Mezzo-Soprano Elisa shines on Podium Witteman with Monteverdi

23 October 2019

Many of you saw Elisa sing on the TV show Podium Witteman in October. In a stunning performance, she revived Monteverdi’s aria Lamento d’Arianna from 1608 in a modern studio in Amsterdam. To sing this technically demanding piece in the dry acoustics of a studio and live with many cameras pointed at you is not easy, Elisa tells us; especially if you have to start in the middle of the piece and you have no time to build up the emotions. Ariadne is grieving and angry in this aria. Expressing these emotions was crucial to Monteverdi. But once the music started, I was in the piece, I was there. You forget the cameras and you pretend that you stand in a big concert hall.

Elisa was asked by the principal of the Royal Conservatoire, Henk van der Meulen to sing excerpts from Lamento d’Arianna to showcase how Monteverdi’s work set the path for the opera genre. Elisa went on a long journey to finally “be there” where she is now and the Lamento holds a special place in her heart, because 5 years ago, this piece changed her life. During a masterclass at her former University in Italy, she met Royal Conservatoire vocal teacher Jill Feldman. Back then, Elisa was still studying classical music, but after Jill heard her sinning the Lamento d’Arianna, Jill told her to go to The Hague and switch to Early Music.

Elisa took a leap of faith, followed Jill’s advice and left everything behind to come and study in The Hague. ‘Especially the beginning was very hard’, Elisa tells us. ‘I missed my family and friends terribly. But I never regretted my choice. Here, I really grew up and built my own artistic identity thanks to my teachers such as Rita Dams. You have the chance to participate in all sorts of projects and explore contemporary music and even Jazz. It makes your portfolio so much richer and really gives you an advantage on the job market. As a singer, you also need to understand the accompanying continuo and vice versa. When I met lutenist Giorgia, I was very excited to learn that she was a singer as well. Walking in each other’s shoes every now and then makes you really understand your ensemble partner and brings the performance to a whole new level.’