturday night between opera performances; the stars of the opera will all be performing at the Gala, and are donating their services. The evening will begin at 5pm, with a reception in the atrium of the upper sala of Hotel Posada de la Aldea, where guests will watch the sun set with spectacular views of La Parroquia, whilst sipping champagne.

A three-course gourmet dinner with wine follows, catered by one of San Miguel’s finest chefs. Immediately before dinner, a dozen of the most talented children from Los Ricos School will perform on the instruments they are being taught, ranging from marimbas through pre-Hispanic flutes, to our own custom-developed-and-built acoustic guitars. The children last performed at Pro Musica’s Day of the Dead Altar event, when they astonished an audience of several hundred people with their talent, enthusiasm and the confidence of their playing.

The highlight of the evening, after dinner, will be a wide-ranging program of songs performed by the stars of La Bohème, including Rodrigo Garciarroyo, accompanied on the magnificent Bosendorfer grand piano by maestro Mario Alberto Hernandez, the music director of La Boheme. Included will be numbers from well known Broadway musicals, Mexican favorites, zarzuela and opera arias (but not La Bohème!)

Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason is directed by one of San Miguel’s most talented musicians and teachers, a true renaissance man, Tim Hazell. The program is not just about teaching music. The techniques he has developed for our program are of universal application and they have already been adopted by the school to fast track the children in learning other subjects. The joy of music-making gives the children a confidence, a joy in life and an opportunity for self-expression, which they would not otherwise have. It also teaches them to cooperate and value the other children they play with, to be members of a team, and to gain vital life skills they would not otherwise acquire.

Numbers at the Gala are strictly limited to 100 people, so the evening will be intimate and exclusive. Tickets are very reasonably priced at US$100 each and may be purchased directly through Pro Musica by emailing your ticket request to and through our website, on the La Bohème page.

For those wanting to attend both La Bohème and the Gala, we also have VIP packages available, which include tickets for the opera and the Gala Fundraiser and an invitation to the cast party after Sunday’s closing performance, as well as other benefits. Priced at little more than the ticket prices, these represent an outstanding value for the money. They are available as described above.

You can make a difference to the lives of hundreds of underprivileged children living in the campo around San Miguel by attending Pro Musica’s Gala Fundraiser, and have a tremendous amount of fun as well. We invite you to join us for what promises to be a unique occasion.

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