Meet Cari Burdett, mezzo-soprano

This year our mezzo-soprano in the second half of the Christmas Oratorio is Cari Burdett, who sang last year as well.

Cari, who hails from Vancouver and Victoria (with a few other places in between), grew up enjoying musical theatre, dance, painting and drawing, as well as team sports, cycling and skiing.

It was in the course of performing in a music festival that she discovered the connection she was able to make with an audience, using her own voice. She felt her voice was bringing joy to people as well as to herself.

She enrolled in the undergraduate opera programme at McGill, completed her degree, then moved to London, England, to do a M. Mus. in performance at the Royal Academy. Over the course of her studies she became interested in contemporary music, and when she was required to do a thesis, she was linked up with several composers who wrote solo unaccompanied works for her, one of which, Shouts of Herodias, by Thomas Hyde, a melodramatic opera for solo voice, she continues to enjoy performing.

At this point Cari’s career veered off in yet another direction as she took time off to raise her two young daughters in Sweden, where she also studied with Pär Ahlbom, and wrote her thesis on his “intuitive pedagogy,” which involves movement and music exercises that bring health to the body. While in Sweden, Cari also continued to explore music improvisation.

Cari returned to the West Coast four years ago with her family. The last two years, she has been studying with Nancy Argenta. Cari finds many similarities between Baroque and contemporary music — she names flexibility, sonority, patterns.

Cari runs a music school, Lila Music Studio. She teaches voice, runs a community choir, and teaches parent and child classes, as well as improv. She also directs the Threshold Choir, which sends small groups to sing rounds, chants, hymns, spirituals and classic choral music by the bedside of people who are nearing the end of their lives.

Cari says “I am grateful to be singing Bach with the Sooke Orchestra!”

Upcoming events include

Dec. 15, 7.30 pm – Handel’s Messiah,

Cari Burdett will be the alto soloist with the Vancouver Island Symphony

Port Theatre, Nanaimo BC. Tickets: 250.754.8550

January 23/24 – Concert of winter love songs with singers Cari Burdett & Sara Merreiros; percussion, Chris Bertin; bass, Philip Albert; and guitar, Massimo Pintus.

Spiral Cafe, Victoria and the Duncan Garage Showroom.

February – T.B.A. concert of Canadian and Bulgarian New music; singers accompanied by four-piece band. Victoria & Duncan

Sunday, March  28, 2pm – St. Michael’s Presents Concert Series – Cari Burdett in a solo concert

St. Michael’s and All Angels Anglican Church, 2858 Mill St. Chemainus

Chemainus concert series:…/st-michaels-all-angels-anglican-church – LILA MUSIC CENTRE


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