Concert Will Bring Mexican and Argentinean Popular Songs with Supertitles
By Fredric Dannen
I grew up listening to the songs of Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and George and Ira Gershwin, captivated not only by the beautiful melodies but the poetic lyrics.
Like many North Americans, I was largely ignorant of Spanish-language popular songs—even unaware that the Dinah Washington hit “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” was in fact a Mexican song with transplanted English words. It was not until I moved to México that I became acquainted with the marvelous works of songwriters such as Armando Manzanero, Lucho Gatica, and Álvaro Carrillo, among others. Their songs are widely classified as boleros. Meanwhile, I was introduced to the oeuvre of Argentinean songwriters such as Carlos Gardel, whose irresistible songs are typically classified as tangos.
When the Mexican pianist Alberto Macedo and the Argentinean singer Pablo Buniak approached me about producing their show of boleros and tangos at the San Miguel Playhouse—a show called Tangos y Boleros de Amor y Desamor (“Songs of Love and Heartbreak”)—I jumped at the opportunity. Macedo is a world-class pianist who got discovered as the resident pianist at the Four Seasons Hotel in México City, entertaining the likes of Madonna and Luciano Pavarotti at private parties. He has gone on to perform widely in Latin America and Europe. Buniak, meaningwhile, a recipient of Argentina’s prestigious Estella de Mar award, is an internationally known vocalist.
As I was scheduling the show, a thought occurred to me. The San Miguel Playhouse is equipped, like many opera houses, with a system for supertitles—projected translations. I use the system for most of my productions. Last year, for instance, I produced The Madres, a play set in Argentina, in Spanish with English supertitles. At a promotional concert for The Madres, held before the play opened, the actor/singer Rodrigo Demian performed an Argentinean song and said wistfully that he wished he had had supertitles so that everyone might understand the song’s haunting lyrics.
So, for the first time, the Macedo/Buniak tango and bolero show will be presented with supertitles, providing a simultaneous English translation of the songs they perform—the perfect introduction to persons unacquainted with the enchanting repertoire of Spanish-language popular songs. For those who already know the repertoire, it will be a chance to hear two outstanding artists performing songs such as “El día que me quieras” (Carlos Gardel), “Contigo en la distancia” (Lucho Gatica), “El último café” (Julio Sosa), and “Esperaré” (Armando Manzanero), among others.
There will be two performances of Tangos y Boleros de Amor y Desamor at the San Miguel Playhouse, on Thursday, January 24, and Friday, January 25. Both shows are at 7pm.
Reserved-seat tickets are 200 pesos, available online via sanmiguelplayhouse.com, boletocity.com, or at the Boleto City ticket kiosk on the second floor of the Mercado Sano, Ancha de San Antonio 123, Monday–Saturday, 11am–5pm.
The San Miguel Playhouse is located at Avenida Independencia 82 and features free secured parking and taxi concierge service.
“Tangos y Boleros de Amor y Desamor” (Songs of Love and Heartbreak)
Pablo Buniak, voice
Alberto Macedo, piano
Thu–Fri, Jan 24–25, 7pm
San Miguel Playhouse
Avenida Independencia 82
Boleto City, Mercado Sano, Ancha de San Antonio 123
sanmiguelplayhouse.com or boletocity.com