Every time a baroque da capo** aria comes into the audition room, I think of this, our 14th #ASQoD*
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Much of our study and development is spent in acquisition: gaining musical, vocal, linguistic, stylistic skills, cramming more and more data into our heads. The trap lies in thinking that that’s where it ends; that acquisition is enough.
It’s only the beginning. It’s the A and B sections of the da capo aria. Once acquired and polished, these tools need to incubate, take root, and grow within us so that they become something entirely new, ready to share with the world. The A1 return of the theme is where the magic lies. Coming back to where you started and really knowing the place for the first time.
I love seeing artists make this transition in a global way, for when they turn this corner and are ready to truly discover, learn, and make music, my job is done.
*The Audition Season Quote of the Day is a month-long series brought to you by Wolf Trap Opera.
Photography by Doug Pensinger
** Da capo arias were a standard musical form within Baroque (roughly early-mid 18th century) opera. It’s a 3-part structure in the form of A-B-A1. The first “A” section is the statement of the main theme(s). The “B” section is typically shorter and contrasting in nature. The “A1” section is a repeat of the original material, with slight variations/ornamentations typically created by or improvised by the singer.