On June 13, at 4 p.m., tenor Gary McLinn of Burke will give a classical voice recital at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 5114 Twinbrook Road, Fairfax. The recital is part of the church’s "Lord of Life Artisan Series."
The recital is McLinn’s first in the Northern Virginia area since leaving to pursue his undergraduate degree five years ago.
McLinn, 23, graduated from Ithaca College with a bachelor of music in vocal performance, and is now pursuing a masters degree in voice performance at McGill University in Montreal, studying under Sanford Sylvan. In a few weeks, he will attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, where he will appear as Basilio in Mozart’s "La Nozze di Figaro."
"I think it’s important to bring this kind of music to a community that might not necessarily seek it out," said McLinn. "It’s not to say that the music that they are exposed to is any lesser, it’s just a different genre. People forget that classical music has been around for a thousand years, and there’s a reason for that."
For the recital, McLinn will be presenting a challenging and varied repertoire with pieces by such famous composers as Handel, Schubert, Tosti, Rossini and Donizetti. He will also present a set by the contemporary American composer John Kander, which was written to the text of letters a soldier sent home to his wife days before he was killed in the Battle of Bull Run.
"I try to bring a unique sense of artistic interpretation to the music," said McLinn. "I feel like in order to distinguish yourself as a musician, you have to put your identity on what you’re singing. You have to find a way to both be true to composer’s intentions, but also do something that is not just a cut and dry performance."
As a member of the inaugural season of the Wolf Trap Opera Studio, McLinn took part in the 2009 Grammy nominated recording of contemporary American composer John Musto’s "Volpone." On his recital, McLinn will be performing another set by Musto, which features pieces written to the text of poems by Langston Hughes.
Tessa Hartle will accompany McLinn on piano, and bass-baritone Paul Walker will join McLinn for the duet "Voglio dire lo stupendo" from Donizetti’s "The Elixir of Love." Hartle is a staff pianist/coach in the vocal division at Duke Ellington School for the Arts and is on the piano faculty of Musical Expressions in Bethesda.
McLinn’s recital is free and open to the public, and any donations collected will be given to local charities.