Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cervantino Day 4: Sasha Rozhdestvensky in Mellado;opera Verdi Ritrovato on Casa Cuatro roof

Going up, up from San Clemente, you come to the barrio of Mellado, with its Temple, its history, its many legends and of course its residents. As part of the series Cervantino a la comunidad that takes Festival events to communities in the state, today Sasha Rozdestvensky played Barroque, contemporary and Russian music for his small audience, about thirty people facing the violinist and the religious paintings behind  him.

Why only a few came to listen? Perhaps because the free series is new, perhaps because only a few in Mellado cared, but for sure the event was poorly (at most) publicized by the state officials who had the responsibility. Let´s hope for a second year when no one is satisfied with a program that mainly exists on paper. By the way, although Sasha looks serious when playing, he is trilingual (Russian, Spanish, English & maybe more), and in person looks much more relaxed and blond.

Sasha playing the day before at the Minas
Numbers aren't everything. Who knows what the well-behaved ten year olds sitting in the front row, one with football in hand, will remember? what the woman thougt of the violinist´s response to her question? or what her twin son who came with her will want to come another year?

In the audience was Oscar Aranda, a Mellado resident who repairs string instruments for OSUG musicians. He recommended that promotors of culture go door to door explaining well-beforehand how their barrio is about to be honored with a world-class musician who merits at least their curiosity. Maybe inexpensive posters be in order for all the participating communities.


In the evening I went to a Cervantino-Off event, meaning it was in the Cervantino spirit but not part of the official program. Hats off to Casa Cuatro for hosting the Mexican premiere of the American Philip von Reutter's opera Verdi Ritrovato. The rooftop was fitted with professional lighting, the costuming in black and white effective, the choreography and body language of the actor-dancers top quality and the singing of the young Verdi's music made for an interesting background to Verdi's later operas. At the end the twelve singers performed a well known Verdi chorus (sorry, I can't tell you which) topping off the evening in grand style.

To see a delightful video of the cast strolling near the Jardin go to .

I hope we will soon be treated to the Canto en Movimiento group here in Guanajuato soon again. 5 stars!