Opera, Broadway, electro-pop and goats
It has been a wild couple of weeks here musically. First, the musical “A Funny Thing Happened…” wrapped up with two Broadway-level performances by Laura Medina, singing “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, both in her glorious operatic voice. After being blown away by the power that came out of a 5’1” woman (just barley), I talked with her after the show and was interested to learn that her day job is a veterinarian, not the usual day job for a singer, but this is Mexico.
Fast forward to this weekend and a visit to Ajijic by Sin Color, aka Crisia Regalado, for two concerts. Sin Color has been singing since she was 9 or 10 years old, is trained in opera, jazz, and rock, and also does rock and synth-pop attracting major audiences with her live rock and pop gigs. An LA-born and based Latina whose parents are from El Salvador, she is on tour in Mexico, working to increase her Mexican audience. Of her 14,000 followers and 1 million streams on Spotify, half are in Mexico, and she added 2000 new followers in one week of gigs in Mexico City and Guanajuato.
She and her entourage visited Lakeside for a rock-pop electronic gig at Dharma’s, a lakefront club with a mostly young and tourist audience, and a classical, jazz and traditional Mexican bolero gig at Casa Domenech, a local hub for jazz, and touring Latin singers.
Opera influenced both Laura and Sin Color’s performances, with Laura hitting the high notes and holding them , turning the songs “Think of Me” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” into breath-taking, soaring renditions as good as Broadway. Sin Color incorporated opera into her rock and traditional songs, blowing away audiences by hitting Carnegie Hall- level notes in her pop songs like “Pensamiento” and “Frutas” at Dharma’s and delivering pure Italian opera at Casa Domenech, followed by classic Mexican boleros with with operatic highs.
Operatic voices are not unusual in Broadway musicals – it almost a requirement in some plays. And hearing operatic voices in rock and pop did not surprise me. Many of the heavy metal singers I have interviewed on my radio show, like Militia Vox, were trained opera singers. It is great vocal discipline and for heavy metal, it gives them to skill to do the demon voice, which if not done correctly can injure their throats. But hearing and seeing the way these two women used that skill across genres was so inspiring, I just had to get them together – which is where the goats come in.
Laura and her husband run a goat farm and diary out in the country near the village of Mezcala (no relation to mezcal liquor). Sin Color and her group had a very busy schedule in the two days they stopped in Ajijic, including two gigs and catching a rare Mexico performance of Josh Storms one-man show “Tennessee Rising” which happened to be playing at the Lakeside Little Theater. But they found time to join me in a tour of the goal farm and dairy.
While Laura herded the goats, served goat cheese and yogurt, and explained in English and Spanish how the farm and diary operate, Sin Color fed goats, petted goats and even milked goats – not the usual after gig activities for touring bands.
And no , Laura and Sin Color did not sing to the goats; Laura says her goats are very happy without being sung to, which was evident as we petted them and played with them. But singing videos and Instagram and YouTube addresses were exchanged and maybe, just maybe, there is a duet in the future if Sin Color visits again (she is dying to, especially if it involves baby goats and performing at one of the two major auditoriums). I hope so.
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