Canedo-González appears on largest opera stage in S. America

     
    The first time Blas Canedo-González stepped on stage to perform professionally, he stood there on shaking legs, his heart pounding in his chest. But he wasn’t alone.
    Canedo-González, a voice instructor at Lamar State College Port Arthur, brings with him to the stage and the classroom a lifetime of experience to go along with a pure, unadulterated love of singing. More important, he shares a legacy of musical talent established two generations before by his grandfather.

    “I was very little but I was able to draw from his taste and perception about music,” Canedo-González said of his grandfather, Luis González. “He was a huge influence on me.”

    And, in turn, Canedo-González works to influence others through his professional performances as well as his time in the classroom. Starting Sept. 1, Canedo-González will strike one of the high points of his career as he takes the stage for the Teatro Mayor Santo Domingo, a prestigious theater in South America in its upcoming production of “Der Rosenkavalier”.

    “It’s a very important opportunity and a very significant experience to have as a performer,” he said. “It’s one of the most important things I’ve performed in my career.”

    That’s quite a statement. Canedo-González’s resume’ of performances is truly impressive. He has performed operas by Mozart, Purcell, Massenet, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi and a half-dozen others. He has presented concerts with selections from Brahms, Beethoven, Bach and more.

    Vivamos la Opera, a Columbian national television program, regarded Canedo-González as “one of the most promising young talents of his generation.” The North Channel Star, located in the North Shore area of Houston, described him as “a baritone of excellent talent.”

    In a reverent tone, Canedo-González describes his grandfather, and the impact he had on his life, in terms of how he laid a foundation of admiration for music and singing.

    “I’m fascinated with everything to do with singing and in great part that comes from my grandfather,” Canedo-González said. “He was a very accomplished musician and he was my inspiration.”

    His grandfather played in the symphony and was in a jazz band in the 1950s. He, too, taught music to aspiring students.

    “I have a violin that belonged to his father and it’s been passed on to me,” Canedo-González said. “I still have it. It is a treasure.”

    Though his grandfather planted the seeds of musical aspirations in the family, Canedo-González has stretched the expectations for himself and his career as a singer.

    He has performed more than 30 major baritone roles in the United States, South America and Europe. Some of his roles include Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Dr. Rappaccini in Rappaccini’s Daughter, Everybody in Lucinda y las Flores de Noche Buena, El Duende in Maria de Buenos Aires, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Il Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Il Conte de Luna in il Trovatore, Escamillo in Carmen, Beaupertuis in Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze, Belcore in L'Elisir D’Amore, Germont in la Traviata, Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, Marcello in La Bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Angel in Hagar and Ishmael, Albert in Werther, Dr. Miracle in Tales of Hoffman, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, Signor Deluso, Vronsky in Anna Karenina.
     
    Canedo-González has performed with the Fort Worth Opera, Alamo City Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera in the Ozarks, Crescendo Institute, Moores Opera Center, Verismo Opera, UNT Opera, Metroplex Dallas Opera, Ópera de Colombia, Prolírica de Antioquia, Ópera de Manizales, Festival Ópera al Parque, and Fundación Carmiña Gallo.

    He won the Pavel Lisitsian award for the best baritone voice at the 10th annual the Lois Alba competition in Houston. Blas appeared as Belcore in the Crescendo Institute’s L'Elisir d'Amore, which was broadcast by Hungarian public television and sold in DVD.

    Ultimately, his versatility has allowed him to succeed in the concert and the recital arenas. He has performed as a baritone soloist with the Houston Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, Sinfónica de Manizales, Corpas Symphony, Sinfónica Juvenil de Medellín, Medellín Philharmonic, in different venues with the Sala de Conciertos Luis Ángel Arango, Dallas Fine Art Chambers Players, Soma International, and the Festival International de Música en Medellín.

    Canedo-González obtained an Artist Diploma Certificate in Voice Performance from the University of North Texas, where he also taught voice as a Teaching Fellow. He also has a master’s degree from Texas Christian University and is expected to receive his doctorate in voice and music from the University of Houston this December. In addition, though not currently practicing, his first college degree was in law.

    “Music has the power of communication and it is a very personal thing. Everyone has a different voice,” he said. “So, with students, the key is to be honest with goals and expectations. Once there is an understanding between me and my students, it’s about learning to use our instruments, our voices, to communicate to an audience.”

    Canedo-González joined Lamar State College Port Arthur’s Commercial Music Program in 2014 after being made aware of an opening in the department by the director of the vocal department at the University of Houston.

    “I have had a very good experience (at LSCPA),” Canedo-Gonzalez said. “I have grown in many aspects teaching here.”

    Says John Freyermuth, director of the Commercial Music program at LSCPA: “The talent that Blas possesses, the experience and first-hand knowledge of the stage he has provides our students an incredible opportunity for learning and growth. I am in awe of Blas’ talents and he has proven himself a caring and exceedingly capable instructor. We are blessed to have him as part of our program.”

    Canedo-González’s wife, Danielle Marie Nicholson, works at Rice University in the communications department. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than Blas’ love for music is the love he has for his three-month old daughter, Camille. “She is my life.”

    Everyday life for Canedo-González involves an hour’s drive from Crosby where he and his family live. Occasionally, during that drive, he finds himself singing for the pure pleasure of it.

    “I really like many types of music,” he said. “Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, of course, The Beatles. Because I have chosen to sing professionally at such a high level, I have to be careful not to strain my voice. But, sometimes you hear something, and you just have to sing along.”