Santa Ana Sites #16: Perla Betalla

Presented by Santa Ana Sites and produced in association with the Boca de Oro: Art & Literature Fringe Festival and Church of the Messiah, Perla Batalla brings her powerful voice to the oldest operating church in Orange County. A veritable holy grail of sound, the concert will feature Batalla performing selections from Cohen’s great songbook as she pays homage to the late icon.

Batalla is among the few performing artists whose emotional power is equal to her magnificent voice. Her extraordinary vocals and culture-merging compositions have garnered worldwide critical acclaim, leading to seven solo albums and performances in some of the world’s most prestigious venues. Known for her tone, depth of emotion, and sublime expressiveness, her transcendent voice is a natural conduit for Cohen’s exquisite work, and the songstress will perform in English and Spanish accompanied by a pianist.

The L.A. times writes, “[Batalla is] proud of her mestiza heritage, musically adventurous and always accompanied by impeccable performers…. above all, she is a born storyteller with a rambunctious sense of humor.”

Set in the evocatively beautiful Church of the Messiah, Batalla’s House of Cohen is the 16th installment of Santa Ana Sites.  The church is a historic fixture of both Santa Ana and Orange County, with the red sanctuary lamp, stained glasswork, and stone baptismal entrance setting the tone for an unforgettable evening of artistry. The performance takes place within the framework of the Boca de Oro: Art & Literature Fringe Festival, bringing Cohen’s poetic lyrics and Batalla’s dynamic voice to a celebration of literary minds.

About Perla Batalla
Perla was born in Los Angeles, California, to a family immersed in music. Her Mexican father was singer and radio personality, and her Argentine mother ran a bustling record store called Discoteca Batalla. At the family record shop, literally at her Mother's knee, Perla was exposed to an education of non-stop music that cut across genre and language. While her far-ranging influences are reflected in the eclectic choices of songs she writes, arranges and performs today, it is that voice that brings each song to a new light. She is the recipient of the United Nation’s Earth Charter Award for “extraordinary devotion to social and economic justice” and the Premio Fronterizo Award for “healing work in the world”.

About Church of the Messiah
Located in historic downtown Santa Ana, Church of the Messiah is a multi-cultural, inclusive, progressive Episcopal church deeply committed to supporting the diverse needs of our local community. Members come from all over Orange County and beyond for spiritual nourishment. The congregation was founded in 1883, and the church was dedicated in May 1889. The red turreted church is Orange County Historic Landmark #03, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Church of the Messiah is the longest continuously used structure and church in Orange County.