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Free Lunchtime Concert in Bellas Artes

San Miguel Institue Tenors warm up at Bellas Artes

By Alexis White

Some of the world’s most beautiful arias will soar toward the heavens when the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto presents a special afternoon program, Tenors Under the Trees/Música de los Tenores Bajo los Arboles. The free concert, sponsored by the Festival Internacional de Música San Miguel de Allende, will take place on Saturday, August 13, at 1pm in the Bellas Artes courtyard. The Institute is headquartered at Bellas Artes.

Tenors Under the Trees
Presented by San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto
Sat, Aug 13, 1pm
Courtyard of Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75

Octavio Rivas and José Muñiz, two alumni of the Institute’s 2015 program, will be joined by six tenors, new this year to the Institute’s intensive four-week program, in a presentation of arias and a few surprises. Rivas has won awards at a number of opera festivals and concursos de canto. Last year, he caught the attention of Institute faculty member Laura Brooks Rice, who co-directs the cooperative program of the renowned Westminster Choir College. Rivas auditioned and became a program member. “It was a remarkable experience that never would have been on my horizon without the connections provided by the San Miguel Institute,” Rivas said.

Not all of the tenors started out studying opera. Singapore native Jianghai Ho was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and made a switch. “I was drawn to opera by the scale of emotions and the heightened sense of drama that opera offers,” he explained.

The emotional nature of human beings also was a magnet for Culiacán native Alonso Sicairos, who had been a student of psychology at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa and sang in musicals until he met the late Eric Steinman. An American ex-pat with a Juilliard degree, Steinman founded and directed the Opera Metropolitana de Monterrey. “He discovered me as a singer and became my mentor. Every achievement I attain is dedicated to him,” said Sicairos, whose Fenton in the 2013 Festival Cultural Sinaloa production of “Falstaff” received great reviews. The tenor recently performed in the Mexico City company Escenia Ensamble with Institute soprano Yamel Domort and is a soloist with the Sinfónica de la Marina-Armada de México.

Edgar Ricaud has been heard on XHNSS-TV in Nogales, Sonora. He was a University of Arizona engineering student until a stint in an opera chorus changed his world. “I realized that singing was my passion,” said Ricaud, who performed in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Gianni Schicchi in the 2014 Miami Music Festival.

DePaul University student Eric Brett always was an opera fan, having grown up with a sister who sang in operas. His high school in Joliet, Illinois, was among the state’s few that offered an opera scenes program. “My first performance was as Leporello in Don Giovanni, and to this day that experience continues to affect my life in ways I never dreamed imaginable,” Brett said. “I discovered the love I have for performance and opera.”

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