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Placido Domingo in Chichen Itza

Last night’s “El Concierto De Las Mil Columnas, Placido Domingo en Chichen Itza” stunningly highlighted the powerful connections between music and the environment.

Mayan pyramids literally set the stage for a celebration of Mexican and Yucatecan culture that included Opera, Mariachi, and duets between Armando Manzanero and Domingo. The mixtures of languages and styles were combined but not stirred together, such that they maintained their separate identities. The vast audience was audibly and palpably enthusiastic throughout, and they and the performers were united in a reverence for the sacred location, and love of country.

The drizzling of rain made the musical and environmental connections all the clearer, as the great cultural icons and associated instruments and equipment were put at the mercy of the forces of nature. The pauses to wait out bouts of rain also gave all present the opportunity to better note the ambient soundscape and compare the characteristics of the space with and without the blanket of music. The music and the environment influenced each other, and together were what made the concert special.

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