«When Niña Pastori chose me, I went viral»




His voice captivates. Talking and singing. Esperanza Alarcon Fernandez seduced Pastori Girl interpreting ‘Are you’, a great song from ‘Mocedades’, with which the Toledo from Camarena has managed to overcome the blind auditions in the television contest ‘La Voz Senior’ on Antena 3.

But what Esperanza did not imagine at all, at 61 years old, is the viral phenomenon she has become since last Saturday night. Around 11:45 p.m., Niña Pastori pressed her red button and chose the woman from Toledo to include her in her team. Then the unforeseeable happened. «I’m shocked, I can’t believe it. The city council had announced my participation, but I did not expect that, at the moment that Niña Pastori pressed the button, my phone would start to move; In less than a minute and a half, I received 400 WhatsApps and I don’t know how many friend requests on Facebook.

What’s more,
on YouTube the video has more than 70,000 visits and some great comments from Mexico, Venezuela,…

Among the congratulations, there is one that has caused him a special illusion: «In Camarena lives Jesus Hita, the drummer who has been with Mocedades all his life, and he told me that it had been a fabulous performance». “So, I’m like floating,” adds the interpreter from Toledo.

At the Benidorm Festival

Esperanza hadn’t sung for twenty years, after a very long career. His first steps were made in the summer, when he went from Madrid to his grandmother’s house in Camarena. “You know what life was like in the villages. I went with the guitar, you sat in the park to sing and that’s it». His success was due to his voice, “mesosoprano”, and with his folk group, the Madrid-born ‘Sabor Añejo’, came to compete at the Benidorm Festival. It was in 1980, the year Jerónimo won with a song written by ‘el Lute’.

When he was preparing a psychotechnician to be ATS, he signed up for the Mandingo orchestra. Being in this group from Camarena and Fuensalida, his son Álvaro began to say that he was from Esperanza, ‘la de Mandingo’, which degenerated into the name that he does not like to hear: Esperanza, ‘la Mandinga’. “Boy, it horrifies me, it makes me sick!” she exclaims between laughs.

Then she went through ‘Santiago and his orchestra’, by the Manhattan orchestra, married a musician and current husband, Jesús Padilla, and sang in other groups. «I ended up doing weddings, but there came a time when I got tired because, in addition, the music was recorded». She left the microphone, worked for a medical laboratory and ended up as an employee in an insurance company.

But, how did the woman from Toledo come to ‘La Voz Senior’? Well, thanks to a drummer friend of his, Jose Miguel ‘the Brown’, who provided Esperanza’s telephone number to the television program. «I was stunned when they called me. I hadn’t sung for twenty years, although during confinement I picked up the microphone again at home because my children gave me a karaoke for the Three Wise Men, but without further pretense».

In the end, she entered the contest pushed by her family, in which Álvaro is a percussionist and his daughters Paula and Elisa play the piano and the guitar, respectively. “I passed about six tests to get to the blind auditions and this Saturday will be the semifinals, ‘The Battles'”, in which Esperanza can make history. For now, he is left with the vital and viral experience, a second youth: “It’s amazing what I’m living.”

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