The Eastman School Symphony Orchestra presents its next concert on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall. Professor Neil Varon and DMA conducting student Matthew Straw will lead works by Grieg and Schumann, but the program also includes a vocal showpiece: Rossini’s short song cycle La Regata Veneziana, to be sung by senior performance major Meg Brilleslyper, mezzo-soprano.
Mason St. Pierre recently interviewed Meg about this interesting piece and about herself.
Tell us something about yourself!
I am originally from Colorado Springs, and I am a Senior Vocal Performance Major and Arts Leadership Certificate Candidate at the Eastman School of Music. I am a mezzo-soprano in the studio of Katherine Ciesinski. When I am not singing, I love hiking, running, boxing, and cooking!
Can you describe the piece you’re performing with ESSO?
Rossini’s La regata veneziana is a set of three canzonettas that walk through the inner dialogue of a proud Venetian girl cheering on her boyfriend in a huge regatta race in Venice. The first piece, “Anzoleta avanti la regata” (Angelia before the regatta), illustrates her pure excitement for this very important day and the pride she has in her partner. The second piece “Anzoleta co passa la regata” (Angelina during the regatta) follows her as she cheers him on in nervous anticipation. Finally, the third piece, “Anzoleta dopo la regata” (Angelina after the regatta), follows the happy couple after he wins the race! Angelina is so proud of him and realizes what a huge moment this is for her as an ordinary town girl.
This music is so engaging and does an incredible job at capturing innocence, pride, and overwhelming joy. I love to sing these pieces because they tell a heart-warming story while displaying the fiery character that I get to embody!
What is something you enjoy about the collaborative process between yourself, the conductor, and the orchestra?
I really love singing with an orchestra because this type of music really deserves the full sound that only an orchestra can offer. I have always loved these pieces but hearing the vibrancy that ESSO is able to bring out makes me love them even more. I have really enjoyed working with (student conductor) Matt Straw because we are learning a lot from each other. Since he is a peer at Eastman, I feel like I am able to communicate with him easily and without feeling nervous! He does a wonderful job guiding me through the difficult sections and he is really great at keeping all of us together through the many moments of rubato and acceleration.
Friday, November 18, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Neil Varon, conductor
Matthew Straw, conductor
Meg Brilleslyper, mezzo-soprano
GRIEG Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
ROSSINI La Regata Veneziana
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, op. 120