Getting through Covid-19 with Beethoven and Bossa Nova

23 april 2020

Normally, Mariana Pimenta would be travelling a lot around this time of the year. As an Early Music Soprano, passion-time around Easter is very busy and Mariana has several ensembles in the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. A lot has happened in Mariana’s life since she came to the Netherlands to study at the Early Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire. ‘I already finished a Bachelor and Master in Classical Music in Portugal, before I decided to deepen my knowledge in Early Music Singing. I came to The Hague to study with Jill Feldman, Peter Kooij and Michael Chance. I learned so much from them and in addition, I started working while I was still studying and was able to build up a professional network, which really helped me to start my career after graduation.’ One of her highlights was touring with Jos van Veldhoven through Japan singing the Messiah and Weihnachtsoratorium.

So, what is Mariana up to during the Covid-19? ‘All the passions and most concerts have been cancelled this year. But I still have some concerts in my agenda from September onwards, and for now, I haven’t given up hope!’ Mariana stayed very positive and optimistic even in those difficult times. ‘I started recording at home and I started to sing Bossa Nova. I always wanted to explore other musical directions, but I never really had the time.’ Additionally, Mariana started to work for the classical music streaming service Primephonic where she curates playlists and matches up recommendations.

Mariana has a website and a SoundCloud account where she uploads her recordings and uses this as a résumé. One recording is from a special concert in 2017. Recently graduated, Mariana was asked back by the Royal Conservatoire to sing the role of Egmont’s mistress Clärchen in Beethoven’s famous Schauspielmusik.

‘Egmont’ is a very powerful and expressive composition, just like Beethoven’s political believes. He was a supporter of the French Revolution and his heart broke when Napoleon self-crowned himself Emperor. Beethoven scratched out Napoleon’s name on his third symphony ‘Eroica’, which he earlier dedicated to him.

The brave Egmont decides to fight the oppression and the nobility. Clärchen wants to fight alongside her lover and sings passionately about the war in her first Lied. The second Lied is composed as a counterpart to that. Here, Clärchen becomes very lyrical and sentimental. She is a very strong and complex character and Mariana enjoyed very much singing this part. ‘It was a very special concert in the Nieuwe Kerk and I was really happy to receive this opportunity.’ In November, Mariana is invited to sing the solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Portugal. This will be a nice conclusion to the Beethoven Year 2020.

Would you like to hear Mariana sing Beethoven’s Egmont? Radio West is broadcasting the recording of the live-concert this Sunday at 7am and again at 7pm. You can also listen it back via their website: