Mexican tenor sings in indigenous languages

He lives in Germany, where he sings most of his performances
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Mexico City
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With recitals and concerts given in native Mexican languages such as Zapotec, Mixtec, and Náhuatl, Edilberto Regalado is a tenor living in Germany who regularly visits Mexico to sing traditional Mexican music and participate in several activities, like the first Fair of National Indigenous Languages.

Regalado has defined himself as an honest singer who “feels” the traditional Mexican and classical music he sings.

In statements before the Secretary of Culture, he claimed “Juchitans (natives of a region in Oaxaca) are proud of their language” and that they are neither “ashamed or afraid of being discriminated.”

Regalado says it's a blessing for him and his people to speak an indigenous language, and that speaking several indigenous languages has helped him learn German, French and Italian.

For the National Fair, organized by the National Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI), he interpreted songs such as “Guendanabani,” “La Llorona,”, “La Martiniana” and “Bacaanda” – all in Zapotec.

The singer has a repertoire of 55 main roles as a tenor and has collaborated with German opera houses, such as Schwerin, Koblenz, and Rudolstadt.

Edilberto, who is a native of Juchitlán, Oaxaca, thinks that if he had stayed in Mexico, he wouldn't have developed his career as an opera singer, because in Europe competition is fierce, with productions and shows every day requiring singers to learn new operas.

At the end of his concerts, after he has sung the classics, he chooses some pieces to sing in indigenous languages.

“[The audience] likes it and they think it's sweet that one sings in one's native language because we're sharing with them our childhood, what we are. As artists, we always express our feelings and life experiences through what we do.”

He recalls the passion for music came when he tried to remember how his father singed – who died when Edilberto was 11 years old – and that later on, when he was admitted into the National Conservatory of Music in Mexic, two professors encouraged him to sing opera.

“Through singing, you can charm people, show them a full love for life. I'm happy to have developed a singing technique, not only to have a sophisticated voice.”

The Mexican tenor expects to return to Mexico in December, to sing a mass in the Cathedral of Oaxaca.

His artistic career began in 1992, but took a big leap in 1996 when he was part of an audition in New York City and won a scholarship for Opera Studio in Zürich, to later settle in Germany.


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