Cecília Rodrigues: Carrying the Future

Cecília Rodrigues is a portuguese soprano who has been awarded multiple times. When she performs we can almost feel a sort of elevation as she doesn’t only sing what someone else has composed, she also gives a new meaning to those words and melodies.

Cecília was born to a musical household: her father is a renowned  opera singer (Luís Rodrigues). She had her first singing experience when she was only 12 by staring in an opera for children. From that moment on, as she recalls, she felt that she wanted to do more of that. Besides this, she always sang in the church choir and started piano lessons by the age of 10.

As she grew up, her musical world broadened to bossa nova, fado, pop and many other genres. She lists Maria Callas, Ella Fitzgerald and Amália Rodrigues as her ultimate influences but also, way before that Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys. As vocalists, they inspired her to try to sing like them and, subconsciously, explore her instrument.

As for the musicality, she was drawn to how ‘playful’ João Gilberto felt through her music and the ease that bossa nova made her feel.

While the classical world has this reputation for being strict in a kind of way, these multiple musical worlds gave her a unique foundation to the artist that she is. She lists ‘honesty’ and ‘simplicity’ as two characteristics that she wants to bring to the classical world.

If you’re studying under such a regiment as classical academics, some eventually might loose focus of what gives them please; but Cecilia always found the balance between those strict rules and a natural way to break or even redefine them. That has always been clear, even when she was a student in the conservatory.

Her work always begins with a music sheet, maybe written centuries ago, which at a first glance gives less room to add anything else. Nonetheless, Cecília always manages to draw the line between what the composer wrote and what his intention were with what she can add to the piece (via stylistic choices).

As any other singer, she was not always fond of listening to any recordings of her. However, as time goes by she feels that she can match the ‘ideal’ sound and she has come to terms with that.

Inside the classical world there are tons of different repertoires and nowadays a lyrical singer has to be flexible between those worlds rather than just specialize in a particular one.

As a person who believes in God, Cecília feels that she is at service for music and a ‘greater beauty’ as she says. Music, for her, is deeply connected and is felt differently when there are such beliefs.

For her, a singer can fail in many different aspects. In a musical world rooted in such a strong technical foundation, you can always point mistakes related to that; however, she is ok when she notices any sort of small mistakes related to that and sees the lack of connection to the message as much worse.

Her secret is to prepare herself the best she can and then have some space to embrace what the moment of the performance gives to you, with all the best and worst it might provide.

As mundane as this all sounds to a person not used to listen to the kind of music Cecília sings, to find someone who is deeply connected to this craft and yet feels refreshing as she does when performing is something quite special. Since very early – even during school recitals – no one felt indifferent to her talent and the way she elevated those recitals to something more serious. All listed above made her the real deal since anyone around her can remember.

Photography: Tomás Monteiro
Styling: Mónica Lafayette

Hair: Eric Ribeiro
Make Up: Elodie Fiuza
Production: Snowberry
Talent: Cecília Rodrigues

Dress: Lidija Kolovrat

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