By Ed Tasca


vivaojo-june09Carlos Alberto Velasquez is a young blind tenor from Chihuahua. While still an unknown, he was discovered by Viva La Musica, who provided funds to tutor the boy, buy him a piano and to provide a grant to study voice and piano in Guadalajara. He is now in the big leagues of opera under the direction of the world-renowned tenor, Placido Domingo.

Carlos is one of many young prospects whose natural musical talents have been identified by Viva La Musica (Long Live Music), a self-supporting charitable organization in Ajijic, established to provide financial assistance and tutoring to young opera students and to offer concerts at Lakeside. It also sponsors bus trips to musical events in Guadalajara and other cities.

Additionally, it provides financial support to three organizations providing musical training. The Golden Strings of Lake Chapala, A.C., a children’s orchestra directed by Ajijic professor/composer Victor Manuel Medeles and Marvin Harthcock; The Orquesta Infantil Juvenil de Guadalajara, A.C., which trains musicians 13 to 22. The Northern Lights Festival, which arranges master classes for local Mexican music students.

This year’s upcoming schedule:

The Viva La Musica summer schedule begins with a June 25 Concert. A performance by the acclaimed duo Christopher Wilshere on violin and Joel Juan Qui on piano kicks off the new program.

A brilliant young pianist, Joel Juan Qui, has performed with Christopher Wilshere all across Mexico. Recently, they performed the work of renowned Mexican composer Hermilio Hernandez.

On July 30, baritones David Small and Luis Rodriguez from the University of Texas will perform operatic arias with members of the University of Guadalajara vocal workshop, accompanied by virtuoso pianist Jason Peterson.

On August 27, the internationally recognized Jose White String Quartet will entertain with popular classical work. These players are all principals in the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra.

A September 10 concert brings a “first” for Lakeside music lovers: the complete opera “The Elixir of Love” by Gaetano Donizetti, conducted by Luis Rodriguez. Individual tickets for the Donizetti Opera are $250 pesos for members, $350 pesos for non-members.

Finally, on October 8, you’ll enjoy another foray in more popular music with the Cuauhtemoc Garcia Jazz Flute combo.

. You can reserve your tickets by calling Rosemary Keeling at 766-1801 or

As the poet Thomas Carlyle put it, “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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