Opera singers at a street market in Mexico City

The tenor Francisco Pedraza is working as a volunteer in a project called "Opera at the Market"

Opera singers surprise buyers at a street market in Mexico City
An unusual kind of music suddenly irrupts at the greengrocer’s shop, amidst the brouhaha of the crowd and the vendors’ orders - Photo: Berenice Fregoso/EL UNIVERSAL
English 03/08/2018 18:44 Newsroom Mexico City Iván Navarro Actualizada 18:47
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An unusual kind of music suddenly irrupts at the greengrocer’s shop, amidst the brouhaha of the crowd and the vendors’ orders: “Pass me two avocados,” “How much for a kilo of nopales?” The orchestral sounds that emerge from the speakers break the routine. Suddenly, the tenor Dante Alcalá, wearing an apron at a seafood shop, begins to sing Una furtiva lagrima, from Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’amore. The singer pauses, takes a deep breath, and within the market of the Mártires de Río Blanco quarter in Mexico City, people are silent. Shortly after, the grateful audience of vendors and buyers burst into a round of applause.

A while later, the soprano Enivia Mendoza stood on a podium and started singing O mio bambino caro, from the opera Gianni Schicchi, by Puccini. She caresses two onions, extends them, juggles them, leaves them on the ground and starts observing the market attendees, who have suddenly been taken out of their daily routine. From another podium, the mezzosoprano Belem Rodríguez, sings another famous aria: Habanera, from Carmen, by Bizet. She walks among the crowd, plays with her hair, and smiles at people’s curious regards.

The tenor Francisco Pedraza, tenant at the market, and the only singer working as volunteer in a project called “Opera at the Market,” promoted by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts, is pleased with the show in which he has decided to participate as part of the Community Cultural Action Program that will offer presentations until August 25 at 112 marginal neighborhoods in Mexico City.

“I am deeply satisfied by this; all the vendors and workers have received us with great pleasure. I hope that we can spread the taste for classical music and opera in many street markets,” stated Pedraza in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL.
 

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