I was recently very moved by young opera singers who performed at TEDxPresidio in San Francisco this month. Soprano Ariel Bowser performed with tenor Jens Ibsen in the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts Theater, a building that is surrounded by serene lush trees and greenery on all sides.
The duo performed a piece from the 1831 Opera L’Elisir D’amore by Gaetano Donizetti. Ava Soifer accompanied them on piano.
“Despite assumptions that African-Americans don’t do classical music, I’m proof that that is untrue, as I love singing classical music! It prepares one to learn any type of music and the discipline required imparts an essential life skill.”
Jens was the first African-born member of the world-famous, 514-year-old Vienna Boys Choir.
He has also performed solos at Carnegie Hall, the UN, on German TV, sung in numerous venues from Shanghai to Dubai, on three CD recordings and acted in the feature film, Songs Along The Silk Road and Time.
When someone walks onto a stage in hoodies, one of them carrying a brown bag with a bottle in it, you don’t expect opera to come out of their mouths. It was a beautiful surprise and a top notch performance.
Take a look at a video snippet below from their on-stage performance at the September TEDx event.