Opera: Tijuana style

Ciudad Juárez, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa… what do these cities have in common? They are border cities, where the violence in Mexico exploded due to the War on Drugs that devastated the northern part of the country.

Tijuana is precisely one of those cities that felt it heavily, but today teaches us a very nice lesson. Since years (even before the War on Drugs) Tijuana was world-known for its careless way of life. Alcohol, drugs, women, nasty streets and tough night life were part of the imagination when someone imagined the city.

The inhabitants, however, never lost their faith and found new ways to fight that feeling. As true Mexicans, they knew that violence cannot be stopped with more violence, and thus fought it the way they knew: sing and smile.

The Tijuana Cultural Centre and their young talents decided to give hope and draw smiles in its inhabitants with their own version of street Opera, a movement that has been seen previously in Europe, but a movement that Tijuana needed to gain energy and encourage their people to not give up and live peacefully. Did it work? Too soon to say, but oh boy! truly inspires.

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Song of the day: Piensa en mí

It seems that Agustín Lara has been one of the favorite composers of the most-renowed tenors. His songs have been sung countless times by Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Fernando de la Mora, Alfredo Kraus, Rolando Villazón, Juan Diego Flores, José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, and the list goes on and on.

This time I want to share a performance that happens to be very original for me. Recently, Roberto Alagna has released a new album called “Pasión”, where he pays tribute to some of the most appasionate songs from Latin America. As probably you might have guessed, some songs from Agustín Lara are present in this album. The first track is also the one that gives the name of the title of this post: “Piensa en mí”. There is actually a video released for this song from Roberto Alagna, which I post following:

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Das Lied des Tages: Te quiero, dijiste – Maria Grever

Manchmal schreibe ich auf Deutsch, aber jetzt will eins der besten Lieder, die ich immer genieße, teilen. Maria Grever war eine der produktivsten Komponisten ihrer Zeit. Sie hat u.a. „Júrame“, „Despedida“, „Alma mía“ und viele anderen Werke komponiert.

Jedoch möchte ich heute das Lied „Te quiero dijiste“ übersetzen und hier mitteilen. Manche Leute nennen das Lied auch als „Muñequita linda”; beide sind richtig. Viele Künstler haben verschiedene Versionen des Lieds gemacht, wie Plácido Domingo, Linda Ronstadt, Alejandro Fernández, Nat King Cole, etc. Meine Lieblingsversion? Ja, von Rolando Villazón.

Ein Paar Bemerkungen zu machen: An erster Stelle, Deutsch ist nicht meine Muttersprache, deswegen bitte ich deine Hilfe, ob du etwas unklar liest. Schreib mir und ich kann es korrigieren. An zweiter… ich hab’s vergessen.

Oh ja, an dritter Stelle, es ist keine wörtliche Übersetzung. Es gibt Ausdrücken, die nicht ganz gut auf Deutsch klingen, und ich hab’s ähnlich auf Deutsch versucht. Für diese Ausdrücke kannst du eine Erklärung am Ende finden.

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Song of the day: Júrame – María Grever

The song is a masterpiece of one of the best Mexican composers: María Grever. She was born in León, Guanajuato by the end of the XIX Century. When she was young she was really into music and she was even studying with Claude Debussy. As a trend of the time, she was composing many pieces for films.

Actually her passion were “Boleros”, so she was very prolific at them but unfortunately was not so famous until her classic song hits the radios: “Júrame”. It is well known that the most skilled tenors in the world love this song because of its versatile movements and strong sounds, but most of all because of the passion in it. Lately Plácido Domingo was singing it in almost all of his concerts.

It is the story of a man asking to her beloved to swear him that she will never forget him. That’s why the name of the song: “Júrame” (“Swear to me” in Spanish). The guy just asks for a final second of love with a kiss and a promise, the promise of being someone important in the memory of the girl he loves. Well… actually, because it is in first person, it doesn’t specify if it’s a guy or a girl. It is just a gigantic love between two persons, a love that leads to madness and desperation.

Nowadays the “Plácido Domingo of our times”, Rolando Villazón gives an interpretation that entirely shocks me. It is really stunning to hear this song in his voice, so, here it is:

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