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David Beatty at the Nazari Gardens in Vélez de Benaudalla in 2022. SUR
An American in Cajiz: David Beatty brings the music of Frank Sinatra to the Axarquía
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An American in Cajiz: David Beatty brings the music of Frank Sinatra to the Axarquía

The singer has lived in Granada province since 2018 and is involved with a number of international choirs in Almuñécar and Vélez-Málaga

Jennie Rhodes

Vélez de Benaudalla

Friday, 15 March 2024, 15:15

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American singer David Beatty, who is bringing the music of Frank Sinatra to El Molino de Cajiz later this month, admits that he "doesn't come from a musical family". In fact, he says that he was "going to be an architect in seventh grade," but he started learning songs from records when he was six, took his first voice lessons at 14 or 15 and by ninth grade he had "decided rather arrogantly" that he was "going to be a great opera singer as that was the Olympics of singing".

But David confesses that he had never heard opera before. The first one he went to was while he was at college and he admits that it "scared the hell" out of him.

Despite the shock of that first experience, David went on to obtain two degrees in music and sang opera and classical music throughout his twenties. He toured with the National Opera company in the USA and took part in over 250 performances.

However, seeing that he "wasn't going to get to the Metropolitan Opera or earn a great living just by singing", in his thirties David decided to study Finance at the University of Chicago. He went on to have a successful career in banking and says, "The same skills that helped me stand on stage helped me talk to people on the phone and be a salesman of banking products became a thing I could do quite well." Although David continued to sing in a choir while he was working he acknowledges that "life was too busy to do much".

When he retired, David and his wife began to look at the possibility of moving abroad. He had spent time in Germany during his college years and his wife had done some travelling around Europe in the past too, but neither had been to Spain.

Choirs in Spain

The couple spent their first year moving around the country and tried Madrid and Barcelona before coming to Andalucía and to Alhama de Granada, before finding their dream home in Vélez de Benaudalla (Granada province) in October 2018. Once settled, David decided that it was time to revive his singing career and set about finding a pianist and local choirs.

He is a member of a number of choirs including Coralaxalia in Vélez-Málaga. He says of his experience, "The choirs here are good and I think the presence of so many English, Germans and Scandinavians also adds because of their strong choral traditions."

David also sings as a soloist with pianist Jose Luis Lopretti, who is originally from Uruguay and who has lived and worked in the Netherlands as a bass and piano player and also as a professor of music in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

José will be accompanying David for the two concerts in Cajiz. David explains, "Every song, except for a solo piano piece that José will play, will be one that had been recorded by Frank Sinatra." He promises some of the classics, but also says, "I'm pretty sure that there will be at least two songs that no one has ever heard of."

David is keen to point out that he is "not a Sinatra imitator" and explains that his voice is very different from Sinatra's. David says of his hero that his first wife played violin during Sinatra's final three tours, but he never had the chance to meet him. "I think of Sinatra as the greatest singer outside of classical music," he says, although he admits that Ella Fitzgerald is also high up on his list.

David says of his own singing career: "It is a lifelong passion that is more rewarding with each year."

The concerts are taking place at El Molino de Cajiz on Sunday 23 March at 7pm and Saturday 30 March at 7.30pm. For further information and tickets visit: www.elmolinodecajiz.com.

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