Baja is especially alive with music in December. There are Christmas Concerts for every music lover from Hard Rock to Classical. My personal favorite was “Canta Noel” presented by our very own Ensenada Opera Star, Maria Lozano. Maria is now also teaching voice at the University here in Ensenada, in Tijuana, and in Mexicali. Her students adore her, and some came from Mexicali and Tijuana to sing in this concert at the New Apostolic Church here in Ensenada. The Church seats about 100 people, and is not on a main thoroughfare, but has a warmth and love that overcomes the cold of winter.
The Concert began promptly at 4:00 (unusual for Mexico) and at first was sparsely attended, but as is customary in this country, after the intermission, more and more people came to enjoy this concert.
Little Alejandra Velasco sang several Christmas Carols, and as always was cute as a button especially as she sang “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” (Alejandra was the one who brought home 2nd place at the Hollywood International Youth Festival.)
Three new voices performed for us, all Maria Lozano’s students. These are names to look out for in the next few years in the opera world: Mariana Flores Bucio – mezzo soprano, Ameyali Escobar – soprano, Kenneth Llanas – baritone and Jonathan Crebros – tenor who has already made his mark in the world of Opera and is now finishing his Masters degree in Music. Jonathan has performed here in Ensenada many times, but when he sang “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (Franz Lehar) tears came to my eyes.
The first half of the concert was classical and the second half all Christmas Carols. All were accompanied by Esteban Lagarde on the piano. Esteban is an excellent concert pianist and is also incredibly good at accompanying soloists. So often the pianist gets carried away with self importance, and the soloist is left to follow him. Esteban let each soloist lead and he was right there following and watching the soloist. The grand finale was Maria Lozano singing Oh, Holy Night in Spanish. She received a standing ovation and had to do encores.
In 2014 Maria Lozano will put together a concert for Valentine’s Day, so keep an ear open for this concert sometime in February.