In a musical theater-inspired performance, soprano singer Anna Stacy ’13 marked the final months of her eventful Andover musical career with a selection of classical and modern vocal pieces in her Senior Recital this past Saturday.
After months of preparation, Stacy began her recital with John Dowland’s “Come Again, Sweet Love,” a melancholic piece accompanied by Peter Lorenco, Instructor in Music, on the guitar. Stacy performed the bittersweet melody with exceptional emotional depth and vocal technique that drew enthusiastic applause at the end.
Dowland’s romantic piece was followed by Stacy’s rendition of Samuel Barber’s more solemn piece, “Sure on this Shining Night,” inspired by a James Agee poem of the same title. The piece was more contemplative and gloomy than the preceding piece. “Sure on this Shining Night” provided a segue into the next five selections, all of which were performed in other languages.
Stacy then sang Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Se Tu M’ami, Se Sospri,” followed by Mozart’s “Deh Vieni, Non Tardar,” both in Italian. The piece highlighted Stacy’s wide vocal range and passion for both language and music.
“She was singing in four different languages. That is a major achievement, particularly as she sang the entire recital from memory. To sing Italian and German, which she doesn’t speak—it’s really hard to get all of that into your mind,” said Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music and Stacy’s piano accompanist.
“Singing in German is a huge struggle for me. I have to learn the notes separate from the text in German songs and then work to put them together later,” said Stacy in an e-mail to The Phillipian.
The second half, unlike the classical-heavy first half, consisted mostly of modern pieces. It began with Bach’s “Concert for Two Violins,” which featured Charles Stacy ’16, Anna Stacy’s younger brother, on the violin.
Stacy then sang Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind,” a selection from the musical “Follies.” The piece highlighted Stacy’s ability to imbue each song with meaning. Stacy’s interpretation of the heart-wrenching piece smoothly explored the technically-challenging melodic modulations to accentuate the emotional instability featured in the piece.
“I liked ‘Losing My Mind’ the best. I thought she sang it with an incredible amount of emotion. It was phenomenal,” said Anjali Krishnamachar ’13.
Nostalgic and contemplative, “Losing My Mind” was contrasted by Lucy Simon’s “How Could I Ever Know” from “The Secret Garden.” Stacy gave a heartbreaking rendition accompanied by vocalist Adam Brody ’14. Stacy and Brody utilized body gestures and facial expressions to convey the emotional intensity of the music.
One of the final songs of the evening, William Finn’s “Heart and Music” from “A New Brain,” featured five other vocalists, Brody, Michaela Barczak ’15, Jaleel Williams ’15 and Ali Decker ’14. Each vocalist had a small selection at the beginning of the piece before joining to produce a heavily layered performance.
As soon as Stacy and Brody hit the last note, the audience erupted in a loud and lengthy standing ovation.
“I loved getting to create a repertoire. Having a performance to work towards was incredibly rewarding, and making a setlist allowed me to choose songs, especially contemporary songs, that I’d always wanted to learn but hadn’t had the opportunity to,” said Stacy.