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Bryan DeSilva

Bryan DeSilva is an up-and-coming operatic countertenor whose voice has been hailed as "otherworldly," possessing "a warm and honeyed tone." He holds a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from Temple University's Boyer College of Music and currently lives in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

http://www.bryandesilva.com

The Vocal Soloist as Ensemble Singer

October 6, 2011
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I recently won an audition for a well-known Bach cantata series. For part of the audition, I was asked to read music with a few singers in an ensemble setting.  The conductor knew I could sing an aria, but wished to know more about how I collaborated with other singers and instrumentalists.  Did I, in other words, play well with others? So often I hear young singers-in-training complain about ensemble and choral singing, boldly stating that they are only interested in solo opportunities. I must admit that I held very similar opinions. Studying to be a solo singer (which can be much more lucrative a career than being a chorister) requires confidence commensurate with the risk you are taking…

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A Day in the Life… “Lazy Days of Summer”

July 5, 2011
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If you were anything like me during your undergraduate years, you probably spent the Summer working extra hours at a dead-end job, took an occasional vacation or day trip to the beach, and found yourself two steps behind vocally when you returned to school in the Fall. It should come as no surprise to most readers that there comes a point at which we must consider singing to be our job, regardless of whether it actually provides the majority of our income. For many young artists, Summer is the time when we most feel like working singers.

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To D(ma) or Not To D(ma)…? That is the Question.

June 1, 2011
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Quite recently I made the decision to remain in academia for a few more years – in pursuit of my Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A., the terminal performance degree).  Although some singers agonize over this decision, it came quite easily for me – albeit after about a year of shoving it to the back of my brain!  I thought this would be a good topic for this month’s issue. Many singers are afraid that working on a D.M.A. means losing three years of networking and ladder climbing as a performer, while not doing one means being shut out of most University teaching jobs.  Although this may be true for some, I do not believe it to be the case for myself – let me tell you why.

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Guiding Handel’s Legacy: An Interview with Handel House Museum Director Sarah Bardwell

May 12, 2011
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During my trip to England this past April, I had the privilege of sitting down with Sarah Bardwell, director of the Handel House Museum in London. We chatted a bit about Handel the man and Handel the musician, and the joys and challenges of bringing his legacy to a new generation.

Read the entire interview to learn a great deal about this wonderful museum and the man whose legacy it seeks to preserve.

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A Day in the Life of… Bryan DeSilva, Emerging Artist

April 12, 2011
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It is with great excitement (and a little jet lag) that I write to you this month from across the pond. That’s right – this month’s edition of A Day in the Life comes from the verdant land that Purcell, Britten and Handel called home!

In early autumn I became aware of both a new student grant opportunity at my University and the upcoming London Handel Society Singing Competition. I had recently returned from a stay at Christ Church, Oxford where my church choir spent a week as choir in residence. I was invigorated by all of the possibilities that the UK music scene seemed to present and was quite anxious to return. As with much of Europe, England seems to embrace Baroque music as part of the mainstream. Also, coming from a place where my voice has at times been viewed as an anomaly, it was refreshing to visit a country where countertenors are simply another fach. This no doubt springs from England’s choral tradition and the subsequent rise to fame of twentieth century countertenor pioneers like Alfred Deller and James Bowman…

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A Day in the Life of… Bryan DeSilva, Emerging Artist

March 1, 2011
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Greetings once again from a somewhat frazzled Philadelphia countertenor!  I am in the midst of preparing for both my Master of Music Degree recital and an upcoming research and performance trip to England, all the while keeping up with coursework, working a part-time office job, and teaching private students as part of my graduate assistantship.  I am not fishing for pity, nor do I wish to complain; there are certainly less desirable things by which one might be kept so busy! I just submitted an audition CD for the London Handel Society’s 2011 Singing Competition, so the topic of Recording is still quite fresh for me.

It is here that I must make a confession.  I may or may not have a bit of an issue with procrastination…

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A Day in the Life of… Bryan DeSilva, Emerging Artist

February 1, 2011
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This month, Dr. Peter Hennen’s article, Nature’s way: Vocal Production in Social Context, challenges our basic assumptions about our own personal narrative – the story we tell ourself to explain our triumphs and failures and link our present reality to a better future. How do we come up with a definition for success, how do we measure our progress, and are there ever clear steps to take? How do we know we are on the right path?

Our ‘A Day in the Life…’ series digs deeper into the life stories of countertenors. It is my sincere hope that we might demystify the process of building and sustaining a performing career, and create an encouraging environment for the next generation of singers. If you are a performer at any career level and would like to contribute to this ongoing project, please be in touch. This month, meet Bryan DeSilva…
~The Editor

I had considered beginning this glimpse into my musical journey with something to the effect of: “I’m just a scared little countertenor trying hard to make it in the big, bad world of Classical Music…”

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