“Beyond Borders” by Frans Bloem
Mar 13, 14, 20, 21
The Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4, Col San Rafael
Tickets sold at the Biblioteca and at the door
415 154 7524
By Emily Pickrell
Wander into the chapel of the Iglesia de la Concepcion on a given Sunday morning, and you just might find the Dutch cabaret singer Frans Bloem, standing and singing “Panis Angelicus” to the sequestered nuns of the Concepcion Order. Bloem has a standing arrangement with the church when he is in town from New York or Amsterdam to sing to the nuns as his way of an offering to the community.
It’s quintessential Bloem, his voice soaring up to the sky as he sings of the heavenly bread that nourishes our souls.
Frans (F): “For me, the bread is the manifestation of the divine. As a Catholic, you have to believe that that is the body of Christ—now I see that as a metaphor of coming to a divine understanding of consciousness within us.”
Now an anticipated and treasured part of high season in San Miguel de Allende, Bloem’s singing performances have centered on his uncanny ability to fully embody the songs he sings and the characters he creates in the telling of these songs’ stories.
F: “´My Way,’ composed and written by French songwriter Jacques Revaux and popularized by Frank Sinatra, is one such example. When I sing a song it is not about whether it is pretty or not. I am singing to share my own experiences. I am always asking in a performance, ‘What is the motivation? Why am I singing it and to whom?’”
For Bloem, doing it his way has meant a life of traveling to more than 50 countries, first as a travel guide and now as a professional performer, with shows in Mexico City, New York City, and Amsterdam.
Exposure to the world is part of what Bloem brings to his art, comfortably singing in several languages, including Spanish and English. He embraces Mexican culture in his everyday interactions in San Miguel, where he plans to spend much of his time in the years ahead.
In his current show, “Beyond Borders,” Bloem tackles the challenges that humans face, regardless of country or creed.
F: “How we are being threatened by overpopulation and climate change, pollution and mis-administration of our resources! I find songs about that, encouraging songs. There is a conflict we all have, a trauma. And I choose songs that deal with that—how different people interpret it—and then there is celebration and resolution. I take them on the journey, like I used to do when I was a tour manager. I see it as a journey and I am the guide.”