Taken from a text by James Joyce and turned into music by Samuel Barber, no song has ever meant more to me. Nuvoletta has been my song since I was 16, and it also embraces the very moment I discovered my passion for singing.
It was my senior year of high school, in the WA State competition. My mother was at the piano, and I was singing. Time seemed to slow down, and I could feel my blood pulsing. But I let it pulse into the song, and poured all of my nervous energy into conveying the importance of this story to the audience. Cymehemricomp Towards the end, Nuvoletta jumps off of a balcony with a swirling crescendo/decrescendo. To my astonishment, the audience had become as wrapped-up as I in the music, and some people leaned forward as the music increased intensity. I saw them settle back in as I finished “she was gone…”, and I knew from that moment forward that I would sing. I had been able to touch people with the beauty of music, and it made me glow inside with purpose.
My goal since that day has been to reach the audience. I don’t believe in stagnant beauty in music- rather, I believe in dynamic beauty and contrast, which create an overall story and sense of journey that the singer and audience take.
I’m uploading four versions of Nuvoletta. I wish I had that first time, back in high school, but I don’t. Instead, I give you Nuvoletta: in 2008 at Oberlin, in 2011 at Curtis, in 2013 with Rachel Chao, and 2014 in live concert in Houston, with Ana Maria Ottamendi at the piano.
Curtis 2011, with Don St. Pierre:
2013 with Rachel Chao:
2014 live performance in Houston, with Ana Maria Ottamendi: Nuvoletta – Houston