April 15, 2021

MSM Spotlight: Ricardo Rodriguez (BM ’22) performs on April 18th with MSM Junior Opera Theatre

Ricardo Rodriguez is a Junior in the Classical Voice Program and will perform in Let America be America Again: A Sung Tribute to Langston Hughes and Friends presented by MSM Junior Opera theatre, and directed by Catherine Malfitano. 

He tells us about his experience in this production, why he chose MSM, and his hopes and dreams for the future. 

Tell us a little about yourself!

Ricardo: Hello!!! My name is Ricardo Javier Rodriguez, and I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay is a small country in South America with a vast and an incredible variety of music styles that are part of our culture and history, such as Tango, Murga, Candombe, Zarzuela and Opera ; a phenomenon product of the immigration from Europe to south America during the World War I and how the cultures mixed their musical history. It is when I discovered Opera that I realized that it was the kind of music I love the most, and I began my musical path with the tools offered by my country, The National School of Lyrical Arts, SODRE. Eventually, and pursuing my dreams, I was accepted at The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ms. Ruth Golden, reaching a mature perception of the vocal technique through her knowledge and teaching, looking forward one step at the time, to find my best artistic self.

What do you like about this concert and tell us what it’s like being a part of MSM Junior Opera Theatre?

Ricardo: Being part of this amazing project of the Junior Opera Theatre Ensemble has been a one in a lifetime experience. Under the experienced and full of sensitivity guidance of professor Catherine Malfitano, we began a journey exploring the poetry and the musicality of Langston Hughes. This was not a common journey; creating arts, performing arts, experiencing and living the artistic expressions we were looking for in our lives not as individuals but as a group, was not an easy task. We work on this project during one of the most complex and complicated times in human history, the pandemic. But because of the commitment of being artists regardless any situation and the hard work, we made it, we embraced the amazing content of Langston Hughes artwork, we made it part of our essence as humans and we gave our voices in service of the arts. We cried, we learnt, we laughed , we were full of joy for the accomplishment of an incredible and complex task, but the most important thing is that we grew up artistically, as humans, and as a group, embraced and embracing the universal and undeniable language of music.

How has this school year been for you?

Ricardo: This school year for me was a journey of understanding, adapting, and growing up as a musician and as a human being. The Manhattan School of Music and its commitment of keeping making arts and music during the pandemic gave me the opportunity to keep moving forward in the pursuit of my musical dreams, and offered me an emotional space of artistic safety, emotional integrity, and hope. And it is in the hope in arts and the belief that we are able to make music regardless any situation that I found the inspiration to embrace my learning process, through my voice, my mind, and the artistic soul that we all have and keep all of us moving toward the future with enthusiasm, respect to others, and tolerance.

Ricard Rodriguez (BM '22), performing in Sophomore Opera Scenes 2019

What do you like best about the MSM Community and being at MSM?

Ricardo: Being part of the MSM community is an incredible honor to me. It represents being part of one of the strongest communities of musicians, an unbreakable chain of artists that decided to pursuit a career full of challenges but at the same time, full of meaning. This meaningful decision in the complex moment we are living as society, means even more; we are building up eventually an artistic community that understands that the power of the ‘We” is always more important than the “I”, helping the next generations with their own process to forge a stronger community, and little by little, shape society into a better one, using the beautiful and meaningful language of music as a tool to improve what we are as humans.

What projects are you working on now?

Ricardo: I’m very excited of working now on a very special project upcoming this Spring, also with the Junior Opera Theatre Ensemble. I don’t want to spoil anything yet but stay tuned for a work that is going to represent for the audience a journey through the most beautiful pieces of French music, exploring the most amazing spectrum of emotions that can be found in music. Working again as a group also represents an emotional journey from the individual to the group, a place that allows us to realize all the things we have in common, to find the similitudes and not to focus on our differences. Once again, guided by professor Malfitano, this exploration of the artistic self ends up being a path of the understanding the self as part of the group on the pursuit of giving the best in the artistic expressions and in life.

“But because of the commitment of being artists regardless any situation and the hard work, we made it, we embraced the amazing content of Langston Hughes artwork, we made it part of our essence as humans and we gave our voices in service of the arts.”

BM '22, Classical Voice

What do you like best about studying you voice at MSM?

Ricardo: The knowledge of the teachers. We have the bests of the bests in every single class, which represents an incredible source of knowledge, experience, and artistic development. With the guidance of this amazing faculty of professionals, I feel that my artistic self is in the best hands possible, and my emotional self as well. Being able to learn from this incredible human beings allows me to recognize how grateful I feel, and the only way to express this gratitude is to give the best of me to learn, to grow, and to reach those stars of the accomplishment of the dreams.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Ricardo: I really want to perform, to leave behind the pandemic and to travel around the world singing, sharing, and learning, from others, with others and for others. And with those dreams,  to assume the responsibility of keeping the artistic vision of a world with no frontiers and borders, to offer the audience a place of artistic joy and emotional healing.

And because performing is to share, I want to share that there is always hope, that there is always a dream to follow, a path to walk, a shinning sun beyond any grey sky. Maybe somewhere over the rainbow, maybe just around the corner, there is always a dream, there is always hope.

Ricard Rodriguez (BM '22), performing in Sophomore Opera Scenes 2019

MSM Junior Opera Theatre Presents:
Let America be America Again:
A Tribute to Langston Hughes and Friends

Catherine Malfitano, Artistic Concept and Direction
Chun-Wei Kang, Music Direction and Pianist
Simon Yu, Director of Photography and Video Editor

APR 18 | 8 PM EDT

 

 

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New York, New York 10027