Lynx Project: on the road with art song Schubertiade, by Julius Schmid

Lynx Project: on the road with art song

Jenna Simeonov

When I’ve asked singers in the past about the difference between singing in an opera and singing a recital, the most common answer I get is that recitals are terrifying.

Of course, it has to do with having no “stage aids” like sets, costumes, far distances, etc. In recital, it’s just a singer and his or her voice. It has a lot to do with the repertoire, too. Recitals often mean more art song than arias, and it’s an art in itself to bring these miniature stories to life. Schubert, Schumann, Debussy, Wolf, these guys all write this compact tales with voice and piano, and it can be a challenge to create complete characters in the span of 2-5 minutes (but it’s thrilling when it happens).

The members of Lynx Project point out a thought that has lingered vaguely in my head since my university years: art song is rare to hear outside of an academic setting. Founded by three singers and one pianist, all graduates of the Eastman School of Music, Lynx Project is about bringing more art song to more people. It’s a simple goal, and they plan to give “intimate and inclusive performances [which] challenge the traditional form of an art song recital.”

Clockwise from top left: Caitleen Kahn, soprano; Steven Humes, tenor; Florence Mak, piano; Megan Moore, mezzo-soprano.

Lynx Project is planning a recital tour in spring 2016, and they’ve opened a Kickstarter campaign to help them out. Head over and support their travel, venue, and marketing fees; more importantly, support these young artists who have created their own performance opportunities out of a passion for their art.

I think it’s well-timed in the evolution of music’s relationship to theatre. Opera directors have already extended their work into oratorio (Peter Sellars’ St. Matthew Passion, Joel Ivany’s AtG’s Messiah), and I’ve seen gorgeous results of a director’s hand on vocal chamber music. The art song repertoire is huge, and tons of it with the drama audiences crave. Lynx Project’s mission to expand the public’s exposure to art song will give deserving spotlight to some incredible music, and pave a road towards art song being a more mainstream creative source for young artists.



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