Welcome to the official Singerreise webpage! Join in the discussion as we talk about the life of an opera singer, and as we learn about Schubert's masterpiece Winterreise.

Entertain, Educate, Encourage

Friday, December 1, 2017

Oratorios and Weihnachts-Oratorium (057)

Welcome back from Thanksgiving! It's hard to believe it, but Christmas is just around the corner again! And what would Christmas be without a little bit of Bach in it?

So for today, I'll talk about Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium. There's at least two groups in our area performing pieces of this work this weekend. There's the Redmond Chorale, conducted by my friend Laurie Betts Hughes. They're doing the opening chorus number from the first part.

There's also the Kirkland Choral Society, which is performing ALL of the Weihnachts-Oratorium over the course of a few years. Last year, they did Part I, and I got to be the bass soloist for it. I made a Singerreise Episode about it: Episode 16, where I covered the aria "Großer Herr, o starker König".

I'll be joining the Kirkland Choral Society again this year to do Parts II and III. There's no big arias this time around, so I'll just be doing a few of the recitatives.

Since there's no aria, I didn't sing in this Episode. So if you want to hear some Christmastime Bach, check out Episode 16 or come to these concerts! Both are this weekend, on Saturday night, December 2nd, and on Sunday afternoon, December 3rd.

There's literally dozens of choral concerts this weekend, so make sure to get out there and support your local singers. Local choir concerts are one of the best ways I know to get into the holiday spirit.

Here, I want to talk about oratorios and about the Weihnachts-Oratorium. I'm not a Bach expert, though, so this is just a bird's eye view of things.

Let's start with oratorios. An oratorio is a large piece of music, usually involving a choir, soloists, and an orchestra. It's like an opera, because an oratorio follows a storyline. Unlike operas, oratorios are performed in a concert setting, without scenery or props.

Also, unlike most operas, oratorios are usually considered "sacred" music instead of "secular." This means they are often retelling Biblical stories. They were originally performed in churches, even in a church service. Today, they can be performed anywhere.

The narrative thread is what separates an oratorio from other major concert works. An example of a non-oratorio concert piece might be a "mass," like Mozart's Requiem or Bach's B-minor Mass. A mass is a type of church service, usually following a standard formula and text. A composer's mass would be a rewrite of the service in musical form. But a mass doesn't really a story element.

Requiring an oratorio to have a narrative thread can be a sticking point. One of the most famous pieces of all time is Handel's Messiah. It is probably the most-performed piece in existence. And Messiah is often seen as the perfect example of an oratorio.

The trouble is, while Messiah does have a certain flow of ideas from one song to the next, it doesn't really have a narrative to it. Because of that, a lot of people say that Messiah isn't an oratorio. It sure does look and sound like one, though.

Oratorios look a lot like operas because, well, operas are a ton of fun. And in Italy, right in the height of opera's popularity, the Catholic Church decided to ban operas during the season of Lent (they were too much fun, apparently). So composers decided to write operas that could be performed in a church, but without the audacious, "sinful" costumes.

Besides looking a little different without costumes, the music in oratorios also tends to sound different than in operas. For example, there tends to be a lot more choral music in oratorios, and fewer solos.

The chorus can become a character in the story - such as an angry crowd. Just as often, though, they are outside the action and commenting as spectators to what is going on in the story. You very rarely see that in opera, since the audience can see the action for themselves.

Opera and oratorios do share recitatives in common. These are semi-spoken, semi-sung parts between "songs" that help move the story along. Most American music theater works this way too, using spoken dialogue between numbers. For oratorios, however, recitatives are more of a descriptive narrative then a dialogue between characters.

And then we have Bach's oratorios. Bach has his own special subset of oratorio. Depending on how you count them, he wrote about five major ones.

Two of them are known as "Passions," a retelling of the last few days of Jesus' life, ending with his death. Bach did one based on the account from the book of Matthew, known as the St. Matthew Passion, and one based on the account from the book of John, called (predictably) the St. John Passion.

