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Opera San Miguel Announces “Concurso 2017 Festivities”

By Shari Alexander

Cheers! Standing Ovations! Prizes! Is it the Academy Awards? A national sports contest? No, it’s the 9th edition of Concurso San Miguel, Mexico’s most prestigious voice contest!

Music—Opera San Miguel Presents
“A Celebration of Nature”
The Pastoral Arias of George Frederick Handel
By Graciela Morales, soprano, Charles Oppenheim, bass, and Claudine Gómez Vuistaz, harpsichord
Sat, Feb 25, Wine Reception at 3:30pm, Concert at 4:30pm
Private Bus departs calle Cardo in front of St. Paul’s Church at 3pm
Rancho Santa Amalia, Comonfort
1200 Pesos, includes Round-trip transportation, catered wine reception, and concert.
Advance sale ONLY; Available NOW at La Conexión, Aldama 3.
A Fundraiser Benefitting the Opera San Miguel Scholarship Fund

Finalists are chosen through a rigorous application and audition process. They will converge on San Miguel for a week of musical, dramatic, and language coaching, master classes, and career counseling, culminating in the gala Final Round and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Mar 4. Tickets for this perennially sold-out event go on sale next Fri, Feb 17, at the Teatro Angela Peralta box office.

The Concurso festivities kick off on Sat, Feb 25, with a unique countryside fundraiser held at the Comonfort ranch of Opera San Miguel’s president, Alvaro Nieto, called “A Celebration of Nature: The Pastoral Arias of George Frederick Handel.” Attendees will arrive by private bus for al fresco wine, cheeses, and botanas, catered by Luna de Queso. After refreshments, guests will enter a centuries-old stone granary, converted into an intimate concert hall just for this occasion.

The legendary baroque composer, George Frederick Handel, was renowned for his love of nature. His operas and oratorios abound with songs praising trees, plants, the outdoors, and the whole of nature itself. The exciting soprano, Graciela Moráles, whose performance of Handel made her a prize winner at Concurso 2016, will be joined by bass, Charles Oppenheim, a long-time member of Opera San Miguel’s Advisory Board and one of the most respected singers in Mexico. On harpsichord will be virtuoso Claudine Gómez Vuistaz, professor of Harpsichord and Ancient Music at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México. The fundraiser promises a magical afternoon in the country with convenient round-trip transportation, exceptional food, and enchanting music. Tickets (strictly limited to 80 guests) are available exclusively at La Conexión, Aldama 3.

During the following week, the Angels of Opera San Miguel, the company’s major donors, are invited to attend the Concurso master classes, and the spectacular annual dinner and concert, thanking them for their generous support for OSM’s programs on behalf of Mexico’s most gifted young singers.

“The Angels are truly the engine behind Opera San Miguel and our Concurso,” says Artistic Director John Bills. “Box office receipts make up only a fraction of the money we must raise each year to support our scholarships and to arrange international opportunities for our singers. The rest comes from donations from our dedicated supporters and sponsors. It is their generosity which has made possible our growth from a small regional contest to one of international reputation and to be able to support our singers to perform around the world.” It’s not too late to take advantage of the many benefits which come from becoming an Angel for 2017, including complimentary Concurso tickets. Interested parties may e-mail: salexander@operasanmiguel.org for details.

Concurso Week comes to a grand finale with the final round of the competition on Mar 4 at 7:30pm at Teatro Angela Peralta. Last year’s contest awarded $350,000 pesos in career grants and performance opportunities in one of the most exciting final rounds in the contest’s history. Be forewarned: the Concurso typically sells out within days! Tickets will go on sale Fri, Feb 17, at the box office.

 

Opera San Miguel, A.C. exists solely to discover and develop 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 Opera Chorus of San Miguel, the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto, or Pro Musica Opera. We are sustained exclusively by contributions from individual donors and local businesses. Donations can be tax deductible in the US, and now in Canada at amistadcanada.org. For further information, or to join our charitable efforts, please visit operasanmiguel.org.

 

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