For the fourth consecutive year, members of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra are going to Mexico to participate in an opera festival. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, SASO players performed in the Oaxaca Opera Festival. This year, the destination is the first Opera Festival of San Luis, to be held in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, July 31 to August 14, 2016. The SASO players will be departing Tucson on August 6.
Considered one of the best places to live in Mexico, San Luis Potosí is an old colonial city of about 1 million inhabitants and is located about 250 miles north of Mexico City at an altitude of 6000 feet. Festival events will take place in El Centro de Las Artes de San Luis Potosí, an excellent newly remodeled facility that was formerly a prison.
The festival will be held in conjunction with the Linus Lerner Voice Competition, which has attracted entries from young singers throughout Mexico, and also from South and North America and Europe. Linus Lerner, an internationally known vocal coach and conductor, is the Music Director of SASO.
Three fully staged operas will be presented in the festival. Two of the operas are by Mozart, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni. The third opera is Suor Angelica by Puccini. Also, a special concert of operatic arias will feature the winners of the voice competition. Members of the San Luis Potosí Symphony Orchestra will participate in the festival and share the orchestral parts with SASO.
Major financial support for the festival has been provided by several Tucson friends of SASO, including Irving Olson, Dorothy Vanek and Larry Leung.
In recent years, Mexico has become the source for some of the best emerging opera singers in the world. Linus Lerner was quick to recognize this trend. The series of opera festivals in Mexico that he has organized is designed to showcase these emerging talents and to nurture their development through workshops and individual coaching. This year, the international group of coaches includes Kristin Dauphinais, a member of the voice faculty at the University of Arizona.
For information on the opera festival and voice competition, visit this site.