Browsing: Art Song

What are we to make of songs that were written for people to sing and play at home, when nobody plays at home any more? The great canon of so-called ‘art song’ (horrible term) has shifted from the drawing room to the public stage and, in doing so, has lost something of its intended intimacy and improvisation. It seems to be that English song suffers more in this transition than French or German. All too often, in a concert setting, the singer feels obliged to pop a peach in his/her mouth for declamatory purpose. The English mezzo Dame Sarah Connolly…

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THE WINNERS OF THE 2018 VOICE EDITION: A SPECTACULAR EVENING AT THE CONCOURS MUSICAL INTERNATIONAL DE MONTRÉAL John Brancy wins in the Art Song division and Mario Bahg in the Aria division. Canadian Emily D’Angelo wins Second Prize in the Aria division   Montreal, Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Earlier this evening, it was full house at Maison symphonique as the audience and international jury of the 2018 Voice edition witnessed the Aria Grand Finale of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). After this final round sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada, the jury members gathered to deliberate and determine the…

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Today mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, baritone John Brancy, soprano Gemma Summerfield and baritone Julien Van Mellaerts performed to a full house at Bourgie Hall in the Finals of the Art Song division of CMIM 2018. Although the official results will only be announced on June 7, the winner appears to be Brancy. He and his pianist Peter Dugan understood how to captivate the audience, building a program that crescendo to a grand finale with Rachmaninov’s Zdes Khorocho and Vesennié vody. I tweeted during the performance “Back in April we predicted John Brancy would earn first prize at CMIM 2018 for Art…

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All eight semifinalists of the CMIM Art Song division (in the afternoon and evening sessions) gave solid performances, demonstrating master musicianship yesterday (June 1, 2018). However, American baritone John Brancy took it to another level and stole the show. Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts: When he started singing I found his voice smaller than the impression I had listening to him online in the first round. But his voice adjusted, and was able to fill the hall. La Scena’s Adrian Rodgriguez tweeted “flawless performance by Julien Van Mellaers. His Baryton martin voice was perfect for Phydilé.” Soprano Irina Jae-Eun Park: I…

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20 singers from 12 nations advance to the Art Song and Aria semifinals Montreal, Friday, June 1st, 2018 – Between May 29 and 31, 38 singers from 20 nations participated in the First round of the Art Song and Aria divisions. The jury selected 8 semifinalists in the Art Song division and 12 semifinalists in the Aria division, representing together some 12 nations. The Art Song semifinal starts today June 1st at Bourgie Hall. Here are the Art Song semifinalists by order of appearance: Art Song Semifinal I – 3 pm Julien Van Mellaerts (New Zealand – United Kingdom), baritone…

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After Day 3’s third and final session of eight singers for the Round one of the opera component, and a 30 minute wait, the CMIM 2018 announced the 12 semifinalists of the Aria competition. They are in alphabetical order: Mario Bahg, tenor (27, South Korea) John Brancy, baritone (29, United States) Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano (31, Canada/Tunisia) Kidon Choi, baritone (32, South Korea) Emily D’Angelo, mezzo-soprano (23, Canada/Italy) Mikhail Golovushkin, bass (35, Russia) Andrew Haji, tenor (32, Canada) Dilyara Idrisova, soprano (29, Russia) Konstantin Lee, tenor (29, South Korea) Mihail Mihaylov, tenor (30, Bulgaria) Petr Nekoranec, tenor (26, Czech Republic) Jongsoo Yang,…

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Montreal. May 29th. Yesterday, the Concours musical international de Montréal kicked off its 2018 Voice edition by welcoming the 38 singers and 10 collaborative pianists from all over the world as they sang altogether on stage at Bourgie Hall. Also present was the president of the jury, Zarin Mehta, and all the jury members Warren Jones, Soile Isokoski, François Le Roux, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Edith Bers, Ben Heppner, Dame Felicity Lott, Richard Rodzinksi, and Joseph Rouleau. The vocal competition in its new format, now consisting of two divisions, Aria (voice and orchestra) and Art Song (voice and piano), starts today! The Art Song and Aria First…

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One of the most important music competitions in Canada: The “Concours international de Montréal” has begun!. The first Round was dedicated to art song. Eight out of 16 singers from different corners of the world were selected to pass to the next round: Julien Van Mellaerts Irina Jae-Eun Park Axelle Fanyo Rihab Chaieb Gemma Summerfield John Brancy Tomi Punkeri Clara Osowski Here are my impressions after the first round: The stronger performances of the day came from Baritone John Brancy and mezzo Rihab Chaieb. Brancy seemed to be in total control of his voice and very confident. He showcased great…

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After a full-day, 16 contestants, four hours of music over two sessions, and a short 20-minute deliberation, the CMIM has announced the 8 semi-finalists for the Art Song Contest to be held on Friday, June 1 at 3 PM and 7:30 PM at Bourgie Hall in Montreal. They are (in the order of appearance): June 1, 3 PM: Julien Van Mellaerts Irina Jae-Eun Park Axelle Fanyo Rihab Chaieb June 1, 7:30 PM: Gemma Summerfield John Brancy Tomi Punkeri Clara Osowski Our writer Adrian Rodriguez attended the first round on-site and will file a report in the morning. On April 1,…

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PREVIEW: Of “Cycles of My Being,” Carnegie Hall, April 24, 2018 – the New York premiere of a new song cycle by composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes, performed by tenor Lawrence Brownlee; and REVIEW: Of the song cycle’s earlier world premiere at Opera Philadelphia, February 20, 2018. “Cycles of My Being” – a new art song cycle about the contemporary black male experience, is a compact, provocative, movingly confessional musical experience. Created specifically for, and in collaboration with, acclaimed operatic tenor Lawrence Brownlee, the work proves to be an eloquent and lyrical disburdening of pain and alienation –…

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