Iñaki Urranga from El Consorcio: ‘San José has become one of the fetish cities for the group’

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The Consortium does not go out of style: neither its romantic songs nor the voices of its members or the love they profess for Costa Rica. This will be demonstrated during three nights in August, when the Amaya brothers, Estíbaliz and Iñaki Uranga, accompanied by Carlos Zubiaga, return to our country to enchant with that extensive career on stage.

The appointments are agreed for August 25, 26 and 27 in a venue that knows them and welcomes them well: the Melico Salazar Popular Theater, in San José. It is a stage that has seen them sing great successes of romantic music in Spanish, such as Eres tú or Secretaria, tunes that over time continue to enjoy the applause of the public even though they have been heard many times on national soil.

That love and respect professed by Tico fans for El Consorcio is a kind of fountain of youth for the members of the quartet, who are already over 60 years old. The artists thank the Ticos in the best way they know how to do it: by singing songs.

They had tried to retire a few years ago when Sergio Blanco, El Consorcio’s fourth and Estíbaliz’s husband, passed away. However, the support of the public and the passion for music did not allow the voices of the Uranga to be silenced. After the loss, the group took on a new lease of life and continued to tour, but, just over two years ago, another situation took them away from their beloved stages: the pandemic.

This 2022 after the gradual recovery of live shows, El Consorcio returned to the concerts they love so much and of course Costa Rica could not be left out of the musical tour they perform under the name of Toda una vida; yes, as a tribute to this prolific career they have maintained.

From Spain, with a great countenance and a very good sense of humor, the singer Iñaki Uranga spoke to La Nación about various topics for the concerts that El Consorcio will present at the end of the month.

They come to three concerts to meet again with the Ticos. How do you feel about these new presentations in Costa Rica?

-We are happy to return with the Ticos who have shown us so much affection for so long. Since the last time we were, three years have passed; It was just before the pandemic. We are going to present the musical history of El Consorcio.

-The pandemic has been a very strong blow that took us away from live music. How was your return to the stage?

-Fantastic. I imagine that many artists have felt this way because they have felt loneliness. Two years without stepping on a stage and, moreover, after those two years, seeing the public again with masks was a very rare thing indeed. It has been a real pleasure to feel that you are still alive and that you continue to dedicate yourself to what you have done for so many years and even more so that the public still loves you.

There is a very intense relationship between El Consorcio and Costa Rica after so many years, what is the secret?

-What we do is what we know how to do and we do it honestly, without artifice; that the Costa Rican public appreciates very much. In addition, San José has become one of the fetish cities for El Consorcio, we have been visiting it for many years in a row since the first symphonic project. It is a great pride to count it among cities in Mexico, Colombia and Peru.

Neither age nor time pass in vain…

(Interrupts the question) They pass in vain, we say in Spain. (He immediately laughs out loud.)

With such a great career and being older adults, how do they manage because they are no longer the same energies as before? How is the physical preparation and also to keep the voices well?

-I have always said it: we have always been in shape, although the years pass for everyone. We’ve kept fit while still going out on stage; the only time we haven’t been out has been these two years of pandemic, so the fact of not leaving it has allowed us to be in shape. Now, after the reintegration after the pandemic, we have had to do exercises and many rehearsals.

Do you still get emotional singing like before?

-Undoubtedly. The other day he commented with other musicians that it’s incredible, but that’s how it is. Also, I feel that if it wasn’t like that, it would be bad because we couldn’t transmit all the passion with those nerves we have when it comes to going on stage. It is something that motivates you from within. The main thing, the most important thing, is the public; We have always said that we are here thanks to them, to that applause that encourages us to continue.

Speaking of the public, it’s nice to see that they have a very loyal following, but also that there are younger people who admire them.

-We are delighted, happy. We have commented that we have been lucky that our music was born at a time when songs were heard for a long time on radio and television; It was also heard a lot on the car radios and there the music that the parents played was heard, that is why it has been transmitted from generation to generation. That is the reason that has allowed us to have such a varied audience.

Besides that romantic music is not going to die…

-No. I have that more and more clearly and the proof is us who are still in the gap after 50 years and more in countries like Costa Rica, that are so musical, that live music in a very special way, live it day by day in any celebration. That influences a lot.

In addition to the fact that his songs were designed and made to last over time…

-Undoubtedly. Those were times when very solid songs were made with very interesting, deep lyrics and, later, the musical compositions of Juan Carlos Calderón were spectacular. The most important thing is the interpretation of those songs and that in El Consorcio we are lucky to have two of the best Latin female voices that are Amaya and Estíbaliz, that is something that not everyone can say.

The interpretation is a very high point: the polyphony and harmony of their voices is something that enchants…

-There are knowledgeable people who say that we are lucky in that our tone of voice is very similar, mainly among the three brothers; it’s something that has to do with genetics because the timbres of the voice blend very well. Of course, then comes Carlos Zubiaga with a wonderful voice that fits very well.

They had talked about retirement several years ago (2018), but it has not happened. What do you think now?

-We will leave when the public decides. At that time (when they announced that they were withdrawing) the withdrawal coincided with the death of my brother-in-law Sergio, who caught us off guard, we were discouraged. From there, projects that we had in our heads began to come out, but that did not come to fruition, they also gave us the Grammy and we decided to continue with Sergio on stage, but in our minds and hearts.

In concert

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The Spanish will sing at the Melico Salazar Theater on August 25, 26 and 27. All concerts start at 8 pm

Amaya’s group (founder and original voice of Mocedades), Estíbaliz, Iñaki and Carlos will arrive accompanied by their own band, to perform iconic pieces such as El vendor, Take me or leave me and the inevitable Secretary.

Tickets are on sale at www.eticket.cr. The prices and locations are: ¢73,850 (front window), ¢67,000 (back window), ¢67,000 (first floor boxes), ¢61,350 (second floor balcony), ¢55,650 (second floor boxes), ¢50,000 (third floor balcony ), ¢44,300 (third floor boxes) and ¢29,550 (gallery).