In 2015 I travelled to Tulum which is on the south coast of the Yucatan on the Caribbean Sea about 2 hours from Cancun. Unfortunately beaches were piled high with meters of rotting Sargasso Seaweed that had washed in blocking access to the water. This unfortunate event would lead me on an adventure into the interior of the Yucatan that lead me to discover the city and region around Merida, a place most people have never heard of let alone been to. Yet it is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich places I have ever been.
It is the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas and has a history and culture that lives up to its storied past. The geography and geologic history is facinating as its Mayan period, Spanish Colonial era and its present day. Merida is the capital of the Yucatan and the cultural heart at the centre of the region that is so compelling and vibrant I almost want to keep it all to myself. However it is such an amazing place I cant help but want to share it. The colonial city itself is built from the stones of the Mayan City that stood where Merida is today. It was the city that the weath of the Mayan was funnled back to Spain. Today it is filled with beautiful colonial homes that hide is the classic latin style secretly behind their front doors. The centre of this city of 800,000 plus people is the Cathedral which was completed in 1598. From this central square the wall of the old town which is still mostly intact you find incredible colonial homes and bustling streets. Two of the highlights amoung many in Merida is the incredible public market which occupies a massive area in the south centre of the old city. The other which interests me as a performer is the late 19th century Opera House Teatro Jose Peon Contreras. The public squares are constantly buzzing with events and Merida has been the City of Culture of the Americas twice in the 2000's. Merida is surrounded by amazing Cenote, which are ancient limestone caves filled with cool blue water, incredible historic towns and Mayan ruins and colonial Hacinedas.
My plan is to introduce people to this incredible area though music, food and travel. Starting in 2020 we will be hosting a "Garden Party" in Mexico which will be an exclusive private event in amazing colonial homes in Merida. Bringing together my musical friends and my love of travel and food in one place. These will be extremely unique concerts and feature some of my good friends coming together an making music in beautiful Merida.
Opera tells the story of life. It sees beauty where others can't and exposes the ugly truth in what appears to be beautiful on the surface.