The Follow of a Dream 1- Issue 40

Cuenca Expats Magazine, Issue 40

Photos: Courtesy of Teresa Drake

I recently had the pleasure of watching six very talented young people put on an operatic performance of “La Velada Cuencana,” at Kolo Restaurant. It was an amazing presentation and the voices were clear, full of the passion and the kind of emotion you would expect in a well-performed opera. The performance was written, choreographed and directed by 25-year-old Johnny Bravo, who also played the piano to accompany the performers. The performers range in age from 14 to 34 and to hear the quality of their voices, you would not believe they are that young.

La Velada Cuencana translates to “The Cuencana Evening,” and is a celebration that takes place after the decoration of Jose Maria Rodriguez as cultural ambassador of the city of Cuenca at the beginning of the 19th Century. The atmosphere was induced by the period dress that the performers wore as well as the location that was enhanced by candelabras located in strategic spots around the floor. The performers, Johnny Bravo, his sister and dancer, Mikaela Bravo, violin player, Santiago Arévalo, sopranos, Belén Campoverde and Gabriela Méndez and bass singer, David Peña were successful in transporting the viewers to old Cuenca. A time when singers entertained their guests or family members and played the piano or violin.

Johnny created “La Velada Cuencana” as his thesis to graduate as a professional in tourism (pre-Covid). In 2020 he approached, several tour companies, including Best Experience Ecuador, to help get his play out there.

Pedro Alvarez Iñiguez of Best Experience Ecuador was quite taken by the group. He became the unofficial manager and host, and he performs as a dancer when his time allows. And present a theatrical performance that will introduce people to old Ecuador and its people through music and costumes.

These multi-talented individuals helped to lift the spirits of the people watching them perform and, for one evening, allowed them to forget about the pandemic and its problems and get lost in a time machine to early 19th Century Cuenca. I, for one, am thankful that I had a ticket to ride part of their dream. I would strongly urge you, if you get the chance, to watch these beautiful people perform. Perhaps you know of a place that would welcome a performance or can help get the word out about them and, in the process, find sponsors so they can achieve their dreams.

The Follow of a Dream 3 - Issue 40

If you are interested in scheduling a performance contact Pedro Alvarez Iñiguez at 593 99 553 5705 for more information.

La Velada Cuenca Logo - Issue 40