singer filled to capacity the Hall of Festivals of the Center of Fine Arts of Santurce
As it is said, Lucecita Benítez is the national voice of Puerto Rico and it can be affirmed without a doubt that the voice of the Puerto Rican nation is still alive and vibrant, with a fierce desire to reaffirm itself with a range of nuances ranging from romanticism to the denunciation and from reflection to pure and simple joy.
That is the conclusion reached after witnessing the concert “I bring a village in my voice II”, which the artist offered on Saturday night before a Hall of Festivals of the Center of Fine Arts of Santurce full capacity.
In its first half, the concert recreated almost exactly the repertoire of the original presentation, which bore the same title.In the second, he toured some of the most memorable songs of the singer, which are already part of our musical history.
It is impressive how well Lucecita keeps her voice after months of fulfilling – in July – 77 years of age. His is a voice of immense authority, sustained by three pillars: his passion for musical excellence, his deep love for the country and the experience of the years. A voice of extraordinary warmth and feeling. A true force of nature.
As is natural in the case of Lucecita and the repertoire she would interpret, it was an evening of patriotic reaffirmation and exaltation of the values of justice, love, freedom and conscience.
These issues may have been originally interpreted in times of greater social upheaval, but their validity remains unchanged.
With her frequent allusions to the peasants and workers, her denunciations to the “devil” who is dressed in a jacket and tie while exploiting and outraging others and, at a certain moment, his direct call to make revolution, the singer reminded her of her public how many inconclusive struggles are still in Puerto Rico.
One of the great successes of Lucecita is its fine selection of themes, in which beauty and social reflection coexist. In this sense, the interpretation of “Las manos del campo” (by Antonio “El Topo” Cabán Vale) was a beautiful moment, a hymn to hope.
Not everything was social and political denunciation. In fact, some of the most acclaimed songs of the night were the romantic ones, especially “Alfonsina and the sea” and the sequence of “El unicornio azul” (by Silvio Rodriguez) and “Si tan un instante” (by Alberto) Carrion), of extraordinary beauty and colossal interpretive force on the part of the artist.
The second half of the concert gave way to a more relaxed Lucecita – she admitted it herself – and festive, with the interpretation of songs like “Soy de un raza pura”, “Lelolai” and “Amanecer Borincano” (another undying theme of Alberto Carrion ).
There was no lack of humor, when the singer related the vicissitudes that she has gone through due to the lack of electrical energy, and the opportunity to present the 13 musicians or choristers who accompanied her.
Among these, Juan Carlos Vega stood out on the piano – who played several segments in a duet with Lucecita – and the young Luis Sanz in the cuatro, who made his professional debut.
There was also space to show the audience the Grammy that the singer received last year in recognition of her artistic career, which she feels justifiably proud of.
It was an evening in which the standing ovations on the part of the public and the cries of “bravo!” Abounded. With her interpretive strength and exquisite repertoire, the singer was taking her audience from one emotional climax to another. But, as the saying goes, the best was yet to come.
The two final themes were simply sublime. In “Oubao Moin” (by Juan Antonio Corretjer), Lucecita unfolded-once again-the overwhelming force of her voice, ably supported by the chorus composed of Iris Martínez, Yanira Torres and Felix Alvarado.
It is a song that, without any intention of undermining the unforgettable versions of Roy Brown and Haciendo Punto in Otro Son, seems to have been written for her: intense, melodically varied and patriotic.
For the “encore”, the curtain rose again before the initial chords of “Genesis”, the composition of Guillermo Venegas Lloveras with which the artist reached its historic triumph at the World Song Festival, held in Mexico in 1969.
Almost 50 years after its premiere, “Genesis” is still a demanding subject for any performer and, at a certain moment, Lucecita’s voice failed him, not reaching the melodic line.
But the stumble did not overshadow his triumph. By repeating the lyrics of the song, he rose again, splendidly, rising again to the heights and reaffirming that Lucecita is Lucecita, vibrant, unique and representative of the best it has to give Puerto Rico.