The Italian Singer

To Sing Is So Much More Than
Just Singing!

I once attended a master class with Birgit Nilsson. Not as an active singer, but as a silent observer. It was right at the beginning of my study and I was in no way ready to expose myself to that level of expertise. One of the things she said was that more or less, singers are “german” or “italian” by nature. La Nilsson was naturally german. Big time! Even though she did a legendary Turandot. That distinction hit a cord within me. I new directly – I belonged to the italian crowd!

The Italian Singer i Florence

I became true to my  inner “Italian singer” in Italy.

I became an “italian singer” in style and expression when studying in Italy for two years. Actually I lived in Rome as a child. I went to school, spoke fluent italian and when we were going back to Sweden I cried.

Going back to Swedish language, culture and society took away part of that “italianization”. But I do think my instinctive Italian feel for music might have evolved from those childhood years.

The italian singer happened organically when returning. By watching how they handled their motorino’s through the insane traffic in Rome. By eating pizza with extra olive oil poured over the mozzarella. By not standing the unsalted bread in Florence. By visiting the churches, museums and being squeezed onto the bus in rush hour. By realizing the scenery in Toscana IS misty. It’s not because the paintings are fading, or dirty… The pecorino, the wine, the gelato and that particular little bar, in that little square where the melanzane al parmiggiano was to die for!

This is not to diminish my wonderful teachers, Elisabettea Sepe, Bruno Rigacci, Ann English Santucci and Francesco Paolone. Yet being immersed by the culture and the language did something that would not have happened had I had the same amount of lessons and master classes with the same teachers in Sweden, plus recitals.

My italian of course became better. But the funny thing is my Mozart singing became better too. Why? Because basically Mozart is an italian composer. He was fostered in the Italian tradition, just like everyone else. And while my Mozart interpretations improved so did my german, by default!

 A couple of songs, not in italian. 😉

 

Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann

A lovely  Lieder by Clara Schumann

Die stille Lotusblume, Clara Schumann

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This aria from The Messiah is usually cut out. Wonder why, it is one of my favorites! Händel wrote mainly for the italian singer, even though he turned to english when he started to create works for choirs.

Stella Scott sings  “If God be for us”

Please share with the buttons below, your friends probably want to meet these unknown Händel & Schumann pieces too. 🙂

11 comments

  • Ree

    Stella,
    Just listened to both of the songs. What a beautiful moving voice you have. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope to have the privilege of hearing you in person someday.

      • LeginBuddha

        Interesting, but you are no Jackie Evancho. Now, I might have a different reaction if you sang something from another genre, but from my point of view the opera ‘sound’, the comically excessive emoting, the “heroic” poses and overwrought gestures mock the entire process. I know that opera singing requires very rigorous training, but so does professional wrestling. In either case that doesn’t make it any more palatable. So, you can see that I am not criticizing your singing, only the way your training makes you sound. I very much enjoy the occasional beautiful aria, but to listen to singing like that for hours while telling a story is more than most people are willing to bear. I have little doubt that if opera lost all of its funding, governmental and private, it could not survive on the basis of its artistic merit alone.

  • Kim Steadman

    I suppose the true test of gifted artist is to have the ability to capture new audiences… I am usually not drawn to classical music, but knowing a tiny bit about this lovely lady and your beautiful gift of voice I wanted to share with my Facebook friends. The song title is a fitting reminder …….If God Be For Us…….that I needed today… Thank you sweet friend…..
    Kim Steadman recently posted…Rearranging the Filing Cabinet of Your Mind: Empty Nest is Not EmptyMy Profile

  • cabbagejuice

    Very enjoyable Schumann (the lady!) and Haendel that reminded me of “Who Can Abide the Day of His Coming”. I liked the pianist, too.
    I couldn’t help but notice comments by those who must stalk out anyone who had anything to do with Jackie Evancho. They are constantly on alert and ready to pounce on a critic. This particularly caught my eye as Classical Crossover does exactly this: “the opera sound, the comically excessive emoting, the “heroic” poses and overwrought gestures mock the entire process”.
    This is what these people think of opera, missing just about everything else, even if stock gestures are not present, but eagerly lap them up when coming from the likes of Brightman, Shapplin and Il Divo. Any kid over the past few years who has strutted out Nessun Dorma or O Mio Babbino has been praised to the rafters for their studied melodrama and giving them that adrenalin shot of a high note at the end of an aria, the same with screechy tenors on the Got Talent shows – Ugh!
    cabbagejuice recently posted…Eucharistic SymphonyMy Profile

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