Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Soprano Tamara Ryan, a junior from Fayetteville, Arkansas, will give a recital of works by Bizet, Brahms, Strauss, Mozart, Duparc, and Copland tonight at 8:00 p.m. in Lang Concert Hall. A double major in music and religion, Ryan currently studies voice with Julian Rodescu, and coaches with Debra Scurto-Davis.
The program’s themes “surfaced” as Ryan planned the repertoire, “just because each piece speaks to me in a very specific way….the different things that are important to me musically end up being themes for the recital, but there wasn’t a conscious plan.” Ryan sees her relationship with the drama of a song as the key element to a good performance. “If I don’t feel really dramatically committed to what’s happening in a song, even a song with one verse where not very much seems to be happening in terms of a plot, it’s still so important to me to feel really involved in the story…if I don’t have that level of commitment to a piece I feel like I can’t really perform it.” The challenge was to find the perfect program. “I found so many songs where the texts really spoke to me, but it wasn’t very well suited to my voice,” including a lot of songs by Brahms, who wrote a great deal for a lower voice.
“It was my mother’s idea that I start taking voice lessons,” Ryan said. “She thought it would be something really fun for us to do together…so we started taking voice lessons together…it just turned out that the person she chose for us to study with was a pretty serious teacher, so that was where it all started.” At Swarthmore, Ryan has sung solos with the Chorus, Early Music Ensemble, Fetter Chamber Music Program and sang the role of Amore in last years’ production of GlÃƒÂ¼ck’s “Orfeo” and the Papagena in the previous year’s “Magic Flute.” This summer, she will give her recital in her hometown, travel to the Florence Voice Seminar in Italy, and next year, she will give another recital. After that, she’s not sure, but “I want to be singing.”