Francy Acosta, soprano
José Luis Posada, lute & Baroque guitar
Join us this holiday season for the video premiere of The Newberry Consort’s 2019 concert, “A Mexican Christmas”, a celebration of the exuberant and diverse musical traditions of Mexico. Over thirty singers and instrumentalists from the all-women Convent Ensemble directed by Ellen Hargis, and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc, a group specializing in early Latin American and Spanish music led by Francy Acosta and José Luis Posada, will recreate the music that would have been heard in the plazas of Mexico City during the 17th century.
The inspiration for this program came some years ago, when the Consort was on tour in Durango, Mexico. It was a National holiday, and outdoors in the plaza in front of the church, traditional music was being performed by bands of musicians, electrically amplified to echo throughout the square. As a result, we too had to be amplified – and to our astonishment, the resulting aural salad of classical and traditional music seemed to delight rather than annoy our audience inside! Everywhere we went in Durango that weekend we heard a soundscape of varied music: radios blaring pop songs, people singing and playing traditional music outdoors and in, organ solos filling the vast space of the Cathedral.
This reminded us of the descriptions of 17th-century Mexican convents, with people gathering outside the cloister walls to hear the nuns so renowned for their musical gifts, and villancico bands, groups of traditional musicians with folk instruments, playing at the gate of the convent to celebrate the entrance of a novitiate about to leave the secular world to take the veil as a nun. For this, our second Mexican Christmas concert, we again recreate the contrasting grand solemnity in the cloister and festive atmosphere we imagine was enjoyed in the plaza outside the Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación in Mexico City.
The broadcast will take place at 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific.
Broadcast link will become available here: https://www.parmarecordings.com/event/a-mexican-christmas-12-17-20/