LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO: CANTABILE (adj) & (adv). (Music/Classical Music) (to be performed) in a singing style, i.e. flowingly and melodiously.
As a young musician at the tender age of 20, I had the privilege to work with Lyric’s Bruno Bartoletti, who opened my ears to understanding and producing the Italian sound, and cantabile phrasing. One needs to know the role of the horn at the moment. Are you a pitched percussionist creating rhythmic drive during a recitative or soaring through your instrument in a lyrical cantabile manner in an aria? Through the years, it has become instinctive. Sir Andrew Davis, the current Music Director at the Lyric Opera, has a keen ear for texture and balance, and has influenced me to expand my awareness of the role that I play in the opera. Just because I’m playing a note doesn’t mean that it’s important. Control, delicacy, elegant pianos and noble fortes have become de rigueur for my approach to the operatic horn.
I have had the privilege of working with the world’s greatest singers, who have also given me a wonderful idea of the cantabile style, pacing, control, contrast of tone color by expressing emotional content through their voices. These legendary singers-Pavarotti, Sutherland, Giaurov, Freni, Domingo, Fleming, Kraus, Heppner, Terfel, Graham, Morris, Kaufmann, TeKanawa, Pape, Galouzine, Dessay, Vickers, von Stade-have all been my inspiration. Night after night of being in an environment where your sound mingles and blends with the greatest voices of our time has been, and still is, an unforgettable experience.
Of all the principal horn players I’ve had the pleasure of working with in many orchestras over the years, few have come close to Jon Boen. His accuracy is remarkable, but this is but one in a long list of his qualities as a musician. His sensitivity to style, his command of a huge palette of tonal colours and the wonderful way in which he interacts with his colleagues in the pit make him one of the most rewarding artists with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working.