Opera San Miguel Makes “Spectacular ” US Debut
By Shari Alexander
Opera San Miguel made an auspicious US debut on August 28th in the chic resort town of Southampton, NY. The local company presented four of its up-and-coming young stars in “Master Class LIVE!” led by Metropolitan Opera star Maureen O’Flynn. Graciela Morales, Jacinta Barbachano, César Delgado, and Jorge Ruvalcaba made up the quartet of singers performing before an audience comprised in part by artists from the Met, the Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in New York City, Ms. Caterina Toscano, and other VIP invitees.
Maureen O’Flynn starred for 28 years at virtually every major opera house in the world: Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg Staatsoper; in all the great Italian opera houses, including Teatro La Fenice in Venice, La Scala in Milan, Palermo, Naples, and the Arena di Verona; and in the U.S at the MET, New York City Opera, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and San Diego. As Opera San Miguel’s Artist-in-Residence, each year Ms. O’Flynn coaches the finalists of Concurso San Miguel and conducts public master classes.
Praise for the Southampton event was universal, with the Southampton Press writing: “This was the first U.S. performance by the company and I truly hope not the last. Opera San Miguel is committed to finding and nurturing talented young singers in Mexico, and if this was any indication of the talent there, we are all in for a real treat.” The reviewer went on to describe the “four incredibly talented singers” and to say “I feel so enriched by having had the pleasure of listening to these wonderful performers. Thank you to all involved for this amazing evening.”
The event was presented by the Southampton Cultural Center (SCC), and was made possible in part by SIVAM (Sociedad Internacional de Valores de Arte Mexicano), Interjet Airlines, Verdad Vineyards, and Sherwood House Vineyards. SCC director Kirsten Lonnie said, “It was a spectacular and enriching master class. Thank you for bringing such a joyful event to Southampton and the stage of the Cultural Center. We are proud to have hosted the US debut of Opera de San Miguel.”
As part of its mission under the leadership of Artistic Director John Bills, Opera San Miguel provides and facilitates national and international performing opportunities for the young singers discovered through its annual contest, Concurso San Miguel. In recent years OSM singers have debuted in Montreal, Amsterdam, Valencia and Moscow, as well as at the Los Angeles Opera, the Bard Festival, and the Metropolitan Opera. This is the first time Bills has produced an event in the United States to showcase the company and demonstrate the breadth of operatic talent in Mexico for an American audience. “Maureen and I are so proud of these young people and we are delighted with this successful debut in the United States,” says Bills. “I am delighted to announce that we have been invited back to the Southampton Cultural Center next season, and we plan to repeat this program in San Miguel this winter.”
Opera San Miguel, A.C. is a charitable organization that exists solely to discover and nurture the careers of the most promising of Mexico’s young opera singers, through grants for advanced study and professional expenses and by providing and facilitating performances for its singers around the world. OSM is not affiliated with the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto or Pro Musica Opera. We are not a tuition-funded program. We are sustained exclusively by contributions from individual donors and local businesses. Donations are tax deductible in the US and Canada. For further information, or to join our charitable efforts, please visit www.operasanmiguel.org or email SAlexander@operasanmiguel.org.