Colourful Reprise (2018)

Eimi Witmer
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Name: Stephanie-Eimi Witmer Main Subject: Early Music Singing Research Supervisor: Kate Clark Title of Research: Colourful Reprise Research Question: “What does a singer need to know in order to ‘tastefully’ embellish the reprise in the airs of early 18th century French Cantatas?” Summary of Results: The French Cantatas emerged during the period between Lully’s last opera (Armide, 1686) and Rameau’s first opera (Hippolyte et Aricie, 1733). While the French cantata composers adopted the Italian forms and technique, they all remained in their attempt of uniting the Italian form with the traditional French Lyrical style, the “animated” melodies that served as an artful Imitation of the French speech. Every carefully constructed airs are therefore always to some extent an oration. The “reprise” in an air often stands as an confirmation of the periodic structure of the poem, which is the most powerful section where a singer confirms the statement made in the beginning. What sort of effects do we see in the reprise of Montéclair’s Cantata La mort de Didon? … such question asks for an contextual interpretation. Bearing in mind that the composers have chosen the melody, ornaments and speech rhythms - in order to convey the emotions being expressed by the words, it is essential that a singer masters reciting the French poetry and to bare the task of practicing oration so that one can convey the various “affects” or “passions” to the audience. Today we find the ingredients like “the quantity of syllable”, “oratorical accents”, “doubled consonants” and the French vocal ornaments in B. de Bacilly’s treatises Remarques curieuses sur L'art de bien chanter (1668). Furthermore, we find 18 variations of ornaments - each of them to serve different Expressions - described in Les Principes de Musique (Paris, 1736) by M. de Montéclair. Biography: The US/S-Korean Mezzo Soprano was born in Tokyo, Japan. After studying at the Kunitachi College of Music (Japan), she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Historical Singing in 2015 at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague studying with P. Kooij, M. Chance, J. Feldman, R. Blaze, P. Bertin and D. Mields. Eimi’s recent performances include J.S. Bach’s Matthew Passion, Hohe Messe and Magnificat (2nd Soprano), Vivaldi’s Gloria, Magnificat and Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi’s Selve Morale e Spirituale, Haendel’s Messiah, Rinaldo (Rinaldo), Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Sesto), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Spirit /2nd witch), M. A. Charpentier’s Leçons de ténèbres (2nd Soprano), C. Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle ingrate (4th ingrate) with Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset (Dutch National Opera / Brighton Early Music Festival).
typeresearch exposition
last modified31/05/2018
statuslimited publication
published inKC Research Portal

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