Aires de Tango Prohibido “Awakens San Miguel”
By Frank Gaydos
On August 29, the Argentinean soprano Alicia Rappoport had the crowd standing with an array of “Bravos” and “Muchas Mas” during her solo performance at the Angela Peralta. TV producer in Mexico, Michel Amanton attended the performance: “Never in my life have I been so moved by the interpretation of a singer as I was with Alicia Rappoport. Tango by its very nature is so dramatic and melancholic, but Alicia wakened our sleeping passions.”
The evening was dedicated to tango music that was prohibited in Argentina during the 1943-47 and 1976 dictatorships. Performing in underground nightclubs and cellars during those regimes made the music more exciting and more dangerous. Argentina’s “Little Sparrow” Alicia Rappoport captured that intense feeling and transported us back in time to those dark, smoky rooms where the soul of Argentina cried out to be heard.
The performance was also dedicated to Sociedad Audubon de Mexico and their new Kids + Nature Program. After the concert, Audubon’s president, April Gaydos, expressed her appreciation to Alicia for her dynamic performance and to all those who attended the concert to support Audubon. “We feel that Audubon represents those of you want to see our environment nurtured and protected. One way to achieve that goal is to help children appreciate their natural heritage and become long term stewards of the environment.”
Many people after the concert said “This is a night to be remembered!” Although I was there to review the concert, it was difficult for me to take notes as Rappoport’s incredible voice and passion created a hypnotic state that kept us all spellbound. When she leaped onto a chair at the edge of the stage with the vitality and grace of a gymnast, I found myself in the first row ready to catch her if she flew off her perch!
There is no performance without musicians and Alicia was indeed fortunate to have the best. Nationally recognized Gabriel Fernandez on the bandoneon ably created the mood of the banned tango music of 1940’s Argentina. Equally talented Aldo Suárez on bass and Daniel Romo on piano rounded out the musical ensemble. Alicia was in capable hands and the acoustics in the Peralta carried the sensuality and passion of her voice throughout the concert hall.
She also expressed thanks to her vocal coach and stage director, Joseph McClain, who conceived the idea of combining her strong operatic voice and her dance experience to perform tango music as musical theater.
Alicia will launch an international tour in 2015, beginning with Australia. She is hoping to do another concert in San Miguel before she leaves. So if you heard the rave reviews about her recent concert and were not able to attend, you may have another chance to enjoy her marvelous performance. Wherever she goes, our hearts go with her and we hope our Argentinian sparrow comes winging back to San Miguel for many more powerful and inspiring performances.