Following slow chords on the piano, Marie Latham ’18 began singing a smooth, calm rendition of the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked.” Emma Chatson ’18 soon joined the performance, her voice harmonizing with Latham’s as they concluded their performance with the lyrics, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Audience member Axel Ladd ’20 said, “I’m going to say that my favorite piece was the one that she did from ‘Wicked,’ which she did with Emma Chatson [‘18], because I thought that that was very beautiful and very pretty and nice to do that with her friend.”
This song was one of several performed as part of Latham’s Senior solo recital, held last Friday night in the Timken Room of Graves Hall. Latham’s repertoire consisted of both classical songs in French and Italian as well as songs from musicals like “Wicked.”
“My program was a mixture of songs suggested to me by my vocal teacher Krista River, songs I had always admired, and songs that I grew up singing. I didn’t have much experience singing in foreign languages, so I learned many of the classical program songs specifically for this concert,” wrote Latham in an email to The Phillipian.
Latham chose songs that she knew would not only fit well into her vocal range, but also help set the mood during the recital and covered themes that were important to her.
“I wanted to pay an homage to the incredible people I had grown up around, and including duets in both parts of the program was important to me. I also favored songs that I understood and liked the message of: I wanted to work with the theme of moving on from a place while still holding it in one’s heart,” wrote Latham.
Latham began her recital with a solo rendition of the classical Italian piece “Gia Il Sole Dal Gange” by Alessandro Scarlatti, accompanied by her mother on the piano. As her mother played a fluttering, melodic tune, Latham’s resounding voice complemented the harmonies of the piano.
“The most challenging pieces were both vocally and mentally demanding. Singing in Italian or French is hard since I am not a native speaker, and some of the pieces like ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ or ‘Gia Il Sole dal Gange’ are just simply vocally tough. They require breath support training and an expansive range,” wrote Latham.
Latham also sung a duet with her mother to the song “Since You’ve Asked” by Judy Collins. According to Latham, this song was the first song Latham had learned as her mother had sung it to her during her childhood.
“I think my second favorite one was probably the one with her mother… It’s a very nice idea of ending and beginning, and it was very beautiful and pretty song,” said Ladd.
For Latham, it was important for her to add the duet performances in order to include the people who have inspired her and helped her move along during her musical journey.
“My sister was always my first duet partner, and my mom was always my first accompanist. Fidelio is, as I said in the program, my home away from home. These people have helped me grow up, and I felt like including them in what is essentially my graduation celebration was exactly right,” wrote Latham.
While her recital took weeks of practice and she was confronted with many challenges, Latham feels that her performance went very well.
“I could not be happier. In the end, it was never really about my singing quality or whether I made any mistakes, but if I could touch the audience and help them understand my gratitude and joy in performing,” wrote Latham.