MEXICO CITY — The state of Sonora is about to celebrate the 34th edition of its largest music festival, expecting more than 120,000 attendants.
This year, Scottsdale is among the guest cities, hosting some of the festival’s concerts. The event is expected to help foster bilateral relationships.
The Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival, known as FAOT, is one of Sonora’s most important cultural activities. Between Jan. 19 and 27, musicians and singers — mainly opera — invade the city of Álamos with their tunes.
Festival organizers announced there will be 12 other cities hosting shows. Most are in Sonora, except for Monterrey, Mexico City — and Scottsdale.
Last year, Tempe was the FAOT’s special guest from Arizona.
Mario Welfo is head of the Sonoran Cultural Institute. He explained the festival shares the Arizona-Sonora Commission’s interest to increase cultural exchange, which also benefits the region’s economy.
“We expect to generate between six and seven million dollars with the festival and the tourism it attracts, mainly helping the economy of small municipalities,” Welfo said.
But not only opera will be featured at the FAOT.
Other artists invited are Mexican-American singer Lila Downs, the “godfather of cumbia in Monterrey” Celso Piña and DJ, MC and producer Pato Machete. The festival also includes movies, live music and even activities for children.
As for the shows in Scottsdale, Welfo said two concerts will be held: on Jan.24, six opera singers will interpret traditional Mexican melodies. And Jan. 25, a Sonoran string quartet will perform.