We have been gratified by the quality of music here in the area. Three concerts, all free, have demonstrated the commitment of Michoacán to the promotion of music. In general we've found Mexico to be very interested in the arts, to the extent that both the state and national governments provide financial and logistical support to artists and communities.
The first two concerts were in Morelia, in the theater of the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, an attractive venue with comfortable padded seats and ample leg room (something we often wish for, in theaters and airlines) in the center of Morelia. These were performances by the University's Chamber Orchestra, and both concerts had an overflow crowd with dozens of people standing at the back of the theater and more sitting in the aisles. We met friends in Morelia for a quick early meal and then walked the short distance to the theater.
In contrast to the concerts we've attended in Salida, a large percentage of the audience was young. This can be attributed to the fact that the Conservatorio de las Rosas, in Morelia, was the first music academy in the Americas and still produces a quantity of excellent musicians. The Conservatory is a pleasant place to visit, and while strolling around the central courtyard you can hear music from the practice rooms. True to its name, there are many rose bushes growing there and, unlike the blowsy hybrids we're used to, these have fragrance.
Both concerts were expertly conducted and performed, with gusto and great skill. Soloists at the first concert were a young trumpeter from the State of Mexico and a soprano from nearby Irapuato, but the second concert's soloists (violin and guitar) were all from the Conservatory and had a large local (and vocal) following. We've heard music from both Mexican composers and more familiar ones like Bach, Mozart, Purcell, Vivaldi, Handel, and Boccherini so far.
The next chamber orchestra concert will be on February 16, but our dilemma is that the State Orchestra is having its 2011 debut performance on the same night. Decisons, decisions.
|A capacity audience|
|Photo by Klaus Willeke|
|Attentive young audience members|