International opera star Lisette Oropesa goes Cuban

The Cuban zarzuela (operetta) Cecilia Valdés was composed by Gonzalo Roig and premiered in Havana in 1932. It is based on the famous 19th century Cuban novel of the same name by Cirilo Villaverde. Cecilia’s big entrance aria is a natural fit for Cuban American soprano Lisette Oropesa. Below are the main lyrics. Enjoy.

¡Yo soy Cecilia, Cecilia Valdés!!

Hierve la sangra en mis venas;
soy mestiza y no lo soy.
Yo no conozco las penas.
Yo siempre cantando voy.

Siento en mi alma cubana
la alegría de vivir.
soy cascabel, soy campana.
¡Yo no sé lo que es sufrir!

Yo no conozco las penas.
Siento en mi alma cubana
la alegría de vivir.

Mis amores son las flores
que perfuman mi jardín.
Y mi risa cristalina
es un eterno tintín.

No hay en mi jardín una sola flor
Que no sea flor de amor.
Yo canto y bailo a porfía.
Yo soy Cecilia Valdés.

5 thoughts on “International opera star Lisette Oropesa goes Cuban”

  1. I wonder why the artistic output Cuba had from 1902-1959 [you know, those horrible, miserable years when Cuba was an impoverished and exploited colony of the USA full of an ignorant, barefooted, disease-riddled population] is so insanely superior to now when Cubans have independence, pride, education and healthcare?

    • Maybe because Cuba was then free to be itself and create accordingly, as opposed to having a noxious alien system forced upon it and being told “Within the Revolution, everything; against the Revolution, no rights.” Also, the Imposer-in-Chief wasn’t even remotely interested in artistic output unless he could use it for propaganda purposes, and how good it actually was did not matter.

  2. As someone who has studied the classical music of the country of my birth for many years, I can unequivocally state that Cuba produced some amazing composers and musicians in the 19th and early 20th centuries: Saumell, Cervantes, White, Lecuona, Caturla, Roldan. The fact that they are not lionized says more about the propaganda efforts on the part of the mercifully dead motherfucking cocksucker, Fidel Castro and the communists than anything else. In sixty plus years of the revolution only one composer stands out: Leo Brouwer. And, at best, he is meh.

    We have a rich legacy that has never been properly explored. It is a goddamned shame.

    • Brouwer was one of the signers of the 2003 public letter justifying repression and summary executions of Cubans whose “crime” was trying to escape from the slave plantation Cuba became.

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