Free Christmas glee
Seats are going fast for the remaining free concerts offered by the brand new 17-voice Lake Chapala Chorale. Mark your calendar and arrive early to your chosen venue to be sure you don’t miss this special program of some of the best-loved Christmas music from the middle ages to the present day.
The concerts are free of charge (donations are welcome). Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m., they sing at Little Chapel by the Lake (one-hour concert); Thursday, December 8, 7 p.m., at the Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo, Chapala’s Old Train Station (one-hour concert); Saturday, December 10, 4 p.m., at Lakeside Presbyterian Church (one-hour concert); Tuesday, December 13, 5:30 p.m., at the Lake Chapala Baptist Church (15-minute show as part of the church’s variety show); and Friday, December 23, 7:30 p.m., at La Bodega restaurant (30 minutes of a cappella concert and 30 minutes of audience carol sing-along).
Some Lakesiders have already heard the LCC Octet, ambassadors from the Lake Chapala Chorale who have been popping up all over town surprising everyone with fun Christmas music, flash-mob style.
Cantantes del Lago
Los Cantantes del Lago will perform acclaimed British composer John Rutter’s “Gloria!” at the Auditorio de la Ribera Tuesday, December 6, 7 p.m. and Wednesday December 7, 4 p.m. The choir will be joined by a cappella quartet, Vox Ensemble, a French horn player and percussionists from Guadalajara.
The bar opens one hour before each concert. Tickets are 250 pesos, available at Diane Pearl, Mia’s Boutique, the Auditorio, from any choir member or loscantantesdellago.com.
The students of the Academia de Ukuleles de la Ribera are polishing advanced fingering, rhythm and strumming techniques, solos, riffs and other musical and rhythmic embellishments for the Academia’s Winter Concert on Saturday, December 3, 7 p.m. at the Ajijic Cultural Center on the north side of the Ajijic plaza.
Under the leadership of Music Director Eduardo Garcia Espinoza, the students are anxious to demonstrate their skills and finesse in a program including pop tunes, classic rock pieces and the Mexican songs familiar to their families. Even the beginning students who just started learning the friendly instrument in October are ready to perform the dozen chords and special effects they’ve mastered to help make their songs sound interesting.
Admission to the concert is 100 pesos, with all proceeds being used to support this ukulele program for local children. Tickets are available at Diane Pearl, Charter Club or Mia’s Boutique.
Local artists stage a collective show at the Parque “El Castillo de La Floresta” Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Artists include Heber Barajas, Victor Alcazar, Alejandra Robles Barba and Axuni Soto, among others.
Paint Out Ajijic
The Lake Chapala Painting Guild holds Paint Out Ajijic, Saturday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning at the Creperie (next to Maria Isabel restaurant). Bring your brushes, paints, paper or canvas for a fun day of painting scenes around the shores of Ajijic.
Lakeside Little Theatre (LLT) presents Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play “Chapter Two” Friday, December 2 to Sunday, December 11. (See review on page 24.)
Piano and violin concert
Viva La Musical offers a concert by talented piano and violin duo, Blandine Tricot (piano) and Alvaro Larez (violin), at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Sunday, December 4, 4 p.m. The varied program includes works by Mozart, Cesar Franck and Wienawsky.
Ajijic Society of the Arts (ASA) members hold their regular monthly meeting Monday, December 5 at La Bodega. A holiday social will be held directly after the meeting, featuring pastries, protein and pink champagne. For more information, see ajijicart.weebly.com.
Master potter Frank Howell holds a pre-Christmas sale of his and his associates’ work Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Lirios 40 in Mirasol.
Claudia Nery opens an exhibit of her new works Friday, December 9, 4-6 p.m. at Sol Mexicano Galeria del Arte, Colon 13 in Ajijic. Wine and botanas will be served. For more information, call 766-0734.
Pianist Galen will perform his “Music for The Holidays” concert on three consecutive Tuesdays: December 13, 20 and 27. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served before the 90-minute show that also features some of the best musicians lakeside has to offer.
A true entertainer, Galen takes his audience on a journey of seasonal holiday music with unique arrangements. These unforgettable candlelight concerts are intimate groups held in his home. Tickets, 400 pesos, must be purchased in advance. For more information and tickets, contact Wendy Hamblin, 766-4835, or see www.concertsbycandlelight.com.
Twenty-three-year-old singing sensation Paul Fracassi is a former Star Search and Canadian Idol semi-finalist and graduate of Toronto’s famous St. Elizabeth School for the Performing Arts, who impressed audiences in Ajijic last year with his Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute show, “Walk Like a Man.”
This year, he returns in his all-new 20th Century Crooners show presenting a nostalgic look at the best loved hits of some of music’s most iconic stars. The date: Wednesday, December 14, 6 p.m. at the Auditorio de la Ribera.
In this trip down memory lane, Fracassi effortlessly reaches soaring high notes and demonstrates the fabulous dance moves and choreography of the 1950’s and 60’s.
Big band holiday
Viva la Musica presents a concert by the popular Rafael Terriquez Big Band at the Auditorio de la Ribera, Thursday, December 15, 6 p.m.
The band will play an eclectic program, including classics from the likes of Glen Miller and the Beatles, as well as a few surprises.
CREM Vivaldi concert
Five years ago, Emmanuel Medeles began working with some local children to form the CREM Children’s Orchestra and Choir. They started with carols and Disney and movie-themed songs. Now the children have matured as singers and musicians, and on Saturday, December 17, 7 p.m. will perform Vivaldi’s “Gloria” at the Auditorio de la Ribera.
Several musicians among the 12-piece children’s orchestra will give solo performances. The children will be accompanied by the Victor Manuel Medeles Orchestra, which is composed of CREM staff and a few other professional musicians. Natalia de la Torre is the invited soprano. All the pieces are by Vivaldi, except for a couple of Christmas carols.
Tickets, 150 pesos, are available at Diane Pearl, the Auditorio, Viva la Musica, and Dental del Lago. The proceeds will help CREM continue its work to develop local musical talent.
JPO bus trip
Viva la Musica is sponsoring a bus trip from Lakeside to the Degollado Theater in Guadalajara to see the Jalisco Ballet perform The Nutcracker (500 and 600 pesos), Sunday, December 18. Bus departs 10.30 a.m. Bus trip tickets are available at the Lake Chapala Society, Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon. Call Rosemary Keeling, 766-1801, for more information.
Art on the beach
The Lake Chapala Painting Guild is holding a three-month exhibition/sale of their paintings at upscale boutique hotel/restaurant Chantli Mare by the Sea in Boca de Iguana, Jalisco, just a few kilometers north of La Manzanilla. Plan to go for lunch or dinner. The food is exceptionally fine (as are the paintings).