Young Artists showcase ‘Artsongs in the Afternoon’

Staccato, Legato, Bravo! Oh My!

Laura Soto-Bayomi, soprano, executed a wide range of vocal dynamics while singing Francis Poulenc’s “Fêtes Galantes” from Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon at the first recital of the season last Thursday in the Hall of Christ.

“This song has a French cabaret style, and a bit of a sarcastic tone,” Bayomi said. “The song contrasts from quiet, staccato and sharp then turns to big, expansive and legato.”

Along with Bayomi, Young Artists Chelsea Bolter, mezzo soprano, and Peter Lake, tenor, completed their sets at the weekly “Artsongs in the Afternoon” last week.

In between major performances throughout the season, a few Young Artists per week will showcase their talent in a recital. The next is 4:15 p.m. Thursday in the Hall of Christ.

Lake performed three individual sets, and Bayomi and Bolter performed two individual sets. Each set was inspired by a different storyline and history.

At the beginning of each set, the artist approached the stage and greeted the audience with a synopsis of the story or inspiration surrounding the music.

Bayomi’s second set, Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon, was published in 1943 during one of the most war-filled times in France’s history.

“When you read the script, the lyrics are kind of dark,” she said. “The Nazis had been occupying the country for four years and millions of citizens and soldiers had died.”

Lake’s second set, composed by Claude Debussy, was inspired by linguistic experimentation.

“He loved language, and he really wanted the vocal lines to follow the rhythmic patterns of everyday speech,” he said. “Most music is not written to follow how we talk in everyday life.”

Lake performed pieces composed by Hugo Wolf with a certain sincerity that engaged the audience. His expressions, tone and body language adjusted to each song. He delivered “Verschwiegene Liebe” (Silent Love) from Eichendorff-Lieder during his first set with warm emotion and then demonstrated comedic relief as he delivered his third set.

“The first and the second piece were about love specifically,” he said. “All three pieces used the symbol of a bird to symbolize the height of passionate love.”

Bolter opened the recital with a rich tone and full voice. He demonstated greatly controlled vibrato and confident stage presence singing Jean Sibelius’ “Flickan kom irfn älsklings möte” (The girl returned from meeting her lover).

To close the recital, the three artists came together and performed “Not a Day Goes By/Our Time” from Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. They alternated between singing solos and effortlessly blending their pitches into harmony.