Coloratura Soprano Jade Ricco hopes to win the appreciation of music lovers by mixing the classical and the popular. ‘I want to break the perceived barrier between classical music and popular music,’ she says, ‘and change the impression that classical music is only for the elite.’
Jade optimistic about her ‘crossover’ dream
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2019 - 12:00am

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Coloratura soprano Jade Riccio’s dream of making classical music appreciated by the masses is well within reach.

“Many people think that classical music is only for the elite,” observed Jade, a UST Conservatory of Music cum laude graduate and Aliw Best Classical Performer awardee who recently joined Star Music. “I want to change that impression, that’s why I’m doing pop songs with a classical touch so that when people listen to them, they will say, ‘A, alam ko ang song na ‘yan.’ That’s my goal as an artist…to break the perceived barrier between the classical and the popular. As far as I am concerned, there shouldn’t be any categorization. Whatever the genre, music is music.”

In fact, the classically trained Il Divo guys, among other artists, have already been doing it.

“David Miller, the American member of Il Divo, is my friend,” said Andrew Fernando, Jade’s manager who was behind the three concerts (at CCP, Maybank and Aliw Theater) of the 13-year-old Klassikal Music Foundation founded and headed by George Yang, of which Jade was a member for five years and probably the most successful alumna (who still sings in the foundation’s concerts as guest performer). “If you haven’t noticed,” added Andrew, “the Il Divo songs are written with a classical discipline, appreciated by music lovers from all social levels.”

A good example is Bring Me to Life, Jade’s first single as a Star Music artist, which is an old Evanescence rock hit Jade has remade the pop way with a classical approach.

“I cannot and will never set aside my classical training,” stressed Jade. “Classical singing is the foundation of all kinds of singing. Once you learn it, you are able to apply it to other genres. Classical singing is the hardest type of singing but if you master it, it’s easier na to do the other genres. I heard Bring Me to Life for the first time when I was in high school and I love it. Listen closely to it (on YouTube since last week and may be downloaded from Spotify). I did it in a flexible way so it can be sung in different styles…disco, ballad, jazz.”

Jade’s acclaimed performances have been applauded both here (including those in opera productions of the Cultural Center of the Philippines) and abroad (Singapore, US, Germany, Italy, etc.). To her credit are command performances for high government officials including Pres. DU30 with whom she did a duet during a Malacanang event.

Televiewers probably remember Jade for her stint as finalist in the ABS-CBN program Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) where her classical rendition of Historia de un Amor won the hearts of the judges (Freddie Garcia, Vice Ganda, Angel Locsin and Robin Padilla). She likewise wowed audiences with her portrayals of opera heroines Maria Clara (in Noli Me Tangere), Princess (in Rusalka) and as the titular role in Alcina.

Deemed winner in the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the Jovita Fuentes Vocal Competition, Jade traces her love for music to her father, an orphan who grew up in Switzerland where he worked as lights man for concerts and operas.

“That exposed him to music,” noted Jade. “He spent every single day listening to music.”

A native of Palawan (“Where I was born on a beach”), Jade is the eldest of three siblings, all girls: the youngest enrolled at UST’s Conservatory of Music and after one year shifted to Fashion Designing at St. Benilde and the second, an Interior Design graduate from UST.

Besides Bring Me to Life, to be included in Jade’s maiden album are seven songs, two of them a duet with Jose Mari Chan on his hit song Please Be Careful With My Heart (original was with Regine Velasquez) and solo on Hahanapin Ko, another Joe Mari hit sung by Anthony Castelo, plus Ikaw at Ako which Jade herself has composed.

“I’m sure people can relate to the songs because I’m doing them the pop way,” adding, “and with classical discipline.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

CLASSICAL MUSIC COLORATURA SOPRANO JADE RICCO
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