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Great Opera Arias

By Michael Pearl

Zaira Soria

Mexico’s favorite tenor, Rodrigo Garciarroyo, returns to his home town to give just one concert for Pro Musica, Sunday, October 13, 5pm, St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6. I first met Rodrigo when he sang for us five years ago in a wonderful evening of arias at St. Paul’s as part of a songfest we staged with Opera San Miguel. Garciarroyo is one of those special people in this world who, when he enters a room, emanates an incredible energy that makes you involuntarily turn to look at him, however engrossed you are in another activity.

Pro Musica presents: Romance at the Opera with
Rodrigo Garciarroyo, tenor; Zaira Soria Tinoco, soprano;
Mario Alberto Hernández, piano
Sun, Oct 13, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
300/200/100 pesos

His presence radiates outward like heat from the sun and, believe me, it is a sunny energy. The cadence of his voice is filled with light and joy, whether he is singing or talking. I have been on the phone with him a lot in recent months and the moment you hear his silvery tones, flowing like crystal clear water over glistening white sand in a warm sea, it lifts your heart and brings a smile to your face.

Garciarroyo will be joined by soprano Zaira Soria Tinoco. Soria was the stunning overall winner of Opera San Miguel’s Concourso in 2010, when audiences went wild at her singing at Teatro Angela Peralta. Like Garciarroyo, she has a warmth of personality that charms all whom she meets; when she talks to you, you feel as though you are the most important person in the world to her. These two great artists have never performed together in San Miguel, but I can tell you that when they are singing duets they generate a sizzling passion and a seamless tone of melded notes that is up there with the best.

This dynamic duo will be at their best in the near perfect acoustics of St. Paul’s, with Pro Musica’s magnificent Steinway precisely matching the superb natural sound. Garciarroyo  is only 38 years old, and one cannot help but be reminded of the young Pavarotti in some ways. He has that same commanding presence, smoldering good looks and a clear tenor voice that rings out and goes straight to your heart.

We are lucky still to be able to get Rodrigo Garciarroyo to sing in San Miguel as he is starting to hit the big time. In 2011, he was the featured solo tenor in the Verdi Requiem at Lincoln Center in New York, as well as performing Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, which he so stunningly reprised for Pro Musica last season. Recently, he has appeared in principal roles in the opera house in Merida and in national opera houses in several Latin American countries.

Rodrigo is passionately committed to bringing the joys of music to young people. It was he who told me about Venezuela’s amazing La Sistema program, which has a quarter of a million children playing instruments in its numerous orchestras and ensembles. It was a direct result of his inspiring explanation that I was moved to start Pro Musica’s hugely successful Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason education outreach program, which now teaches over 250 children at underprivileged schools in the San Miguel campo for 44 weeks every year.

Rodrigo and Soria will sing solos and duets from many of your favorite grand operas of the 19th century, including Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Massenet’s Manon Lescaut, Gounod’s Faust and, of course, Puccini’s La Traviata and many more. In my article in Atención next week, I will write more about what will be sung and tell you about Zaira’s career.

Next February, Garciarroyo will be one of the stars of Pro Musica’s full scale production of Verdi’s opera, Il Trovatore, at Teatro Angela Peralta, when he will sing the role of the love-obsessed, insanely jealous Manrico. Sunday, October 13, 5pm, at St. Paul’s Church, will be your chance to preview this great voice.

Tickets for the concert are 100, 200 and 300 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; La Conexión, Aldama 3; Border Crossings, Mesones 57; St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm; and at the door half an hour before concert time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website:, or e-mail us at


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