Fidelio Takes Over the Addison

There was an old man in a tree, horribly bored by a bee. When they said does it buzz, he replied, “Yes it does. It’s a regular brute of a bee.” This was one of two “nonsense” songs by a Hungarian composer included in the program of Fidelio Society’s performance at the Addison this Sunday. These two songs provided a bit of comic relief to the day and provoked appreciative laughter from the packed room. Soprano Allison Parr ’08 said of the songs, “They were just for fun. Mr. Walter has a great sense of humor, and I could not stop laughing.” By the end of the performance, Fidelio Society had amused the audience and sung 18 songs that reflected their depth and talent both as a group and as individuals. With only 14 people, Fidelio Society split into ten parts, and the program included songs in Portugese, Italian, English, Latin, and Japanese. Co-president Jeff Cutts ’06 said of the program, “We had probably the best program I’ve seen during my Fidelio career.” The first soloist of the evening, co-president Yurie Sekigami ’06, once again performed her soulful solo for the spiritual “There is a Balm in Gilead.” Sekigami said, “It was my last Fidelio concert ever because I’m a senior so it was so sad. I wanted everything to be perfect…it was more than I could ever hope for.” Fidelio’s other co-president, Jeff Cutts ’06, performed a solo in the English folksong “Brigg Pair.” Cutts’ voice, well known to the campus community, was as spectacular as ever. Cutts said, “I really felt good about our concert today… we really brought our A-game.” In “My Funny Valentine,” Susannah Poland ’07 and Chris Li ’07 sang about their “laughable, unphotographable,” valentine, who nonetheless was their favorite valentine. Poland’s sweet, sensual voice and Li’s deep, versatile voice provided just the right balance and tone to the song. The last song on the program, “La Villanella,” was an Italian folksong arranged by Steven Sametz. Although the song was pretty, sopranos Allison Parr ’08 and Carrie St. Louis ’08 made the song particularly unforgettable by hitting the incredibly high E flat at the end.Parr said, “I was so nervous for that because we didn’t warm up that high.” After “La Villanella,” Fidelio Society received a standing ovation for their stunning performance, so they performed an extra piece, “O Magnum Mysterium.” Although it’s a Christmas song, as Mr. Walter said, “The choir was begging to include this piece…they came on their knees to plea to me.” Although the performance was spectacular, the room’s amazing acoustics were the cherry on top of the sundae. Yurie Sekigami ’06 summed it up perfectly, saying, “The acoustics were out of this world.” Because of it’s curved ceiling and wooden floor, the room bounces sound waves extremely well and produces an amazing sound. In fact, Allison Parr ’08 said, “We had to be careful not to be too loud because it would echo. We were wondering how it would sound when we were warming up.” Because of its acoustics, the room used to be a popular concert location where the stairs would overflow with people, but the concerts eventually stopped. Sekigami ‘06 said, “We kind of started it again, I hope.” And although the stairs were not overflowing, the concert was still well-attended. Director Christopher Walter summed up the concert saying, “I think they sang magnificently. A good number of the pieces we did went practically better than they ever had before.” The effort and quality of Fidelio Society’s performance did not go unnoticed; to say the concert went well would be an understatement. Fidelio Society provided an evening of musical excellence.