The other three works are for Christmas, Easter, and the Ascension (not his most popular one). These, Bach explicitly titled as "oratorios," so we know that, at least in his mind, that's what they were.

As oratorios, though, they are on the curious side. Bach had another compositional structure that he would use all the time called a cantata. These are works 25 minutes long, with some choruses, a couple solos or maybe a duet, and some hymns mixed in. Having hymns meant that the congregation had a chance to sing along - something that was very important to Protestants at that time.

Bach wrote dozens and dozens of cantatas. Some were for special church services, others for ordinary church services. Some weren't meant for church at all. Some were composed to extol the greatness a local monarch, and others were just because he wanted to, like the much-beloved Coffee Cantata.

To create his oratorios, Bach just put a bunch of cantatas together. The Weihnachts-Oratorium, or the Christmas Oratorio, contains six cantatas. Much of the music in it was recycled, too, composed for other cantatas but repurposed with new words swapped in.

When taken together, the six cantatas do tell a story, the story of Christmas. That's the narrative thread that is needed to consider this an oratorio. In this case, though, the cantatas were not composed to be heard in a single sitting.

Each of the six parts is designated to be performed on a specific day in the Christmas season. That's why it's called "Weihnachts-Oratorium." Literally the German word for Christmas, Weihnachten, translates (roughly) to "Holy Nights," plural. Christmas is not just one day, but an entire season.

And it may not be the season you're thinking of. That period leading up to Christmas, between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, is actually called Advent, meaning the Coming.

The real Christmas season starts with Christmas Day. It is twelve days long (thus the 12 Days of Christmas Carol). It ends with Epiphany, a day where the visitation of the Wise Men is commemorated.

Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium was scheduled to be performed on six of the twelve days, each time with a new cantata telling its part of the Christmas story:
Part I: for The First Day of Christmas, recounting Jesus' birth
Part II: for The Second Day of Christmas, recounting the announcement of the birth to shepherds
Part III: for The Third Day of Christmas, recounting the adoration of said shepherds at Jesus' manger-cradle
Part IV: for New Years Day, recounting the naming of Jesus
Part V: for The First Sunday in the New Year, recounting the travel of the Magi (wise men) from the east
Part VI: for The Feast of Epiphany, recounting the adoration of said Magi
Despite its fragmented nature, Bach thought of his oratorio as one continuous work that revealed itself one cantata at a time. Nowadays, the piece is most often done in a single concert, with all the cantatas performed back to back. When done that way, it's a pretty long song, about three hours long if you don't cut anything out.

To resolve this, Kirkland Choral Society has chosen to perform the work over a handful of years. Each year they'll do another part or two, as part of their annual Christmas concert.

Last year was Part I, all about the Birth of Jesus. This year they are combining Part II and III (with a couple of judicious cuts) to cover everything relating to the shepherds. And next year, well, I hope they hire me again so I can tell you more about it then.

Joining me as a soloist this weekend is John Marzano, a tenor based in the Seattle area. There's often two roles for a tenor soloist in Bach's oratorios and Passions. Like the bass, alto, and soprano, tenor soloists often sing solos - called "arias" in oratorio and opera - that step back and reflect upon what is happening in the story.

Another tenor role, however, is the principle narrator. In the Passions, this role is called the "Evangelist," because it is as if St. Matthew or St. John himself were reading passages from his own book.

Sometimes this even means that two tenor soloists are used. For our concert, though, John and I are only doing the recitatives, the narrative parts. The KCS choir and the Philharmonia Northwest are doing most of the heavy lifting for this one.

Come and check out the concert! There's only two performances, and tickets do tend to sell out, so make sure to reserve your spot! To get tickets for the concert, head to kirklandchoralsociety.org or brownpapertickets.com, $20 for students and seniors and $25 for adults. It's just around the corner, December 2nd and 3rd.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Episode 55 - Deleted Scenes #9-24

I churned out a whopping 16 more videos today, bringing the Deleted Scenes count to 24. There's still another 8 more to do.

