Arts & Culture Editor
Olivia Ober is a soprano vocal performance major and her most recent recital showcased her ability to sing a range of classical works. Ober presented her junior recital on Sunday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. and was accompanied by Dr. Xun Pan on piano. Professor Kristin Sims, Ober’s voice teacher, gave the opening remarks at the beginning of the recital. Most students have one recital during their junior year and an additional recital their senior year, but Ober actually had her first recital while she was still a sophomore.
“It helped me not feel nervous,” Ober said about going into her junior recital with one recital already under her belt. “I knew exactly what it would be like since I had already gone through it before.”
Ober opened with “The Singer” by Michael Head. “Je ne t’aime pas,” a song about heartbreak, was the second piece. Sticking with the foreign language theme, “Agitata da due venti” was the next piece which is from Griselda and composed by Antonio Vivaldi.
“Nun Wandre, Maria” was a much sadder and more dramatic piece by Hugo Wolf. It is a German Lied written about Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem. The last piece before intermission was “The Alto’s Lament” which was a very funny piece making fun of the alto lines in popular songs from musicals including Cats and West Side Story. Although Ober is considered a soprano now, she still feels the emotional connection.
“I picked this song because I have always been an alto, especially in choir. I sang this song at my high school my senior year and fell in love with it, and I wanted to share it again, especially since I still sing alto in Chorale at Millersville. I later realized that it was a bit ironic that I am listed as a soprano now, but I think the song is a lot of fun, and it shows the other side of my singing. I’ve only recently been labeled as a soprano, and it’s hard to break my connection with being an alto, since I’ve been one my whole life until now.”
After the short intermission, Ober sang “O Mio Babino Caro” which translates to “Oh my dear father.” This song is an aria from Gianni Schicchi. Next she sang “O Divine Redeemer” by Charles Gounod, which was originally written in Gounod’s native French but sung by Ober in English. “Non più mesta” from La Cenerentola was one of the strongest pieces of the night. “Agnes” which followed was a very short piece, only a minute or so long, but was very funny.
“Agnes was written by a nine-year-old little boy, and is so sincere, even though he is professing his love to a mule. To me it is just as emotional as any other love song, simply because it was taken from a poem by a little boy. It’s just such a sweet and innocent song, it was another one of my favorites,” said Ober.
The last song was “Sevillana” from Don César de Bazan. Olivia also had a strong connection to this final piece.
“It’s just such a unique piece, and not very well known. This was the song that changed my title from “Mezzo-Soprano” or middle soprano, to just “Soprano.” I didn’t know I could sing Soprano arias until I found this.”
As for the future, Ober already has her senior recital scheduled for next November and is scheduled to perform as a soloist for multiple local events this spring.
“I’m also excited for my senior recital because I’m planning to try to have student orchestration to bring the level of performance up another notch.”