Concurso San Miguel finals tomorrow night
Widely considered the most exciting musical event of the season, the final round of Concurso San Miguel 2014 will be held tomorrow at 7:30pm at Teatro Ángela Peralta. Presented annually by Opera San Miguel, the top young opera singers in Mexico will be competing for more than 200,000 pesos in career grants and performing opportunities.
This year’s final round is expected to be one of the most closely contested in the Concurso’s six year history. Of the 12 competing, 10 have made it to the final round in previous years, returning this year with even more experience and proficiency. They will be joined by two exceptional young singers appearing in San Miguel de Allende for the first time.
Finalists have been in the city all week participating in musical, dramatic and language coachings, aria preparation, and two days of master classes with Metropolitan Opera star tenor Michael Sylvester. Today they will rest their voices, but will be participating in day-long career counseling, in both group and individual sessions, where this year’s panel of distinguished judges will share their wisdom and experience with the young artists. Opera San Miguel provides housing for the singers during their stay, through its loyal volunteers, and gives the singers a stipend for their expenses. “The variety of experiences to which our finalists are exposed during Concurso Week makes our contest unique in Mexico,” says John Bills, Artistic Director of Opera San Miguel, “all made possible through the generous contributions of San Miguel’s international community.” Opera San Miguel is totally funded through private donations from individuals and businesses here, principally by Los Ángeles de la Ópera, a group of major donors who are the engine behind the company’s efforts on behalf of Mexico’s most promising singers.
Mr. Bills each year also invites several Invitados Especiales, singers who have been especially impressive in the contest’s preliminary round, and whom he wants to encourage, but for reasons of age or other circumstances he doesn’t yet want to expose to the rigors of the competition. “We invite these young people to observe the week’s activities and we give them two opportunities to perform,” he says, “once for our Opera Angels at our annual thank you dinner, and then for our Concurso audience during the judge’s final deliberations.” Several of these invitees have returned as full-fledged finalists in later years.
Remaining tickets for Concurso San Miguel 2014 are available at the theater’s box office. The public is invited to congratulate the singers at an after party at the rooftop Sunset Bar & Lounge directly across from the theater, at 101 Mesones. Donation is 200 pesos and includes one drink and complimentary botanas.