Join me on Monday, March 29 at 12 noon EST for the premiere of my latest recital video.
Watch as I take you on a trip through music history, from Baroque masterpieces to 20th century musical theatre. This series features songs I studied for my final singing exam from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada. A new video will be released each week, and compiled into one convenient playlist.
The ARCT diploma in Voice Performance is the culmination of years of study in the many styles and traditions of classical singing—opera, art song, oratorio, jazz, cabaret, musical theatre—as well as its prominent languages—French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin. Additionally, the diploma requires extensive study in sight-reading, ear training, music history, harmony and music analysis, as well as piano proficiency.
“Esurientes implevit bonis” is an aria from the famous Magnificat in D Major oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach composed in 1723. One of Bach’s most popular vocal works, it is written for five vocalists and Baroque orchestra. The Magnificat is Bach’s first major liturgical composition in Latin. Whereas regular Sunday services would have been conducted in German, music sung in Latin was reserved for the high holidays, i.e. Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.
Singing Bach is always a nostalgic experience for me, reminding me of my first real “gig” as a chorister in the Bach Children’s Chorus at 6 years old. God bless my parents, they knew I loved to sing, but I don’t think they really understood what they were signing me up for. The weekly three-hour rehearsals involved rigorous study of solfège, sight-reading, and singing the seemingly endless contrapuntal lines of Bach himself. We were also sent home with booklets of music theory homework, which was like a foreign language to me.
I am forever grateful for this early exposure to Bach and Baroque music. Not only did I learn invaluable musical skills—like how to read music and sing long melismatic lines on a single breath—but it also set me up for the amazing experiences I had in the Mendelssohn Youth Choir in high school, and the MacMillan Singers in University, singing at Roy Thompson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Peter Oundjian. And as I study harmony and music analysis for my final exam of the ARCT diploma, my understanding of counterpoint is firmly rooted in Bach’s vocal music.
Lyrics (Luke 1:53):
Esurientes implevit bonis
Et divites dimisit inanes
He has filled the hungry with good things
And the rich he has sent empty away