Celebrate love with Tango, Flamenco & More! Feb. 14-15 with Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Save 15%.

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Tango, Flamenco + more! Photo courtesy of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra

Get ready for a night of passion with Tango, Flamenco, and More! on the first Valentine’s Day of the new decade.  Alabama Symphony Orchestra will hold two concerts on Friday and Saturday nights, Feb. 14 and 15, 7PM at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center. There’s also a Friday Coffee Concert at 11AM. Get tickets now, and save 15% off with code TANGONOW. 

Guest soloist mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa is simply stunning.

Claudia Chapa ASO
Valentine’s Day will never be the same after hearing Claudia Chapa. Photo courtesy of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra

Mexican mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa will join the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for a passionate program that’s all about love, inspired by both Spanish and Latin American dance and poetry. 

Chapa will help audiences celebrate Valentine’s Day with Falla’s El Amor Brujo, which literally translates to Love, The Magician and Peter Lieberson’s tribute to love featuring the poetry of Pablo Neruda. 

I reached out to Chapa to ask her about her favorite parts of the program and what she thinks the audience will most enjoy. Here’s what she said: 

What are you most looking forward to about this program? 

Chapa: “What I am most looking forward to is sharing these incredibly passionate pieces with the audience. In the case of the Neruda Songs, performing incredibly romantic poetry set to devastatingly beautiful music versus the intensity and fire of El amor brujo. Being able to offer different aspects of the type of love that is intoxicating.”

Is there something in particular you think audiences will really enjoy or that will really put them in the spirit of Valentine’s Day?

THE ENTIRE PROGRAM! This program has an entree of love with a side of passion and fire! 

Pero este amor, AMOR, no ha terminado,
But love, this love has not ended

Y asi como no tuvo nacimento                             
just as it never had a birth,

no tiene muerte, es como un largo rio,               
it has no death: it is like a long river

solo cambia de tierras y de labios                   
only changing lands, and changing lips.”

🔥🔥🔥

Here’s what Michelle Haché of The Austin Chronicle had to say about Chapa: 

“Mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa has an arresting stage presence, and her powerful resonance, coupled with her warm timbre and deep understanding of the material, is spellbinding… Chapa is a world-class talent… and watching her is a meditative experience.”

Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs has a backstory that will give you chills.

First, if you’re a hopeless romantic and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s love poems aren’t on your radar, they need to be. Second, you’ll enjoy the concert so much more if you know the story behind Peter Lieberson’s “Neruda Songs.”

Composer Peter Lieberson was married to mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. If you watch the video (above), you’ll get a taste of her stunning voice. Here’s what Lorraine had to say about the moment when they discovered Neruda’s poetry: 

Neruda Love Sonnets
100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda. Still available in used bookstores. Photo via thriftbooks

 “August 1997: Peter is drawn to the bright pink paperback with orange dots displayed on the rack in the gift shop at the Albuquerque airport. It is a collection of Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets. He thinks, ‘I must set some of these things for Lorraine.’” 

Obviously composers think a little differently from the rest of us, but he made it happen, thanks to a joint commission from the LA Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. The piece premiered in 2005. 

Lieberson chose five sonnets that illustrate the stages and impermanence of love. 

The one that will make you ache is “Amor mio, si muero y tú no mueres” (My love, if I die and you live), because just over a year after the premiere, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died of breast cancer at the age of 52. 

Luckily, this gorgeous testament to love is still with us, and Claudia Chapa will give it new life Valentine’s Day weekend. Birmingham audiences are surely in for a treat. 

Enjoy the Masterworks Series concerts Feb. 14-15 at 7PM for a night on the town.

Whether you head to the concert solo, plus one, or with a group, you’re sure to remember these pieces:

Mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa will be the guest soloist for the Lieberson and de Falla pieces.

Learn more about the music by heading in early for Concert Comments each night at 6:15PM before the show in the Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall.

  • When: Feb. 14-15, 7PM
  • Where: UAB’s Alys Stephens Center—Jemison Concert Hall
  • Admission: Tickets start at $19. Discounts are available for students, teachers, patrons 40 and under, veterans/active military, and more.
  • Get tickets. 15% off with code TANGONOW

ASO Masterworks is presented by EBSCO Industries, Inc. & Vulcan Value Partners.

If you’d like a mid-day musical experience, the Coffee Concert Feb. 14 at 11AM is for you.

Muffins at an ASO Coffee Concert
Come for the Coffee Concert and these muffins could be your breakfast. Photo courtesy of ASO.

If you need an excuse for a day-date, play hooky for a little while on Valentine’s Day and head to the Coffee Concert. The program starts at 11AM and lasts an hour, and if you get there early, you can enjoy complimentary muffins and coffee before the show. 

  • When: Feb. 14, 11AM—come early for great parking plus complimentary muffins and coffee
  • Where: UAB’s Alys Stephens Center—Jemison Concert Hall
  • Admission: Tickets start at $19. Discounts are available for students, teachers, patrons 40 and under, veterans/active military, and more.
  • Get tickets. 15% off with code TANGONOW

Are you planning to head to one of ASO’s Tango, Flamenco and More! performances Valentine’s Day weekend? Tag us on social @bhamnow and let us know!

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Author: Sharron Mendel Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference