Kayleigh Jardine, a senior voice performance major at West Chester University, has her Senior Voice Recital on Saturday, April 16 at the Ware Family Recital Hall in the Swope Music Building.
Jardine, who is a mezzo-soprano, will be collaborating with her pianist of three years, Hyeji Park . The School of Music (SOM) pairs each voice student with an accompanist, and Jardine said that she has been lucky to be with the same pianist for many semesters.
Park is working on her second Master’s Degree at WCU. Jardine will have one duet with baritone Greg Feldmann, who is a senior at WCU.
Jardine said that most people assume that being a Vocal Performance major means that she’s a Theatre major, but there is actually a big difference between the two. Her major focuses on the vocal techniques it takes to sing operatic repertoire. Opera productions and vocal concerts and recitals don’t use any sound systems or microphones.
“We are taught to use our natural microphones in our body to make our voices carry over full orchestras all the way to the back of five tiered opera houses, similar to how the ancient Greeks were able to make themselves heard in their giant arenas when they performed their plays,” Jardine said.
When it comes to operas, Jardine said that she knows that most people think that they are boring and not relatable. On the contrary, though, Jardine said that operas are very interesting, especially those written centuries ago because they still deal with themes that are relatable today. She is performing two solo songs from Carmen, which is about a woman who is unashamed to be herself in a society that doesn’t accept her lifestyle.
“The theme of Carmen as a feminist is still relevant today, and scholars of women studies write about her all the time,” Jardine said.
As for operas that are performed in another language, Jardine said that there are usually supertitles above the stage with the English translations on it, and sometimes there is a small screen on the back of the seat in front of you with the translations as well.
Jardine thanks the SOM faculty for all the help they have provided, especially her private voice teacher Dr. InYoung Lee.
“When I started at WCU, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I really didn’t think that I would be headed toward a career in opera, but within my first semester, Dr. Lee had me hooked,” she said.
Her celebrity inspirations include Diana Damrau and Jamie Barton, both opera singers. Her other inspiration is Dolly Parton, who she admires because of her rags-to-riches story.
Jardine told the story about how Parton would not leave the outside of a record studio for days until they would listen to her sing, and now she has made a huge name for herself. While Jardine herself wishes to perform live in opera houses for a living, her intent is the same as Parton’s.
“Don’t let anyone tell you no when you know in your heart that the answer is yes,” Jardine said.
Jardine will be pursuing her Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor after graduating from WCU. After that, she hopes to be accepted to the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia to earn her post-grad artist’s diploma.
After that, she plans to see where life will take her.
Dana Perkiss is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. Contact her at DP785965@wcupa.edu