Old and new worlds meet at Festival of Chichester

As part of this year's Festival of Chichester, Amici Concerts bring you Songs from The Old and New Worlds on Friday, July 14 at 7.30pm.


St Pancras Church, Eastgate Square, Chichester is the venue as Spanish soprano Amaia Azcona teams up with Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski. They will perform a programme of songs from the old and new worlds by Rodrigo, Lorca, Falla, Ponce, Gustavino and Villa-Lobos.

“We started working together through ILAMS, The Iberian and Latin American Music Society,” says Morgan. “I heard her once at one of her concerts, and her voice is so pure.

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“She does the Spanish repertoire which I also adore.

“It just seemed like a wonderful collaboration to start working together. The programme will be a lot of her repertoire, the Lorca, the Rodrigo, but also my side, the Latin American, the Villa-Lobos, the Ponce.

“We have done quite a few concerts together,” says Morgan who is the beneficiary of a grant from the Mexican Arts Council, FONCA. “We have worked together in Spain and in the UK, and there are a lot of similarities.

“It is similar traditions because the Spanish brought their music to countries like Mexico and the Latin American countries, so there is a very strong connection.

“But also, we are very like-minded. She is a lovely girl, and it is great to work together.

“But we are also quite different. I am a bit more relaxed. She is a little bit more passionate.”

Morgan was born in Mexico to a Scottish mother: “I grew up in Mexico City until I was 16 and then I went to music school in Edinburgh before coming down to London to study.

“It was one of the biggest shocks of my life to arrive in Edinburgh, the weather, the change of culture, leaving my family and my girlfriend and my friends.

“But I had such a wonderful time in Edinburgh. I have still got very close friends there and I love Scotland dearly.

“But I am based in Mexico now. I was in the UK for about 17 years, but four years ago I went back to Mexico to try to learn a bit more and to establish myself there. But I am constantly going backwards and forwards. It is rather boring, but you get used to it.

“Where I am just depends on work, but I tend to escape the British winters. When the sun comes out in Europe, that’s when you get all the festivals starting which is when the work is.

“When it is sunny in Europe, it is raining in Mexico and impossible to have the festivals.

“But when it is winter in Europe, that is when you have got the work in Mexico.”

www.amaiaazcona.com; www.morganszymanski.co.uk. Tickets £17; seniors £14; under-25s £5.

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