They can all be seen (by patrons) at https://www.patreon.com/posts/15431159


Here's the list of today's videos:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

5-Star Review: La Bohème at Operamuse

This is the first 5-Star Review! In each 5-Star Review, I list five of my favorite things about a recent or upcoming performance.

In this review, I'll be talking about the opera La Bohème, presented by a group called Operamuse. I saw their performance on Friday night, November 10th, at a lovely home in Bellevue.

Singerreise 5-Star Reviews (056)

Today is the launch of an entirely new venture for Singerreise - the Singerreise 5-Star Review! Let me explain:

While Sarah and I were on a walk earlier this week, we were discussing this weekend's performance of La Bohème at Operamuse. Sarah came up with a great idea for Singerreise - why not go to the performance itself and do a review of it afterward?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Singer Interview: Mike Heitmann (055)

Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing Operamuse's production of La Bohème in person! There's still one more performance, so if you're in the Seattle area, make sure to check it out.

But earlier this week, I interviewed the founder of Operamuse, Mike Heitmann. In this interview, we talk about the challenges of a career in singing, and of the company Operamuse.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mike Heitmann (upcoming Episode 55)

In a few days, I'll be posting my interview with Michael Heitmann. Make sure to watch for that!



In the meanwhile, I must let you all know that Mike is the head of an organization called OperaMuse.

More Audio?

The following was posted at https://www.patreon.com/posts/15234564

A new question for all those following Singerreise: I'm considering adding to the audio options for Singerreise by making audio versions of the various episodes. I can't add too much to my work load with the current level of funding, so these literally would be the soundtrack ripped from the videos of the Singerreise Video Podcast.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

New perks for patrons!

The following was posted at https://www.patreon.com/posts/15233998 :

As mentioned through the earlier poll, I was considering a change in the reward structure for patrons, such as eliminating the $3 level and changing to $1, $5, $10 and $20 levels. I was also considering leaving the structure the same, but changing the perks associated with the $3 level, since YouTube no longer permits me to monetize my channel.

Monday, November 6, 2017

No. 18, Der stürmische Morgen (054)

In the last couple episodes of the Singerreise Video Podcast, I've been talking a lot about what Singerreise has been doing over the last year and what is coming in the next few weeks. If you haven't seen those episodes, number 52 and 53, make sure to check them out.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The First Anniversary (053)

It's birthday time for Singerreise! Welcome to the one year mark. One year ago, the first Episode of the Singerreise Video Podcast was published. I was hairy, inexperienced at videography, but I had a mission and a drive to help people. I hardly knew what I had to offer at the time. But whatever I did have, I was going to put it to use.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Happy Birthday to Singerreise!

It's the one year anniversary of Singerreise! I'll have an episode together in the next while, but for now, check out this cool list!

10/26/2016
01 The beginning

11/1/2016
02 Winterreise-at-a-glance

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

No. 17 Im Dorfe (052 pt. 2)

For today, for Episode 52, we have a return to Winterreise. We're now up to number 17 of Schubert's masterpiece, titled "Im Dorfe," or "In the village."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Episode 52 (pt 1) Singerreise update


Welcome to Fall in the Seattle area! The rain has returned, the dark is creeping earlier and earlier, kids are back in school and music lessons, and opera and choirs are in full swing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Episode 51 - Singer Interview: Sarah Mattox

On the Singerreise Video Podcast, I have another Singer Interview! Today's interview is with Sarah Mattox, whom I've known for about ten years. We've done several projects together, most recently performing together in Madama Butterfly at Seattle Opera, and also a Carmen with Pacific Northwest Opera.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Excerpt from Episode 51, with Sarah Mattox

While I'm working on the rest of the upcoming episode featuring Sarah Mattox, I posted a short excerpt at patreon.com/singerreise.

While this one is available to everyone, there will be several other deleted scenes available only to patrons. So while you're over there, hit that "Become a Patron" button and gain access to dozens of bonus videos, audio and other content!




