Thursday, April 25, 2024

Classical singing Shantal’s calling


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IT’S NOT difficult to hear why Shantal Martin’s voice has the reputation of bringing people to tears.  At 22, not only has she perfected the art of mesmerising audience in English, like other seasoned opera singers, but she can also sing in German, French and Italian.

Despite her long list of accomplishments the classically trained soprano singer is quite humble  about her vocal ability. She did not believe the hype until one pivotal trip to Madrid Spain with the Catholic youth of Barbados.

“We were staying in a small town called Toledo and I sang in the church there, and I mean when I sing at home everyone is like, ‘that’s great, and ‘you’re so special’. But when I sang there it was literally like an epiphany, the acoustics in the church were perfect, everybody was crying . . . .”

In an interview with WEEKEND BUZZ ahead of her Shantal: The Concert, which comes off tonight, she also recalled the moment which charter the path she’s on.

She said at about age seven, “I was by my grandmother just hanging out and her neighbour was playing a Charlotte Church CD and I started to sing along and it was then that they realised I had a voice,” she recalled.

She said after that point her parents Kelvin and Ann Martin enrolled her in vocal training with the likes of Andrea Thorne and later Norma Bowen.

She said she is the only born and raised West Indian at the school and she flies her Bajan flag high. So much that she invited her friend and classmate Claudillea Holloway back to Barbados to take part in the concert.

She said she is trained in ballet contemporary, jazz, the waltz, the minuet and other styles which are usually performed in opera stage productions.

After she completes her degree at the New York school she said she hopes to be hired by companies in the United States. She also hopes to return home someday to teach and revive the classical scene in Barbados.

 Martin’s fundraising concert to help with studies comes off tonight at 7 at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. There will be performances by the Myriad singers and The Royal Barbados Police Force Band. (TG)


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