Thursday night in the Sun Trust Pavilion of the New World Center marked the premier of Strings + Stories, a dynamic musical art performance by Migguel Anggelo, presented by David Stark and Jupiter Moons Productions. This was a truly exceptional evening where the artist, backed by an incredible string ensemble, took the audience on an emotional journey through his animated and imaginative personality. Combining pop and poetic songwriting with incredible singing, acting, and dancing, the sold out audience was brought to their feet for a 10 minute standing ovation at the conclusion of the performance. This audience knows quality, too, as it was filled with such cultural notables as Bonnie Clearwater (Director of Museum of Contemporary Art), Cathy Leff (Director of The Wolfsonian-FIU), Claudio Corsi (Grammy nominated singer/songwriter), Michele Oka Doner (artist and designer), Elaiza Irizarry (Executive Director of the Miami Theater Center), and Christopher Coleman (Internationally recognized interior designer).
At age 13, this Venezuelan actor, singer, and dancer made his stage debut as Pinocchio in the Venezuelan tour of the original Broadway musical Pinocchio directed by Levy Russell. He went on to perform in the musical Fedora also directed by Russell; Grupo Theja’s XL – 1953; Javier Vidal’s Marilyn; The Last Passion; Tierra Magica Compania’s Playing Broadway; and starred as the young Nick in the Latin American tour of FAME, The Musical. He trained for eleven years in classical ballet and studied opera at The Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany. Migguel Anggelo’s training clearly delivered this triumphant evening, and his ability to hit such a range of notes – low and high made it hard to believe that all of them were sung by the same man.
The amount of energy delivered by each individual on the stage was simply magical. The string ensemble seemed to feed off of Migguel’s animated personality, which brought the passion of each song to the next level. The back-up singers created a feeling of intimacy and added an element of theatrics while they danced cheek to cheek to the artist’s rendition of the classic bolero “Piensa En Mi.” With the use of props and costumes, Migguel transformed and embodied his song’s characters and the ensemble joined in on this transformation with every pluck, strum, and tap of their instrument.
One of the evening’s highlights, Migguel’s cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” a lilting, reinterpretation of longing was delivered with such passion that the audience seemed to slowly snuggle up to that special someone they arrived with. Migguel’s performance of his song “Donde Estará Matisse?” was as charming live as it is in his music video. The audience was able to join Migguel in his tale of encounters with artists such as Rembrandt, Cézanne, and Édith Piaf. Strings + Stories was a delight to watch and left the audience hoping that this performance marks more to come. Migguel Anggelo is certainly one to watch!