Tears and a standing ovation from a crowd of 60 people marked the end of Brianna Robinson’s senior recital on Jan. 20 in Jemison Auditorium.
Robinson, a soprano, performed works from Bach, Mozart and Britten, to name a few. She sang in English, French, Italian, German and Latin.
Much of the music was chosen by Robinson, but it “doesn’t usually happen that way,” she said.
“When I learn music I do a lot of listening, so it’s very important to me to have role models—female singers whose voices sound like mine or who I love to listen to,” Robinson said.
Her favorite female vocalist is Anna Netrebko, a Russian opera singer. Robinson said she also likes Jessye Norman and Cecilia Bartoli.
She said she memorized her music by spending time over winter break “just walking around the house spouting them.”
One of the biggest challenges she faced in her singing career occurred during her sophomore year of college and had nothing to do with memorization.
“I found out that I had blisters on my [vocal] cords that caused a lot of air in my sound,” Robinson said.
She remembers auditioning for a few different parts, not getting them, and finding out afterward it was because her voice had a breathiness that was not liked.
“The blisters are not all the way gone,” Robinson said. “I have to understand and work on how to actually close my cords. It’s still a struggle.”
Robinson said being able to share her music is what keeps her singing.
“I’ve always felt more like myself when I’m on a stage,” Robinson said. “Not because I’m in the spotlight because I don’t necessarily think that’s what it is. I think it’s being able to share my voice because I’ve put so much hard work into it.”
Sophomore Teona Council said she attended the event to support Robinson.
“She has a really beautiful voice, and she’s a senior so I wanted to hear her before she leaves,” Council said.
“Impressive” was how freshman Patrick Puracchio described Robinson’s ability to hit certain high notes.
Robinson plans to graduate this May with a bachelor of music in performance degree and is thinking about attending Northwestern University to pursue music.