Recital: Olga Melendez Valdes '24 MM, Soprano

NEC: Burnes Hall | Directions

255 St. Botolph St.
Boston, MA
United States

NEC's students meet one-on-one each week with a faculty artist to perfect their craft. As each one leaves NEC to make their mark in the performance world, they present a full, professional recital that is free and open to the public. It's your first look at the artists of tomorrow.

Olga Melendez Valdes '24 MM studies Voice with Jane Eaglen.

She has entitled her recital, "Grief through the Looking-Glass."

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here:

  1. Giuseppe Verdi | from Sei Romanze


    No. 3, In solitaria stanza  
    No. 1, Non t’accostar all’ urna

    Program note

    Verdi's Sei Romanze (Six Songs) of 1838 was his first published work, composed in 1836. This set of songs touch on the themes of death and loss that foreshadow the tragedy found in his later operatic works.

  2. Hector Berlioz | from Les nuits d’été, op. 7


    No. 2, Le spectre de la rose  
    No. 3, Sur les lagunes

    Program note

    In Les nuits d'été, Berlioz sets six poems written by his close friend Théophile Gautier (1811-72) from the volume La comédie de la mort (The comedy of death). The poems consider love from different perspectives, but loss of love permeates them all. When performed as a cycle, the songs convey this loss all the more strongly, not just as individual compositions touched by melancholy, but as a coherent conception of the relationship between that which is longed for and is yet unattainable.


  4. Johannes Brahms

    Meine liebe ist grün wie der Fliederbusch
    from Neun Lieder und Gesänge, op. 63 no. 5

    O kühler Wald
         from Fünf Gesänge, op. 72 no. 3      

    Ach, wende diesen Blick

        fromAcht Lieder und Gesänge, op. 57 no. 4

    An eine Äolsharfe
        from Fünf Gedichte, op. 19 no. 5        

    Program note

    In 1838, Eduard Mörike wrote his poem An eine Äolsharfe, where he remembers his dead brother. He asks the wind to travel from the boy’s grave to his garden to play the aeolian harp. The wind brings memories and the harp vibrates in unison with the lament of his soul.

    Dedicated in loving memory of my brother, Junior Manuel Melendez Valdes (2002-2022).


  5. Henry Purcell | Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas


    Program note

    After Dido orders Aeneas to leave due to his betrayal, she states that “Death must come when he is gone.” The opera and Dido’s life both slowly come to a conclusion, as the Queen of Carthage sings her last aria in the arms of her confidant, Belinda.

  6. Benjamin Britten | Funeral Blues from Cabaret Songs


    Program note

    The tension between private, public and personal expressions of grief is what energizes Funeral Blues. There’s an honesty in the poem depicting bereavement as impossible to cope with, and Auden reveals how easy it is to feel frustrated when, as one person’s world completely falls apart, the rest of us carry on our daily business as if nothing has happened.

  7. First and foremost, I would like to thank God
    for blessing me with the strength, knowledge and sufficient love to complete this wonderful milestone.

    To my treasured parents, Manuel and Zaribe,
    who have been the biggest supporters and motivators in my life; thank you for always being by my side and holding my dreams up in the light.

    To my beloved team of teachers and mentors: Jane Eaglen, Jacqueline Dickey, Richard Bower, Monica Soto-Gil, Dr. Hsin-Yi Lin, and so many others –

    for all your encouragement, infinite wisdom and unwavering support.
    I thank you all for changing my life and being part of my village.

    To the insanely talented JJ Penna,
    who embarked on this recital journey with me and whose support has been invaluable to this process, thank you for sharing your artistry and wisdom with me.

    To my friends,
    thank you for inspiring me, giving me cherished experiences, and for being peers in this journey of self-actualization. Our love and shared humanity make this life worth living.

    Lastly, I would like to thank my siblings, Abby and Junior.
    Thank you both for being my first audience members, co-creators, and dream enablers.
    You both are God’s greatest gift to me as an artist and a person.