Thursday 21 September, 2017

Trinidadian opera singer earns rave reviews at classical festival

Opera singer Jeanine DeBique performing with the Chineke orchestra at the BBC Proms

Opera singer Jeanine DeBique performing with the Chineke orchestra at the BBC Proms

Jeanine DeBique, a Trinidadian opera singer, has earned rave reviews for her performance at the world's greatest classical music festival.

DeBique performed at the annual BBC Proms on August 30 accompanied by the Chineke orchestra, the first multi-ethnic orchestra to play at the event. 

DeBique, a coloratura soprano, sang two Handel songs and one from Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

The reviews were glowing.

A review in Bachtrack, a classical music site said:

"As a Proms debut artist, Jeanine De Bique is the name to remember from this Late Night Prom. The Trinidadian soprano had an electric onstage presence from the moment she started bobbing along to the opening of “Da tempesta” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare with a great big grin. De Bique’s voice was soft but powerful, careful in its release of notes to a confident vibrato. As an expressive singer, she understood where to release and where to hold suspense. A particularly memorable moment of De Bique’s performance was in Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ Au penchant qui nous entraîne, in which the suspension in her voice on the phrase “et si je puis guérir” (“but if I can be healed”) created a stillness in the hall in its raw emotion. De Bique had an elegance to her voice that coupled well with her personality and sentiment in the songs. Her final performance of the evening was “Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s Messiah often overindulged in coloratura and sung too slowly, De Bique’s rendition was fresh and light, glossing effortlessly over complex scales."

The Guardian reviewer said she: "Threw off two Handel arias and one by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges with winning panache."

Music site MusicOMH described her voice as full of fire and cream in equal measure. 

"Three pieces from the 18th century – Handel’s Da tempeste (from Giulio Cesare) and Rejoice greatly (from Messiah), together with Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ Au penchant qui nous entrâine in an orchestration by Mauricio Rodriguez – sat oddly with the rest of the programme, but missing them out would have denied us the opportunity of hearing the young soprano Jeanine de Bique, whose tremendous voice is full of fire and cream in equal measure. Her account of Bologne’s mannered song was delivered with gentle soulfulness, and her performances of the two Handel numbers – particularly Rejoice, which was taken at breakneck speed with da capo ornamentation set to max – were full of pyrotechnic agility."

De Bique's performance was just one highlight in her busy 2016/2017 season which saw her perform as  Musetta in a new Barbe & Doucet production of Puccini's La Boheme with The Scottish National Opera and Theater in St. Gallen, Switzerland; Annio in a new Peter Sellars production of La Clemenza di Tito for the Salzburg Festival, Musikfest Bremen, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Wroclaw Cantans Festival conducted by Teodor Currentzis with the Orchestra MusicAeterna;  and Micäela in Bizet's Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara.