As the Senior vocalists of Fidelio, Andover’s classical singing group, proudly held hands and bowed at center stage, the audience stood and applauded the group’s rendition of The Beatles’ “In My Life.” To the 11 Senior sopranos, tenors, altos and basses of Fidelio, their final concert with Fidelio was the culmination of years of hard work, an extensive amount of musical training and countless hours of vocal practice.
The Fidelio Concert took place in Cochran Chapel on Sunday afternoon. Directed by Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, the ensemble performed a diverse repertoire of 15 songs, each of which exhibited the impressive range of vocal styles and genres that the singers are capable of. The singers were proud to showcase the result of months of practicing for six hours a week by performing some of their most challenging and complicated pieces.
“We have been working on each of the songs we performed since the fall,” said Walter. “We chose pieces that we liked the best, pieces upon which we had spent the greatest amount of time and pieces that were stylistically different and unique from the rest. A lot of music from the past was included in the concert, specifically the Renaissance Era, as well as a good deal of some sacred gospel and contemporary pieces.”
Fidelio began their concert with a rendition of Francis Poulenc’s “Salve Regina,” a slow, emotional and peaceful Latin song with drawn-out notes. The piece captured the harmonious voices of all of the 18 singers in the ensemble.
“I was especially proud of how we sang ‘Salve Regina,’” said alto Elizabeth Latham ’16. “It was definitely my favorite piece. The song has a kind of ethereal tone and serenity, and the piece is very timeless. Even though ‘Salve Regina’ was written centuries ago, we all loved singing it together today.”
The ensemble subsequently performed more than ten other classical and gospel songs in a number of other languages, including English, German, Hungarian and Italian. From slow and emotional songs to fast-paced and airy pieces, the concert covered all aspects of Fidelio’s talent.
A second highlight was a contemporary piece entitled “Water Night,” composed by Eric Whitacre. The slow Italian song was dramatic and passionate and captured the audience as soon as it began.
“‘Water Night’ was probably our most challenging piece, and I was very happy with the way we did it,” said Alex Rubin ’14. “The notes and chords are difficult to hold for such a long period of time, but I think we did very well. The piece is so beautiful to listen to, and I felt very accomplished after singing it.”
To the graduating Seniors and all members of Fidelio, the conclusion of the concert was bittersweet.
“[Fidelio] is like a family,” said Latham. “It’s sad that we’re going to be losing our graduating Seniors, but we’re unbelievably proud of them nonetheless. Losing the Seniors will drastically change the atmosphere at rehearsals and performances in following years, but I’m confident that we will take what we learned from them to continue to succeed.”
“The performance was tremendous,” said Christian Langalis ’13, an alumnus and former Fidelio Member. “I was very impressed, and it was an amazing to be back here and see Fidelio perform yet another successful concert.”