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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

‘From Canada With Love’: A talk with the concerts’ performers

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
Daevyd Pepper, Anne-Marie Macintosh, Kimberly-Ann Bartezak and Adam Brousseau relax in the Mayan Riviera while preparing for concerts in Mérida on Tuesday and Thursday. Photo: Courtesy

We were so intrigued by the concerts, “From Canada with Love” and “From Canada with Love, and Pain, and Death” we had to ask one of the performers to fill us in with some background.

Read about the concerts here.

Taking a break from a pre-concert stop on the sunny Mayan Riviera, After consulting his singing partners, Adam Brousseau answered some questions we sent by email.

Whose brainchild was this?
It was mine, starting as a “let’s go get a tan idea” with Anne-Marie MacIntosh. It soon transformed into a fully fledged idea of a concert where we could give back, and Daevyd Pepper and Kimberly-Ann Bartezak quickly jumped on board. Fundación BAI was a simple choice, an organization for which my mother is a strong contributing force, especially with the Taste of Mérida event. I had helped out several years ago with the music and sound system for Taste of Mérida, and loved Dr. Carlos’ energy and the very worthwhile cause. I was hooked! A second concert and a workshop with the children of Silil Youth Choir from Cholul came into fruition with the participation of EdúcaTE, and their fearless leader, Katrin Schikora, another dear friend from the deep artistic circles of Mérida. A bit of a snowball (haha) effect in the end, it’s been an exciting collaborative process.

Have any of you been to Merida before?
Yes I have, many times in fact, visiting my mother who has lived here for some years. Or spending time with my many artist friends and enjoying the music, food, and wider culture of the Yucatán! For everyone else this is their first time in Mexico ever, and they are pretty darn excited.

Have you socialized or performed together previously?
Yes! Daevyd and Anne-Marie have both been emerging artists and Kim is the resident conductor and répétiteur with Calgary Opera, and we met through the opera company as I’ve been singing with the chorus and had a few bit roles. As far as socializing we are all fast friends and have spent many hours on stage, and off, eating, drinking and being merry! Frequent “Friday Night Frights” movie nights and “RuPaul” or “The Bachelor” have been staples of our friendship.

The way you contrasted to concerts is devilishly clever. Why the decision to do two such different concerts?
As opera singers, we often have a background in musical theatre, but don’t often have the opportunity to perform this genre in our day-to-day careers. It seemed a natural choice for the more intimate venue of Hacienda Santa Cruz. And of course we are thrilled to share what we do best, opera. We will be performing some of our personal favorites from the wider operatic repertoire as well as a choice selection of well known opera hits that you will be sure to recognize.

About the concerts

The first, more lighthearted show is “De Canadá con Amor (“From Canada with Love”) at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 at Hacienda Santa Cruz. The program includes examples of bolero, zarzuela, and show tunes from Broadway’s golden age. It is an intimate recital; space is limited to 80 people. Donation: 350 pesos.

“De Canadá con Amor, y Dolor, y Muerte” (“From Canada with Love, and Pain, and Death”) begins 8 p.m. Thursday, May 17 in the larger Teatro Libertad. As the name suggests, the program includes arias, duets and opera trios. Donation: 350 pesos, and 150 for students.

It will demonstrate the range of four talented young performers who have come many miles to benefit Fundacion BAI and the EdúcaTE Yucatán association.

Both concerts feature singers Adam Brousseau, Anne-Marie Macintosh and Daevyd Pepper, and conductor/pianist Kimberly-Ann Bartezak.

For tickets call 999-292-8436.

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