The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus is ready to rock you with a tribute to Queen.
The shows open on Friday, March 31, at Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center, and on Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
“These kinds of concerts are really exciting and fun to do,” said Aaron Howe, artistic director. “It’s been really great learning about (the late Queen singer) Freddie Mercury and his life. I knew Freddie Mercury was bisexual. I wanted to do something about LGBTQ people in music and their journey.”
The show will feature projections of the band and Mercury, as well as dancers and a rock band.
To translate Queen’s exuberant rock ‘n’ roll into choral music, Howe relied on scores arranged by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus.
“We also used some of the arrangements from the musical ‘We Will Rock You,’ ” he added.
The 2002 jukebox musical featured arrangements by Queen guitarist Brian May.
“It allowed us access to some great harmonies,” Howe said.
“We’ll also be telling the life story of Freddie Mercury,” he continued. “He was such an extroverted person on stage, but he was really something of an introvert. He had to use drugs to interact with people and become social.”
A choreographer will direct a troupe of female dancers.
“I really wanted to bring in more of a female element,” Howe said. “I felt like it was time we had a concert that celebrated people who aren’t one or the other.”
Audiences can expect a litany of greatest hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “Under Pressure,” “We Are the Champions” and more.
Mercury was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. He died of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS at age 45 in 1991.