Sophia Bernazzani ’10 Lily Shaffer ’10

Combining singing and acting, classical Italian songs and Broadway showtunes, Lily Shaffer ’10 and Sophia Bernazzani ’10 brought the audience at their senior recital through a whirlwind of melodies, harmonies and laughter. Nearly every song in the recital carried a unique story or meaning brought to life during the performance. After skillful renditions of two classical Italian pieces, Bernazzani performed “Ah Perdona Mi Primo Affetto” with Anne Hunter ‘10. The lulling but melancholy piece told the story of the final encounter between two forbidden lovers. With their high, clear voices Bernazzani and Hunter serenaded the audience, drawing them into the music. The tune danced between the two performers, as though each was finishing the other’s sentence. Though the piece was in Italian, the unspoken story came to life with the performers’ expressions and delivery. Bernazzani said, “I wanted to do a lot of foreign languages pieces, since I’m really interested in foreign languages, and I did SYA Spain last year.” “I’ve decided I really want to take German now, after these songs I’m singing,” she continued. With a piano introduction that mimicked a drumroll, “El Tra La La y el Punteado” introduced the audience to Shaffer’s operatic and theatrical talent. The feisty Spanish tune was a twist on the stereotypical operatic style, questioning and nearly talking with the audience. The vibrant major melody was punctuated by trilling “tra-la-la-las.” Shaffer’s emotion-filled expressions guided the audience through the story behind the speakers words. “Part of the reason why you take lessons is to get more classical training, which was what more of the foreign language pieces were. So, the Tra la la was a newer one, and it really helped me train my voice and use it as more of an instrument,” said Shaffer. Shaffer’s performance of “The Saga of Jenny” from Lady in the Dark provoked more than awe from the audience, bringing humor in the concert. “The Saga of Jenny” was the vivacious tale of a rather promiscuous “Jenny” who continuously changes her life’s goal. The song was filled with one-line zingers, such as when Jenny decides to publish a novel, and, “the very day her memoir was published, history relates, there were wives who shot their husbands in some thirty-three states.” Despite the infectious melody and low chuckles, the message of Jenny’s saga clearly rang forth: “Anyone with vision comes to this decision—Don’t make up your mind.” Sarah Jacobson ’10 said, “I liked how they combined the more musical songs with Italian songs. It provided a pretty good mix, and the music was like beautiful.” Another tune with a similar swinging, 1930s feel was the delightful “Don’t Put Your Daughter on the State, Mrs. Worthington,” performed by Bernazzani. The lively song urged, pleaded and demanded that Mrs. Worthington prohibit her daughter from entering the acting business. The joyful trills and perfect execution came as a purposefully ironic contrast to the deprecating words, which at times claimed that the daughter is an “ugly duckling” or “wretched girl.” Bernazzani recounted that after continuously practicing the song, the addicting tune got stuck in her and her voice teacher’s head during the weeks leading up to the performance, leading her teacher to jokingly threaten that they should move the recital up a week so they could both have some peace. With the careful execution of a high note or light-hearted duet, tapping toes and bobbing heads transformed into riotous audience participation during the recital. After including Azure for an awe-inspiring rendition of “Hold On,” Shaffer performed her favorite piece of the recital, “Memory” from the musical “Cats.” The hauntingly sonorous piece carried the audience through the tale of Grizzabela, a formerly popular singer. Shaffer said, “’Memory’ came together just a few days ago, and that’s been my favorite song to sing, but I never expected I could perform it just because it was so hard.” Krista Rivers, Bernazzani’s and Shaffer’s voice teacher, said, “I’ve worked with Sophia this past year and with Lily almost all her time at Andover. It’s been great to see both of them pick up the music so quickly and watch them develop their vocal talent.”