Excerpt of interview with Hannah McCurley

Excerpt of interview with Hannah McCurley

Concert
“Peace and Reconciliation”
By Michael Hoppe

Sun Mar 1, 5pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Mesones 82, Centro
300, 400, 500, and 750 pesos
Tickets sale at:
Theater Box office
Juan’s Café, Reloj 37.

By Hannah McCurley

HM: Michael, how did you know about San Miguel, and what was the driving force of your life changing decision to live in Mexico?

MH: After living in LA for more than 20 years, we moved to Portland, Oregon living there for almost a decade. The winters can be long, and after so many years in California we were always ready for a sun break.

My wife, Monica, had heard of the UNESCO town San Miguel de Allende in the early 70’s, and we first visited SMA in 2007. During our annual visits we met the Olympic ice skating champion/artist Toller Cranston, and it was he who cajoled us to move to San Miguel in 2015. Toller could be very persuasive! We found a beautiful contemporary house designed by the great Mexican architect Luis Sanchez, and decided, over tequilas, to change our life once more, to sell our house in Portland, and move to beautiful San Miguel, a decision we have never regretted. Thanks, Toller!

HM: “Beneath Mexican Stars” is your last composition, and it is a spectacular song.

Can you share with me how it came about?

MH: During the four years we have lived in SMA, I have often tried to find an appropriate theme for the beautiful country we live in…

Well, it took a new keyboard to be the catalyst!

The synthesizer featured an astonishingly realistic guitar sound, and immediately I was drawn to it, and started to play the simple thirds that open the song…

In my imagination it was night, and I saw a Mexican sitting by a log fire underneath the stars quietly playing his guitar, a song full of longing and soulfulness… “Bajo las estrellas Mexicanas” is one of Monica’s favorite song, and the album “Amistad” begins with it.

HM: Peace and Reconciliation is your latest album, it recently made the North American premiere in Sedona, Arizona, and the European premiere in Hassel, Belgium, what was the inspiration for this new composition?

How did the theme Peace and Reconciliation come about?

Why are you giving this concert?

MH: “Peace and Reconciliation” is the name of my new album consisting of all my choral works.

The catalyst was an extraordinary family discovery which I will tell at the concert, resulting in a miracle when a couple in Sedona, Arizona funded the entire project. As a friend wrote “Peace and Reconciliation is a beautiful work of heart”

Recorded in Scottsdale, the premiere of “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation” was performed in Sedona, Arizona by the Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers, with the Tetra String Quartet, and conducted by Ryan Holder.

A few months later “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation” was given the European premiere in Hasselt, Belgium, and is now scheduled for performance in Knoxville, Tennessee in May.

HM: It is truly a miracle that we will have the opportunity to hear your fascinating life story for the first time here at the Teatro Angela Peralta this Sunday March1. The Teatro has a long and proud history of music, this week it will witness the premiere of Peace and Reconciliation as part of your world tour. And the children of San Miguel will benefit from this wonderful and touching performance!!!

Thank you Michael!