Saturday, September 9, 2017

No. 16, Letzte Hoffnung (050)

So, for this article, we're going to cover number 16 in the cycle, Letzte Hoffnung, or "Last Hope." That's 16 of 24, by the way. We're now officially two thirds of the way through Winterreise!

Why we're looking Winterreise

In the next episode of the podcast, we'll be taking a look at the next song in the Winterreise cycle. But if you're new to the Singerreise series, you may be wondering why I've made all these videos about Schubert's Winterreise.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Episode 50? Whoa ...


I just realized that I'm working on Episode 50! Congratulations to me!

But also thanks to all of my patrons at Patreon! Your help has been invaluable in keeping this thing going.

The best way to ensure that I get to 100 is to become a patron yourself at patreon.com/singerreise. I can still really use your help!

Let's all hope for another 50!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Winterreise, No. 15, Die Krähe (049)

In the next episode of the Podcast, we are continuing our journey through Schubert's masterpiece, Winterreise. We'll be taking a look at number 15 in the cycle, Die Krähe.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Singer Interview - Marlon Trigg (048)

Two weeks have gone by, but I have definitely been busy! I've been performing in Seattle Opera's Madama Butterfly, with another 3 more performances to go. Meanwhile, I've been chipping away, hour by precious hour (I've sunk probably 20 hours into it), at another interview!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

No. 14 - Der greise Kopf (047)

Next up is number 14 in the Winterreise cycle, "Der greise Kopf."

There's a marked turn in this piece. Up to this point, there's been several mentions about a hot heart, about storms, and a passionate outcry of loss. But in 14, we begin to see those fade away. Now, our Wanderer starts to contemplate death.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No. 13 - Die Post (046)

Welcome back to Winterreise!

Believe it or not, it was still winter when we last looked at the masterwork that birthed Singerreise. Now that taxes are finished and my performing load is under control, we're ready to dive back in!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

End of the 99 Reasons campaign

Perhaps 99 wasn't enough?

Today marks the final day of the 99 Reasons campaign. To be honest, I thought it would garner more attention, more viewership, and, of course, more patrons. None of that seems to have happened, at least, not significantly so, and thus this becomes a learning experience.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spirituals and Deep River (45)

Singerreise's videos and articles are all about the singing life. Sometimes that means I'll be doing interviews of other singers to find out more about what they do. Sometimes, I take a survey of opinions on a subject. When I do that, I get to do my favorite thing, and just be a host for the conversation.

But more often, Singerreise's about my singing life, and my career. I consider my own life as Exhibit A, the first of many examples. So if you're interested in finding out more about what I do as a working opera singer, this is the right place!

One of the things I do with Singerreise is take you behind the scenes, showing you something that I'm currently working on. This is one of those Episodes! As I often do, I'm singing a solo for church on Sunday. The piece that I chose is Deep River, arranged by Moses Hogan. Sarah Silvia will accompany me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Deep River at Patreon


Patrons just got treated to a new audio file of me singing Deep River with Sarah accompanying. This is part of the upcoming episode, targeted for Friday. If you want to have an early listen yourself (and then download the file and put it on your smartphone to show off to your friends), all it takes is $7 at patreon.com/singerreise! And there's more coming.

Anyway, I took a listen to the recording today - I got all my bars lined up in the right place, all of my levels set in Audacity, and let it run.

It brought me to tears.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Seven Tips for Singer Taxes: Tip #4

This is another article in the Seven Tips for Singer Taxes series. And while I know that tax season has long since come and gone, my hope is that if you start implementing these tips now, it'll be much easier for you when tax season arrives next year.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#99Reasons 1-50

There won't be any new episodes of the Singerreise Video Podcast for the next couple weeks. But we are hitting a new milestone - the #99Reasons to join @Singerreise at #Patreon campaign just hit Reason 50! We're over half-way there!

Here's what we've got so far. Remember - if any of these apply to you, you should become a patron.

