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“Las Magnificas”: Musical Medicine


Anna Tillman 


     “Las Magnificas” was a huge hit! This show could be seen on Sept. 12 in Olin Theater on the Crystal Lynn Van Hise Stage. Viewers left the theater not only entertained but also inspired by the message of the performance. 

     “Las Magnificas” is a one-woman show, featuring Nadya Encarnacion as the solo star. Her back-up was an amazingly talented core ensemble, made up of a cellist, pianist and percussionist who lit up the stage with their soulful music. Encarnacion took the viewers on a journey with her melodic voice, and her incredibly talented performance made the show an extraordinary cultural experience. Single-handedly, Encarnacion was able to portray three different important Latina figures.

    The one-woman performance showcased the lives of three famous Latina singers: Chavela Vargas, Celia Cruz and Violeta Parra. All three women are iconic in Latin American history and are widely known all over the world. Vargas was known to the world as the “Mexican Ranchera” singer. Cruz was a Cuban singer more commonly known as “The Queen of Salsa.” Parra was known as the “Mother of Latin American Folk Music.” 

    The most beautiful takeaway from this show was how powerful music can be. It highlighted the fact that music was a key part of all three singers’ lives. Each woman had a completely different story. They each went through vastly different trials and tribulations. However, the solution to all their problems was the same: music. Singing was their outlet. They inspired so many people with their stories and how they were able to prevail through song.  

    Watching this performance, the viewer developed a deeper appreciation for the art of music. “Las Magnificas” showed that the arts are incredibly important and should be a part of everyone’s lives in some way, whether you play instruments, sing or just enjoy listening to music. All can agree that, in times of need, music can be the perfect remedy.