UC Riverside’s Orchestra has weekend performances focusing on Spanish and Latin American music, featuring soprano Patricia Caicedo.
The May 20-21 concerts called “Canción con todos” (“A Song With Everyone”) are open to the public. General entrance tickets are $10; $8 for seniors and students; and $6 for children. Performances will be at UCR’s University Theatre on campus.
“I want this to be a united image of the Americas and of its connection to Spain,” said Caicedo, who is also a musicologist, scholar, and author. Her latest book, “We Are What We Listen To,” published in 2021, highlights the connection between music and well-being.
Caicedo is both a renowned soprano and a prominent scholar specializing in the art song repertoire of Latin America and Spain. She said her work intends to decolonialize music and offer audiences songs outside of the traditional Euro-centric classical canon. Among this weekend’s repertoire are featured performances highlighting Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Spain.
“My vital mission is to bring to light, showcase, and preserve Iberian and Latin American music,” Caicedo said. “I want everyone who attends to feel like there’s a little piece of them represented.”
When it comes to connecting music with a person’s mental and emotional well-being, the connection is clear, said Caicedo, who is also a medical doctor.
“Music has a direct impact with our physical health. It stimulates cognitive processes in addition to building social and community connections,” she said. “Music connects us with our roots, with our identity. And if the music is not connected with our own history, discovering new types of music is always fun.”
Singing alongside the UCR Orchestra, directed by conductor Ruth Charloff, is always exciting, Caicedo said. “Being in concert with an entire orchestra is something so unique. The orchestra is one powerful instrument and an irreplaceable experience.”
Walter A. Clark, a distinguished professor of musicology and founding director of the UCR Center for Iberian and Latin American Music — the UC system’s only research and performance center focused on Iberia and Latin American musical heritage — said performers like Caicedo allow a Hispanic Serving Institution such as UCR to spotlight Latin American heritage.
“We are a Hispanic Serving Institution, we tell the cultural story of our campus community and of the greater community as well,” Clark said. “We are doing this to promote Latin American culture and to have a greater understating of Iberian culture as well.”
Charloff said the program will also feature a special guest performance by UCR’s own Mariachi Los Alteños, directed by Cynthia Flores. The UCR Orchestra will collaborate with Caicedo for the “Seven Spanish Folk Songs” by Manuel de Falla, as well as four Latin American popular songs — from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina — from Caicedo’s album “De Mi Corazon Latino.”
There will be all-orchestral music as well from Spain with a performance of the buoyant overture to Chapí’s comedy zarzuela “La Revoltosa” and Granados’s “Three Spanish Dances.” The orchestra’s Latin American offerings include the dance suite from “Estancia” by Argentina’s Alberto Ginastera, “A Chegada dos Candangos” by Antônio Carlos Jobim, and Astor Piazzolla’s tango “Oblivion,” featuring violinist Ruth Zhang.
Dates: Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m.
Location: University Theatre at UC Riverside
Parking: The closest parking is available in Lot 6 Blue, which is free on weekends in the unreserved spaces. Lot 30 Gold is also free on weekends. Click here for details.
Tickets: UCR Fine Arts ticketing