Michaela Martens Sings Aaron Copland
Michaela Martens (right) discusses her opera career with Marist Choral Director Sarah Williams (left)
On the evening of March 24th the mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens performed Aaron Copland, discussed her career as a singer, and conducted a master class with two Marist singers.
Martens has performed some of the most difficult mezzo-soprano roles on the world's biggest opera stages. This past season, she performed as Marilyn Klinghoffer in the Metropolitan Opera's controversial production of The Death of Klinghoffer. She discussed this controversial opera with Marist Honors students. In the 2014-15 Metropolitan season Martens also performed Gertrud in Hansel und Gretel.
Martens performed two Aaron Copland songs for the Honors students. She performed "At the River" and "Simple Gifts." In addition to singing and discussing her career as a singer, Martens conducted a master class with Marist Honors student and singer Anna Bencivengo. Bencivengo is a senior Honors student majoring in Communications. Bencivengo sang "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Puccini and received vocal lessons from Martens.
"Hearing an opera singer as talented as Michaela Martens perform at Marist was a wonderful experience," Honors student and biology major Julia Rigothi observed. "Even better was her witty personality and hearing about her personal stories in regards to singing in a controversial opera and balancing her life as an opera singer with her life as a mom. Her master class with the talented Marist singers was just as interesting and inspiring as she gave them advice on how to better their performances."
First-year Honors student Caroline Defrancesco agreed with Rigothi. Defrancesco was especially struck by Martens' description of her career. "I really enjoyed the event," she said. "It was eye opening to see that she had taken the time to find something that she really loved to do. It was nice to get it reinforced again that we don't actually need to have everything figured out and decided at the age of 22 when we graduate college."
Michaela Martens (left) gives Anna Bencivengo (right) advice on her singing