1. You love Singerreise. Almost as much as I do.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Magic Flute: In diesen heil'gen Hallen (040)


As you may already know, I'm currently involved in a production of Mozart's Magic Flute at Seattle Opera. There's a few performances left, so definitely check it out!

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Magic Flute: O Isis und Osiris (039)


I'm presently in a production of the Magic Flute at Seattle Opera, which has two great bass arias in it. In this article, I'll talk about the first one, plus a bit more about the opera. You can see my first post about The Magic Flute as a Singspiel here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Magic Flute: a Singspiel (038)


As you may know, I am currently in a production of The Magic Flute with Seattle Opera. There's still several performances to go, so I'd encourage you to try and get some tickets. It's been a very popular production and seats are limited, but it's well worth it!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Zueignung (037)

Below I have a special treat for you! Thanks to the generous support of our Patreon patrons, Singerreise has reached its first goal, a special, MUSICAL thank you video on the Patreon page. This musical video greets anyone just after they make their pledge.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Seven Tips for Singer Taxes: Tip #3 (036)

Welcome back singer tax enthusiasts! This is another article in the Seven Tips for Singer Taxes series. Thus far we've covered some basics and the first two tips:
Tip #1: Keep a log of all your income.
Tip #2: Put all your self-employment income into a separate checking account.
So while we're on the topic of using that business checking account:
Tip #3: Only use your business checking account for business.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Next up for Singerreise

Most of the week has been devoted to getting Magic Flute up and running - but there is more Singerreise to come!

Here's what's in the works:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Go for two! The second Patreon goal

Singerreise's next goal is $150 per month. At that point, Singerreise gets a revamped website, and that's really good news for those of you who read here regularly.

Here's just some of the reasons that's a good thing:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seven Tips for Singer Taxes: An Introduction (033)

Here's a subject we all know and love - taxes!

Taxes for the singer can be extremely tricky. It involves a lot of variables... but I'm here to help! Whether you're still trying to put the final touches on your overdue return, or whether you want to avoid another nightmare next year, this next series of articles are for you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reason #7 - Arts can't rely on government anymore.

Comments on reason #7 - A lot has been said about the proposed national budget that would potentially get rid of the National Endowment for the Arts. Whether or not the government *should* support the arts is easy: of course it should. But arts organizations can't rely on government to pay its bills, because of the volatile nature of politics. Your personal arts champion will eventually leave or be voted out of office, and the next guy will have a different opinion.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#99Reasons to Join Singerreise At Patreon

If you've been watching Singerreise, you already know that Singerreise is on Patreon. At Patreon.com/singerreise, you can help fund the creation of Singerreise's videos, articles, and resources by becoming a "patron." With your support, Singerreise can keep going for weeks, months, and years to come.

But let me put that another way. WithOUT your support, Singerreise is too costly for me to continue on my own, and I will have to shut it down.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

New video on the Patreon Page!



As I was working on this new video for the front page at patreon.com/singerreise, Singerreise got two new patrons! Thanks for all the support!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Singerreise is now on Twitter!



For an upcoming campaign, I'm officially launching Singerreise on Twitter! Follow along at Twitter.com/Singerreise, or with the username @Singerreise.

But if you're a facebook user, that's still my go-to platform. So make sure to like us at facebook.com/singerreise as well! It'll help you keep up-to-date with what's happening, and you can post, comment and share about Singerreise.

And if you're in it for the videos, subscribe to the YouTube Channel. That means you get emails whenever I release a new video. It also helps Singerreise to show up more often on the YouTube homepage and in searches. More visibility would really help here!

And of course, Patreon.com/singerreise. Did you miss Episode 30? 'Cause that's where I talk about how Patreon is the most important of all these outlets.

Mozart double bill !

