SASO, Enrique Toussaint, Festival Soloists Perform Free Concert Sept. 15

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and vocalists from the San Luis PotosĂ­ Opera Festival join forces to perform a free public concert in celebration of Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. the Fox Theatre.

The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson, in collaboration with the Instituto Cultural Mexicano de Tucson, SASO and the Fox Theatre Tucson, presents this commemoration of the 206th anniversary of Mexican Independence.

The concert features arias sung by vocalists who performed this summer at the first Opera Festival of San Luis Potosí, founded by SASO music director Linus Lerner. The selections span from Gershwin and Gounod to Dvorák, Puccini, Donizetti, Mozart and Verdi.

The program also features jazz pieces performed on electric bass guitar by Enrique Toussaint, whose late brother Eugenio composed some of the works. They formed a popular band called Sacbé in 1976, a musical project with an original, Latin-American identity. In addition, SASO will perform two works by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez: Conga Del Fuego Nuevo and Danzón No. 2.

Lerner is an internationally known vocal coach and conductor. He said, “In recent years, Mexico has become the source of some of the best emerging opera singers in the world.” He organized a series of opera festivals in Mexico to showcase these emerging talents and to nurture their development through workshops and individual coaching. In addition to the inaugural festival and Linus Lerner Vocal Competition in San Luis Potosí, SASO musicians performed at three summer opera festivals in Oaxaca in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The Mexican Independence Day concert includes these soloists from Mexico and their featured arias. This program is subject to change.

  • Ricardo LĂłpez of Mexico, baritone and winner of five awards in the voice competition, including the top prize: arias from operas by Gounod, Verdi and Donizetti
  • Andrea Cortes-Moreno of Mexico, soprano and prize winner in the voice competition: Gershwin’s “My Man’s Gone Now” from Porgy and Bess; Puccini’s “Mi chiamano Mimi” from La Bohème, “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca and “Un bel di vedremo” from Madama Butterfly
  • Elizabeth Barrios of Puerto Rico, soprano: Leoncavallo’s “Stridono lassù” from Pagliacci, Dvorák’s “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka and Puccini’s “Musetta’s Waltz” from La Bohème
  •  Liliana del Conde of Mexico City, soprano: Donizetti’s “Quel guardo il cavaliere” from Don Pasquale, Mozart’s “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni (with Ricardo LĂłpez), Mozart’s “Der Hölle Rache” from The Magic Flute and “Verdi’s “E strano … Sempre libera” from La Traviata 

This is SASO’s third annual Mexican Independence Day celebration concert. Ricardo Pineda, Consul of Mexico in Tucson, has said, “We want to share with the public our rich historical and cultural legacy and our different traditions. This event seeks to bring our communities together in remembrance of those who have forged the history of Mexico.”

On the eve of September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called upon the residents of the town of Dolores, Hidalgo to rise up against the government of New Spain. This call to arms began an 11-year struggle that culminated with the Cordoba Treaties and the birth of a new nation.

The Fox Theatre Tucson, which seats 1,200, is in downtown Tucson at 17 W. Congress St. The event is open to the public at no charge. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Founded in 1979, SASO presents world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and classical favorites. The orchestra is a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a passion for music – locally and internationally. For more information call 308-6226 or visit www.sasomusic.org

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