First opera voice to perform at opera house

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For mother’s day, the first operatic performance in the 132 year history of Garcia Opera House will be held Sunday noon.

Nick Palance, whose vocal talents have been compared by the press to Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban, will be performing.

Even organizer Sam Palahnuk said Palance is well know in the Los Angeles area and has performed all along the west coast.

This charity concert benefits the non-profit Cielito Lindo Ranch in Catron County as well as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Albuquerque.

Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed May 12 “Socorro’s Garcia Opera House’s First Operatic Performance Recognition Day.”

The opera house itself has served as a community gathering place since 1886. Francesca Garcia, widow of local Socorro businessman, Jose Garcia, and a descendant of the original Spanish settlers, decided to build an opera house. Construction began on the adobe structure, which took three years to complete.

The building boasts an arched ceiling suspended over walls that angle out at the ceiling to improve acoustics, and one of the few raked stages still in existence. The adobe walls are an 34″ thick. In December 1886, the opera house had its grand opening with a “musical festival.” Since then, the theater has held orchestral entertainments, plays, dances, local proms, weddings and other celebrations.

In 1985, the building was restored. The woodwork inside is original and the adobe offers one of the best examples of such construction in New Mexico.

Cielito Lindo Ranch is an off-the-grid educational living center tasked with teaching through publications and workshops sustainable living techniques, which includes sustainable artistic careers, sustainable environmental habits, and creating sustainable local economies. To learn more, got to http://cielitolindoranch.org/wp/goals/.

Tickets for this event are $20, $15 and $10. For tickets, or more information, go to www.CLRNewMexico.com or call 800-595-4849.