A quick update:

This is a busy weekend in the Silvia household!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Interview: Linda Kitchen (031)

A few days ago I got to interview Linda Kitchen. Linda and I are currently in the final week of rehearsals for Don Giovanni at Pacific Northwest Opera. Linda also happens to be the wife of Seattle Opera's General Director, Aidan Lang. We talk about her experience as a singer and as a director, about family life, and about Don Giovanni itself.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (029)

I have Singerreise book review for you! This time, I went back to reread Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." This book has done a lot to reshape how I think about, well, a lot of things. It's a great book that empowers, even demands that you become a better person.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Winterreise, No. 12 - Einsamkeit (027)

Here it is! The halfway point for Winterreise. This is number 12 of the 24 songs in the Winterreise cycle. It also is a bit of an ending piece. The cycle was composed in two volumes, Part One and Part Two, with each of them having 12 songs in them. This piece, Einsamkeit, was the ending of the first part.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winterreise No. 11, Frühlingstraum (026)

As far as Winterreise goes, that was a longer break after "Rast" than anticipated. We've had our Singerreise adventures with a concert, with interviews and a book review, but we weren't done with Winterreise. I am still planning to do all 24 songs. So now I present to you the 11th in the cycle, Frühlingstraum!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Interview: Gary Cannon and Scott Kovacs of the Emerald Ensemble (025)

On the Singerreise Video Podcast (a.k.a. the Singerreise YouTube Channel), I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary Cannon and Scott Kovacs, directors of the Emerald Ensemble, one of Seattle's newest and hottest professional choral groups.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Subscribing to Singerreise.com (the blog)


If you never noticed it before, there is a way to subscribe to this blog. Find the "Follow by email" box to the right, and pop in your email address. After a brief confirmation, you're good to go! From that point forward, every post here at Singerreise will be sent directly to your email inbox.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book Review (video) (024): Platform by Michael Hyatt

On Thursday, Saturday, and Monday, a three-part review was published here at Singerreise.com.
... all about Michael Hyatt's book Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World.

Today you can watch the review in video form! The video is shorter and less in-depth compared to the blog posts, but perhaps some of you might prefer that.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Book Review - Platform by Michael Hyatt, Part 3


So here's the third post about my encounter with Michal Hyatt's book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I've already talked about the overall premise of the book and my expectations of it in my first post, and where it seemed to fall short in my second post. But let's get into the good parts!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review - Platform by Michael Hyatt, Part 2



In my previous post I started talking about a book I just finished reading: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt, which I "read" as an audiobook, performed by the author. In that post, I got into some of the basic concepts in it, and why it applies so immediately to where we are as singers.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Review - Platform by Michael Hyatt, Part 1


Here's a new one for Singerreise: A book review!

Periodically, I will post reviews of books that I have been reading that may be of interest to singers. This one is called Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt. I "read" the audiobook, performed by the author.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Memorization, Part 3: All the comments!


I got some really fantastic feedback on memorization. Here's all of the comments, as they appeared in facebook.

Memorization, Part 3 - How Others Memorize (023)

The theme for January had been Memorization. Well, it was Memorization and COME TO MY CONCERT! But let's get back to memorization!

In Part 1, we discussed what it means to be memorized, and what some of the industry standards are. Then, in Part 2, I gave an overview of how I go about memorizing - when I do it as I intend to do it.

Here in Part 3, I'm going to summarize a number of other singers' strategies for memorization. I got some really great feedback on this subject a couple weeks ago - and then there was Traviata and Winterreise, and I couldn't get the results out to you all.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Singer Interview: Ryan Bede (022)

For the video released today, we get to know Ryan Bede, my partner for the Winter's Journey concert on Sunday! (2 p.m. on January 29th at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, see this concert announcement, or this facebook event)

Ryan has a website you can check out here: http://www.ryanbede.com/ and a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Ryan-Bede-Baritone-396597297067891/.



