The Cuban vocal group, led by Maestra Digna Guerra, will sing You can´t always get what you want together with the British band
The Cuban vocal group, led by Maestra Digna Guerra, will sing You can´t always get what you want together with the British band. Photo: Roberto RuizZoom
Digna Guerra was astonished, she was driving home when she received the call through her mobile phone. And his interlocutor kindly asked her and Entrevoces to participate in the free concert that The Rolling Stones is going to offer tonight at Ciudad Deportiva at 8:30 p.m.
«High. I´m Mike Gillespie, from the staff of The Rolling. I am calling you because your choir has been chosen to sing in the concert, » he said.
She let out a whoop of joy while pronouncing some approval phrases «How were we chosen?» was the answer by Guerra.
Later, she received the instructions of how everything will be done.Entrevoces will accompany The Rolling in the song You can´t always get what you want, from the LP Let it bleed, 1969. Gillespie was in charge of sending by E-mail the music to her the same night as she received the telephone call. And she recorded everything after a long and exhausting rehearsal held the following day, because as Digna told Juventud Rebelde last Thursday «The Rolling Stones wanted to know how it sounded. »
Digna Guerra, who is also the director of the Cuban National Chorus, said with emotion that it´s a huge privilege to be tonight at the Ciudad Deportiva. «The Rolling Stones is such a legendary and famous band. To be part of the only performance by the Rolling in Cuba means a lot in the history of the choir. We can always say that we were together with The Rolling in the concert. And nobody can take that away. »—As an expert in choral music, could you tell us how complex this work is?
— It´s not so easy because of the emotion between The Rolling and the chorus. The first part has text and afterward we are putting harmony to what they are doing. The theme has upward progressions, it´s quite difficult mainly for sopranos because of the amount of C over high notes, something that they should keep. «You feel emotion because you feel everything that this piece conveys, a mix of feelings between the chorus and The Rolling, which is really special. »—How many singers did you need for the work?
—Entrevoces is a 20-member chamber chorus and we required 24. So I chose four young people from the other group that we have inside the National Chorus called D´ Profundis.—The National Chorus also had a great impact on the baseball game between the Cuba team and the U.S Tampa Bay Rays...
—The Cuban Institute of Music told us that the chorus has been chosen to sing the Cuban and U. S. national anthems. This was very important for us, since we were the representative of the Cuban culture, and it was good to be present in a singular moment during the reestablishment of relations between both countries.—The faces of Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama showed great emotion.
—I saw it from New York. I left everything ready because I had to be in a meeting on women´s empowerment at the United Nations. And I noticed the chorus worked well. It was conducted by Ladys Sotomayor, though anthems are not conducted, the singers only receive the entry sign. However, everything went very well indeed.—You have mentioned your visit in New York, could you tell us about the experience that you shared there with the women from all over the world?
—I arrived in NY on Wednesday night. And I participated in the Annual Women´s Conference where women delegates from the entire world were present. Representatives from the Cuban Women´s Federation, the Cuban Jurist Association and the Cuban Association of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) were present there. I went to the meeting as member of the UNEAC.
«It was a shocking meeting. You became aware of the horrors committed against women and girl children from other nations. It´s unbelievable that those things continue taking place in the 21st century. I attended the Forum of Latin-America and the Caribbean, and I talked an bout the situation of the Cuban women, who are privileged and enjoy all their rights.
«In Cuba, women have a place thanks to their capacity, their worth. We have organizations that have concern for the women rights and watch over the children. The results of the meeting were good and they asked that the experiences of Cuba were reflected in the general report.
«Cuba is so slandered and vilified that its achievements in those areas, or in the educational or welfare areas are often not mentioned. »—Last year, Entrevoces gave a surprise with its exquisite compact Oh, yes!, winner of the Cubadisco Main Award. Do you have some recording project for the next months?
—We have an album in the mastering process that it´s about the a capella work by Maestro Leo Brouwer. It´s a CD-DVD entitled Rondas, refranes y trabalenguas (Rounds, Sayings and Tongue Twisters). And to do it has been a spiritual and musical enjoyment.
«When we began to study that work by Leo —which didn´t include only rounds, sayings and tongue twisters; but his love songs and pieces for choirs—, we decided to make this record. We enjoyed everything because this piece set out something new, and in the case of the sayings and tongue twisters, they convey a humor that is very typical of Brouwer. Because, Brouwer is unbelievable. His writings, his texts, his compositions have an excellent harmonic treatment.
«The DVD was filmed during the concert devoted to Leo Brouwer, which was the closure for the last national tour by Entrevoces. That concert was held five years ago at the Minor Basilica at the San Francisco de Asís Convent. The audiovisual material was led by Ángel Alderete and it includes interviews and other interesting material. Everything will be published by Colibrí Productions. Leo is quite excited about this project and wishes that it will soon be launched. »Translated by ESTI