Austin Opera and the Consulate General of Mexico Announce ‘Concerts at the Consulate’

By Chris Ruel

Austin Opera and the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin have announced “Concerts at the Consulate,” a new series of free concerts spotlighting Latinx composers and performers.

Renowned Mexican mezzo-soprano and Austin resident Claudia Chapa has joined Austin Opera as the artistic curator of the series. Chapa’s responsibilities include program development and artist selection.

“The arts are such a source of pride in Mexican culture, and with this series, I hope to connect the Hispanic community that powers Austin with one of the crown jewels of the city’s arts scene,” Ms. Chapa said in a press statement. “I know that audiences will enjoy these Latinx composers, whose work is steeped in the classical tradition. This is the music my parents and grandparents taught me—it is my history, our history—and I can’t wait to see it performed and received with the same attention and reverence as the great European masterpieces. It is an exciting time to present this music, and this new series is a great win for Austin. I am grateful for the support of the Mexican Consulate and Austin Opera.”

The series kicks off with a concert celebrating Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 18, 2021. The event features mezzo-soprano Stephanie Sanchez and will be filmed inside the Consulate. The inaugural concert is closed to the public but will stream for free on Oct.1 via Austin Opera’s “Live from Indy Terrace” platform, YouTube, and Vimeo channels, as well as on the Consulate’s streaming platforms. Subsequent concerts will be hybrid events for which audiences can attend in-person or stream from the comfort of their homes.

Along with music, the “Concerts at the Consulate” series will feature discussions and the promotion of cultural and social organizations working in Austin’s Latinx community. Events will also offer education programs for children.

Austin Opera and the Consulate General timed each concert to coincide with important dates in Mexican culture. The second installment, scheduled for Nov. 1, will celebrate Día de los Muertos, and feature mezzo-soprano Vanessa Alonzo and Mariachi Trio Chapultepec. A Posadas celebration is slated for Dec. 10. The company and Consulate will announce events taking place in 2022 at a later date.

In the press release, Consul General of Mexico in Austin Pablo Marentes stated, “As Consul General of Mexico in Austin, one of my main duties is to present what Mexico has to offer to Austin and Texas as a whole, including our cultural talents. With the collaboration of the Austin Opera, I am truly convinced that Mexican cultural heritage will be admirably represented with pride and dignity. We are deeply grateful for this partnership, which will strengthen our identity as Mexicans, Mexican Americans, Latinx, and Hispanics.”