Born and raised in Tacoma, WA, baritone Ryan Christopher Bede makes his Seattle Opera solo debut in May 2017 as the Second Priest in The Magic Flute, followed by Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Fiorello in The Barber Of Seville in the 2017-18 season. He recently sang Papageno in The Magic Flute with Opera Idaho and performed his fifth Schaunard in La Boheme with Coeur d'Alene Opera in partnership with the Spokane Symphony. He also returned to Tacoma Opera as Tiger Brown in The Threeepenny Opera, after having sung Papageno, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and the Pirate King in The Pirates Of Penzance in recent seasons. He also performed in Spectrum Dance Theater's acclaimed production of Carmina Burana as well as Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Early Music Vancouver/Pacific Musicworks, conducted by Stephen Stubbs. He sang the role of the Land Speculator in the premiere of Sarah Mattox's opera Heart Mountain with Vespertine Opera and reprised the role of Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with the newly-formed Bellevue City Opera. He has been a frequent soloist with Orchestra Seattle in such masterpieces as Fauré's Requiem, Duruflé's Requiem, and Vaughan Williams's Fantasia On Christmas Carols. He sang Rutter's Mass Of The Children with the Everett Chorale and Bellevue Presbyterian Church, and in the summer of 2017 he will sing his first Mozart Requiem in Sofia and Varna, Bulgaria.

Other recent performances have included a concert of French
opera selections for the Seattle/Nantes Sister City Organization, Samuel Barber's Dover Beach with the Seattle-based Bella Sala Ensemble, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with Skagit Opera, and Albert in Werther with Vashon Opera. He spent a summer as an Emerging Artist with Opera New Jersey and has also sung Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Ben in Menotti's The Telephone and Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia in recent seasons. Favorite concert engagements have included Handel's Messiah (Our Lady Of Fatima Parish and Federal Way Symphony) and Israel In Egypt, Bach's Magnificat, and numerous cantata performances.

He is a former Young Artist with Tacoma Opera and the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and was a two-time recipient of the Seattle Opera Guild Singers Training Fund Grant. He completed his studies at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington, and now frequently performs as a lecturer and preview artist for the Seattle Opera Guild. He presently serves as the baritone soloist and section leader at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, and teaches voice at the University Of Puget Sound and Tacoma Community College, as well as maintaining a private studio in the Tacoma area.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Concert Annoucement and coming videos!

So there's no article today and no video, but there are a few announcements!

First up, a concert! THE concert that got this whole thing going is almost upon us.


Official Press Release:

On Sunday January 29th at 2pm, SDG will host an afternoon of Franz Schubert’s masterpiece, “Winterreise”, sung by baritones Ryan Bede and Jonathan Silvia! Cynthia Dean also returns for “A Winter Come” by Northwest composer Morton Lauridsen. This afternoon promises to be one of hauntingly lovely vocal music, sung by some of the newest “breakout artists” in the Seattle area. We look forward to seeing YOU at our first SDG concert for 2017! Freewill offering benefits the Soli Deo Gloria Concert Series and allows us to continue to foster the arts and our local artists in the Eastside/Seattle area.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Memorization Part 2, How Jonathan Memorizes (021)


Welcome back to our series on memorization! In the previous article, we talked about what being "on-book" and "off-book" means, and what the industry standards are for each type of performing. In this article, I'll cover my personal habits on memorization.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Memorization, Part 1: Definitions and Expectations (020)


When talking with audience members after a long opera, one subject that seems to come up time and time again is "How do you memorize all that?" In the next couple articles, we'll try to address exactly that. These are mostly my thoughts as a singer to other singers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Facebook Photo Album

Singerreise has a four-pronged approached to connecting with people and getting the word out:

Winterreise No. 10 - Rast (019)

In No. 8, Rückblick we were in a dead run. In No. 9, Irrlicht, we were delusional from the exertion. Here in No. 10, Rast, we finally realize that we are weary.

It seems that the little flames were not ghosts, but just a spark from the charcoal-burner's house. As it comes into view, the Wanderer decides now would be a good time to rest, and thus we get the title of the piece, "Rast."

Friday, January 6, 2017

Witnerreise, No. 9 - Irrlicht (018)

Ready for a good ol' fashioned ghost story? No, I'm not confused about which holiday it is. We're talking about Irrlicht, number nine in the Winterreise cycle.

Up to this point in the Winterreise saga, we've looked at the town and all its features - the river, the trees, the houses, snow in the street, and so on.