On Sunday, April 21, senior Music Business major Brittany Mazzurco performed her senior recital in the Biemesderfer Concert Hall at the Winter Visual Performing Arts Center.
When it comes to being a senior in the Music Department, a lot rests on delivering an impressive senior recital. It is considered a huge milestone for Music majors where they have to perform an array of songs, either vocally or instrumentally, and show their talents and what they have learned in their experience at Millersville University to the recital attendees. Mazzurco definitely showed that in her lecture and performance, which she called “Color Outside the Lines.”
With her educational background in Music Business and as a soprano, Mazzurco spent the lecture discussing how the general public today often shrugs off Classical music and what Classical music performers and conductors can do to reverse this opinion. “Classical music is often seen as boring, old-fashioned, and elitist,” Mazzurco said in her lecture, “In order to appeal to more concert goers, we need to bring something new to the table. We need to add color, or, in this case, color outside the lines.”
After the lecture, Mazzurco stepped out onstage, looking exquisite in a floor-length, burgundy red lace gown and a diamond necklace, for the performance part of her recital.
Accompanied by Joan Kucera on the piano, Mazzurco began her recital with “¿De Dónde Venís, Amore?” by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. Mazzurco’s clear, operatic soprano voice hit every nuance and high note in this passionate piece.
Following a piece by Wolfgang Mozart, Mazzurco sang “Steal Me Sweet Thief” by Gian Carlo Menotti, about a woman who is smitten for a thief and trying to win his affection by leaving trinkets outside her home for him to steal. Aside from singing this brilliantly, Mazzurco also does a great job emoting this song with her lovely hand gestures and facial expressions.
Mazzurco performed a modern piece called “My Ghost” also by Menotti, in which she humorously sang about being haunted by a friendly ghost.
Next she sang one of the most famous soprano arias of all time, “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Unlike the previous piece that was more modern and quirky, this one was very romantic, even heart-breaking.
Her next song, “The Girl in 14G” by American musical theatre composer Jeanine Tesori, was another one of those humorous songs. The song was about a girl living in an apartment with two very noisy neighbors – an opera singer living below her and a jazz singer living above her – and how she expresses her annoyance. The audience got to hear Mazzurco sing a few different styles in one song, hear her lower register, and got to see her interact with the accompanist and show her personality.
The next song was “O del mio amato ben” by Stefano Donaudy, about a woman grieving over the loss of her beloved. Mazzurco sang this song beautifully, hitting all the dynamics perfectly and pronouncing the Italian words clearly.
The last song in the recital was “Glitter and Be Gay” by Leonard Bernstein, a flamboyant aria about a woman locked away with only her jewels in order to escape public ridicule. For this piece Mazzurco even had a prop: A jewelry box full of colorful bracelets and necklaces, which she frantically and comically put on throughout the piece. Like the song, Mazzurco’s voice changed from slow to fast-paced, somber to ecstatic, and hit every trill and dynamic effortlessly. It was a lively and zany way to close her recital.
Mazzurco shows a great understanding of music in terms of a performing, technical, and business standpoint. True to what she decided to call her recital, she was successful in finding a variety of songs to sing, whether they were opera, reminiscent of musical theatre, serious, or humorous, and, of course, making Classical music very entertaining to watch and listen to. Aside from having an exceptional singing voice, she is also a great performer, acting out the songs with her facial expressions and hand gestures, which made her recital all the more enjoyable.