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Concurso San Miguel Winners Gain International Recognition

Opera San Miguel stars César Delgado, Alejandra Sandoval, Diana Peralta and Carlos López in East Hampton, NY

By Shari Alexander

Open almost any magazine or newspaper these days and the words pop out: San Miguel de Allende, Best City; Best Destination, Best Vacation Spot…you name it. Now you can add: Best Booster of Young Opera Stars! As Pro Ópera magazine says, Opera San Miguel (OSM) and its Concurso San Miguel now do more for promoting the careers of young Mexican singers than any other contest in Mexico, even more than the national government.

Mexican singers discovered and promoted by Opera San Miguel are achieving international success in France, Italy, New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Montreal, Barcelona, even China—and most recently in Spain, Manhattan, and the Hamptons!

Just last week, winners from Concurso San Miguel swept the top prizes at the 36th International Voice Competition in Spain, Ciudad de Logroño—La Rioja. First prize in the women’s category was won by soprano María Caballero, who in March won third prize at Concurso San Miguel X. First prize in the men’s category was won by baritone Germán Olvera, who in 2013 was the first-prize winner of Concurso San Miguel. Additionally, third prize in Logroño was won by baritone Pablo Aranday, who won second prize in Concurso San Miguel 2015.

Occurring almost simultaneously, a quartet of former prize winners of Concurso San Miguel starred in two performances with the Choral Society of the Hamptons, in East Hampton, NY, and the following evening in New York City. Soprano Alejandra Sandoval, mezzo-soprano Diana Peralta, tenor César Delgado, and baritone Carlos López sang the solo parts in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. All four were chosen by conductor John Daly Goodwin for a special prize presented at Concurso San Miguel 2017 and were pronounced “simply superb” by the East Hampton Star in its review. Goodwin was celebrating a return to the Hamptons choral group he led for nine years in the 1990s. He is best known as conductor and artistic director of the prestigious New York Choral Society, which he led for 25 years.

In even more exciting news, several European engagements have recently been announced for winners of Concurso San Miguel X. In the coming days, María Caballero will sing a final audition for a year-long contract at the opera in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. Also in Regensburg, tenor Octavio Rivas will sing Ismaele in Verdi’s Nabucco and Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca. Tenor César Delgado was engaged for Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in Regensburg and for the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Netherlands Touring Opera.

After ten successful years of Concurso San Miguel, and with the creative vision of its Artistic Director John Bills, an environment has been created where it is no longer a rarity for Mexican singers to appear on the world’s finest opera stages. One more reason to declare San Miguel de Allende the best!


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