Are you ready to rock?!!

It has been awhile since I have posted much about what I have been up to but in addition to eating and sightseeing a lot, I have actually been working! I have been lucky to be involved in a couple of really fun projects over the last few weeks. The first one began last semester but did not really get off the ground for regular rehearsals and performances until January. A doctoral student in voice that I shared a class with last semester, Cata, invited me to play in a project she was trying to get together–a performance of Kurt Weill’s opera/ballet,  the Seven Deadly Sins. As many of you know, with opera, staging and costumes can be up to interpretation, which is why you get “modern” versions of operas that were written a long time ago, such as by Mozart for example. After all, we have the music, but little knowledge of how things were staged back then. At any rate, my friend and the people she is working with decided on a cabaret style interpretation using Weill’s original text in German for the main character and translating the other voice roles into Spanish. So, the project grew to include Cata (playing the main role of Ana), three singers, a dancer, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and drum set, as well as a director and so forth. All in all, we have a cast of about 15 people and are giving a performance every Wednesday night in the month of February at a cabaret bar in Coyoacán.

Seven Deadly Sins promo

The bar where we are performing

So far, the performances have been very successful! The bar is great and is a pretty intimate space, which is nice for both performers and audience. We have had probably 80-100 or more people each week and though we only have one more performance scheduled, it seems that the bar is going to invite us to stay for two more weeks, so I guess that is a good sign!

The band during a dress rehearsal before opening night.
A scene from the show: the sin of gluttony. As you might be able to see, the main character Ana is indulging in bags of chips and cookies.

The other great project that I have been involved in just took place on Thursday night. Last semester, I met composer Felipe Perez Santiago at an event at the escuela. Not long after that, he asked me to work in a project that he was putting together. A drive-in movie theater was just opening in Coyoacán and Felipe knew the owners. He talked to them and they invited him to get a group together to open for the movie The Wall. The idea was for Felipe to choose several short silent films and compose music to be played during the showing of those films. Felipe is already a member of a rock band, Mal’Akh, so he chose to write for Mal’Akh plus some extra players. In the end, we had a group of flute, clarinet/sax, cello, 2 guitars, drum set, and voice. I never thought that I would play with a rock band but I have to say, it was a really awesome experience! Everyone was great to work with and a lot of fun! The performance went really well and I have a feeling that if the audience liked it (which they seemed to) that we could be asked back again, which would be a lot of fun!

Mal'Akh promo

Action shot from a rehearsal

The drive-in (or autocinema, as it is called here) is very much what I would imagine a 50’s drive-in to look like. The music playing before the show started was all music from the 50’s and 60’s (some with video, like Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend); concessions such as popcorn, hot dogs, and malts; and you can even call a car service to rent a classic car for the occasion!

This is exactly what it looks like, even complete with classic cars!

You have to have a car to get into the autocinema (because you pay by the car), but they do have seats on the ground (the cars are parked on the raised cement level seen below) so that if you would prefer to get out of your car and enjoy a nice night, you can sit and watch the show.

This picture was taken from the stage. The guys standing are waiting to park cars.

Rehearsing before the show

I took some video that we are having trouble uploading to YouTube but when we figure it out, I will post so you can hear some clips 🙂


One response »

  1. Yeah, from reading these blogs all I’m getting is that you eat good food all the time, go to cool museums, and now you’re a rock star. Well play, Mary Elizabeth. Well played.

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