• Carlos Moran Leon and his wife Mylene Mosella with Ambassador of Morocco Mohamed Mael-Anin

    Carlos Moran Leon and his wife Mylene Mosella with Ambassador of Morocco Mohamed Mael-Anin

  • Soprano Betty Garces

    Soprano Betty Garces

  • Benjamin Martin and Mehdi Trabelsi

    Benjamin Martin and Mehdi Trabelsi

  • Mark Parton and Luisa Pava

    Mark Parton and Luisa Pava

  • Lola Haener and her daughter Scheherezade Haener

    Lola Haener and her daughter Scheherezade Haener

  • Beatriz Vivanco, Shireen Sulaiman, Gladys Tenorio and Christiane Vivanco

    Beatriz Vivanco, Shireen Sulaiman, Gladys Tenorio and Christiane Vivanco

  • Giovani Cano, Julian Bahamon and Victor Marillanca

    Giovani Cano, Julian Bahamon and Victor Marillanca

  • Paula Chadderton and Viviana Espinosa.

    Paula Chadderton and Viviana Espinosa.

  • Ambassador of Columbia Clemencia Forero-Ucros with Ambassador of Ecuador Raul Gangotena

    Ambassador of Columbia Clemencia Forero-Ucros with Ambassador of Ecuador Raul Gangotena

Colombia National Day Concert @ Wesley Music Centre

21 July 2016

The Embassy of Colombia has over the last few years presented Colombian artists of great talent to celebrate their National Day at the Wesley Music Centre. This year a recital by soprano Betty Garces with accompanist Alejandro Roca filled the centre with a glorious voice and beautiful music by these two artists little known in this part of the world but now most memorable to all who attended.

The foyer filled with members of the diplomatic community and friends of the Ambassador of Colombia  Clemencia Forero-Ucros, who enjoyed the preliminaries before filling the centre for the formalities that toast both Colombia and Australia, with Betty Garces singing the national anthem of Colombia. Ambassador Forero-Ucros acknowledged the guests and delivered her speech and we settled in for an eclectic mix of choices from Korngold, Puccini, Rachmaninoff and Cilea before a brief intermission and the second half featuring songs from Colombian, Brazilian and Cuban composers.

This is a lovely new tradition that takes the ubiquitous national day celebrations out of the residences and into the community where the opportunity to enjoy the best of a host country performing to a new audience is a cultural exchange of the best kind.  And a soprano of the calibre of Betty Garces and pianist Alejandro Roca, whose international reputations and experience come at a high price in other theatres was an experience this Canberra audience appreciated.