Two million lottery tickets for the Ángela Peralta
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In May of this year, the Teatro Ángela Peralta turned 140. In commemoration, the National Lottery issued 2.4 million lottery tickets printed with the image of the façade of this building that throughout the years has became the most important venue for festivals and events in the city.
The Ángela Peralta is not just one of the most iconic buildings in San Miguel, but the venue for the most important events in the city. It has been the venue for Festival Expresión en Corto (GIFF nowadays), the Chamber Music Festival, and the Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as for national conferences. It has also been the stage for the internationally renowned singer Pedro Vargas —he was a sanmiguelense—who performed in 1986 with Armando Manzanero and the singer Susana Zabaleta, who in 2006 reopened the venue with the concert “For Giving Rope to the World.” Plaques of these events are displayed on the walls of the theater.
Eleazar Romero, director of the Traffic Department, said that the theater has been the venue for concerts of the most outstanding Mexican singers, from Luis Miguel to Eugenia León, as well as for tenor Fray José Guadalupe Mojica.
The venue was inaugurated on May 20, 1873. The current façade was constructed in a classic style in 1914 by master mason don Antonio de la Serna. The building is the result of a private initiative which collected resources from the private and public sector when it was realized that there were no suitable venues for major events in the city.
Two years later—in 1873—they inaugurated the construction with walls of adobe (thick raw-clay bricks) and a ceiling of tejamanil (wooden-tile). Those involved in the construction invited the most popular soprano of the time, Ángela Peralta, to inaugurate the site. Because of her voice, she was known as the Mexican Nightingale. According to Romero, a carriage was constructed specially to transport the singer from the Puente de Guanajuato to the historic center. According to the story, Angela Peralta’s arrival was so emotional that the sanmiguelenses removed the mules from the carriage and pulled it into town themselves.
Eleazar Romero said that staff of the Education and Culture Department, before the 140th anniversary of the theater, requested the National Lottery to run the image of the theater on a ticket. Currently, more than 2 million tickets have been distributed across the country. The official presentation of the ticket was held on November 29 in Mexico City, during the 2374th raffle of the lottery, with a major prize of 15 million pesos. During the ceremony, Romero, as representative of mayor Mauricio Trejo, received an enlarged replica of the ticket.
Coming events at the theater
In December, several Christmas theater plays, known as pastorelas are scheduled in the theater. Their goal is to announce the arrival of the infant Jesus.
Teatral 2013, the newest festival in the city, started on December 1 and will end this Saturday, December 8, at 8pm with the play La vida no vale nada (Life is not worth anything). This play, a production of the State Institute of Culture, is a tribute to the popular Mexican composer José Alfredo Jimenez, who, after crossing the river of death, asks Death to allow him one more visit to the earth in order write his last song, and his wish is granted. During his return, he faces all those lovers who made him suffer, sad and happy memories and experiences that surrounded his life. Tickets are on sale at the box office.
Without doubt, the most famous classic ballet with a Christmas topic is The Nutcracker—with all its variations depending upon to the company. On December 15 and 16 at 8pm, Gravity Kids will present an aerial version of that tale,in which Clarita receives a nutcracker as Christmas present.
The actor who plays the Nutcracker wrote, “When they told me I would be the nutcracker again this year, I did not imagine the applause, the lights focused only on me or the awwws! of the audience. I imagined a completely different version; I remembered the long hours of practice; the all-round tiredness. I felt the sore muscles every morning and the nervousness I felt in the months before the show” but she assured that they will offer a spectacular show in their two performances. Tickets
will be on sale at the box office, 200, 150, 100 and 50 pesos.
On December 17 a group of students from the Technological University of San Miguel de Allende (UTSMA) will perform the pastorela “Pastores somos y en el camino… A dónde vamos?” (Shepherds we are and on the path… Where do we go?)
On December 18 at 7pm, a theater group headed by traditionalist Toña Guerrero will present the Christmas play The Time Has Come to benefit the municipal DIF; the prices are 30, 20 and 10 pesos, and the tickets will be available at the box office.
Finally, on December 19 and 21 at 8pm, a group of players will perform the pastorela, The Hidden Treasure. Doña Lupita Rosas said that this group was formed 26 years ago and yearly, since then, they have been presenting different plays in the city. The Hidden Treasure was written by Wilibaldo López from Querétaro. According to Rosas, the play tells the story of a group of shepherds who have learned that the infant Jesus will be born in Bethlehem and are on their way to find him. In their path, the faithful shepherds are threatened and tempted by some demons whose goal it is to stop them before they can reach Bethlehem. The demons also annoy Joseph and Mary when they are asking for shelter. –The demons install fake doors and deny the entrance to the pilgrims—Finally, the shepherds and the pilgrims are rescued by St. Michael the Archangel. The actors have been rehearsing the play for two months. Rosas commented that it will feature Christmas carols and lots of humor. Tickets at the box office, 30, 20 and 10 pesos.