As Nicole Mitchell, a guest opera singer, sang in a resonating voice, the Fidelio Society and the Academy Chorus, along with Jesse Nager, a guest singer on Broadway, responded with a unified, “make them hear you.” As the line was repeated, the entire ensemble descended from the risers onto the stage before closing the song “Make Them Hear You,” from the musical “Ragtime” by Stephen Flaherty, ending together on one single, ringing note.
“In the musical, [the song is] right after the main character’s wife dies, and he’s singing this song to his friends, and it’s during the uprise of ‘Ragtime.’ [He is] essentially telling them to rise up. Don’t let all of these things put you down, stand up for yourselves, and make them hear your story,” said Victoria McGloughlin ’19, a soprano in the Academy Chorus.
The concert, titled “Telling our Stories through Opera and Musical Theatre,” was held in Cochran Chapel last Saturday and featured two guest artists, Mitchell, a contralto opera singer, and Nager, a tenor Broadway performer.
A highlight of the evening was the arrangement of “Somewhere” from the musical “West Side Story,” performed by the Fidelio Society. The song began with a soft echoing of the phrase, “Somewhere,” before the singers split into two groups, one group continuing with the underlying repetition of the harmony while the other projected the calm and clear melody. As the piece continued, the voices united back together, before returning back into a cadence of staggered melodies between the two groups.
“I love [the arrangement of ‘Somewhere’] because it’s a really powerful song, and it has a really powerful message. It talks about hope and, especially in the kind of world that we’re living in today filled with a lot of hate, it’s really special to be able to convey that message to the audience,” said Emma Chatson ’18, a soprano in the Fidelio Society and the Academy Chorus.
According to Mitchell, who sang as a high schooler in a chorus, the experience of performing with the students reminded her of her younger self and the beginning of her career as a singer.
“I would say this was more meaningful in a lot of ways because I remember being in chorus as a high schooler, and seeing all of these young, bright, shining faces who are so excited, it brought me back and it made me feel so important to be around them,” said Mitchell.