Natchez Festival of Music season finale ‘will rock you’ with Queen performance

Published 4:50 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

NATCHEZ — Is this the real life, or is it the Natchez Festival of Music’s grand finale, “Forever the Music of Queen,” coming to the Natchez City Auditorium on Saturday?

There will be a real-life performance of hit songs from the iconic rock-and-roll band, Queen, featuring “world-class talent” from “top to bottom,” said Robert Sizemore, who wrote the script for it.

He added the show, which starts at 7 p.m. at 207 Jefferson St., includes outstanding keyboard talent Joseph Britton and spectacular recording artist Barry Leads on guitar, but the real focus is the vocals.

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Lead singer Michael Muenchow Rivera, seen on NBC series Friday Night Lights, will be paying homage to Freddie Mercury and Queen joined by eight talented backup vocalists, Sizemore said.

“As we know the vocals in Queen are phenomenal and these vocalists are spectacular,” Sizemore said. “It’s all choreographed with the vocals. It should be nothing short of spectacular.”

As a Mexican-American performer, Rivera has entertained audiences in over 50 countries and has been a featured vocalist on television across the U.S. and Mexico. He continues his career as a professional actor and singer out of New York City.

A member of the Natchez Festival of Music’s Board of Directors, Sizemore has written numerous scripts for the festival in the past along with his sister-in-law from London, Paromita Saha Killelea. She will be narrating the show that also includes a bit of story about the British rock band between sets.

“The story follows the history of Queen, how it came about including how they came up with the name and tell a little bit about the songs,” Sizemore said. “Some of the stories about the songs are actually rather fascinating and about Freddie Mercury particularly. I think people will be somewhat surprised.”

At its inception, the former Natchez Opera Festival was centered around opera music but has evolved a lot since, becoming the Natchez Festival of Music. Now in its 31st season, the festival’s theme this year is “Musical Passports,” featuring a diverse list of musical genres.
“We truly are a festival of music,” Sizemore said. “We try to hit a bit of everything. If you like Queen, it should be enjoyable for everyone.”

Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at natchezfestivalofmusic.com or at the door.