Considering that just yesterday I jumped into a genre that wouldn’t have normally ended up on my playlist…I felt like continuing that streak today with another genre I’ve barely scratched the surface of – the world of Opera-music. In a lot of ways, I’ve got fairly extensive experience with the sounds of Opera; I grew up with a lot of it as a young child, spent time with more of it in my pre-teenage church-going years as well, and eventually even as an adult I still experience it on a regular basis even though I generally don’t seek it out by the well-known names that are familiar to those that know the genre well. I often get my dosage through the various talent-shows I watch, whereby there’s always a young hopeful or two during the season that will test the world with the power of voice alone – something I’ve got a serious amount of respect for. But quite often…due to a lack of being able to truly choose which songs they get to perform on these shows, their talents end up expressed through either “Ave Maria” or “Nessun Dorma.” Don’t get me wrong, both great songs and quite often great performances to match – but when everyone’s talents are funneled down through the same pipe, they can often be flushed right out into the sea of sameness. The result is, we generally don’t remember the names of these people, no matter how good they might be. I feel like Germaine D’Rosario stands a real chance of beating all the odds and has a very bright future ahead of her through what I see/hear on her page at Soundcloud. While I recognize a few…she didn’t go after the obvious Opera-tunes that so many do…you will not find “Nessun Dorma” or “Ave Maria” on her page. That’s not to say she can’t one day revisit these songs with her fantastic vocal-talents…but for now, she’s chosen extremely wisely and given herself a serious chance at standing out from the crowd through her song-choices. You can hear her exceptional talent quite easily throughout these songs she’s chosen; the young & beautiful soprano-voiced D’Rosario has found wonderful ways to express emotion through the choices she’s made and natural instincts she possesses. I began my journey into Germaine’s music with “Ebben? Ne Andrò Lontana” and first started to marvel at her beautifully controlled and immaculately-expressive vocals. Truly a wonderful song - “Ebben? Ne Andrò Lontana” has a ton of dramatic elements in addition to its more fragile & tender moments…and I really believe that Germaine found a way to approach this song with real integrity and tenacity in her vocals. You can hear that this song takes an exceptional amount of versatility and strength to pull off – especially towards its ending as it closes in on the four-minute mark. She’s able to rise to the occasion and lift up the spirits of the people in moments like this…and immediately you can recognize this beautiful performer as the world-class, stunning talent that she truly is. She puts in an inspired take on a classic and one of my absolute favorite pieces from the Opera catalog with “Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino Caro.” The rise and fall of this melody has such powerful emotion in the writing – and D’Rosario brings it all to life gorgeously through her voice. She has an incredible grip on the flow in a flawless performance that sparkles & shines with radiant beauty, and a true master’s control of the inflections and tone in her voice. She’s absolutely stunning in every sense of the word; every twist and turn of the music finds her angelic-tones contributing beautifully to this amazing song. It’s through a song as wonderful as this, where that perfection in her delivery truly speaks to the heart and makes that connection to us all. As beautiful as beautiful can be, she’s done this song incredible justice with an extremely professional, yet insightfully-emotional performance that highlights just how much she connects to the songs she chooses. Even on “Carousel: You’ll Never Walk Alone” she shows real heart and exceptional range in her vocal-abilities. Personally, I almost feel the opposite of how I felt about “Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino Caro” – nothing to do with Germaine’s performance…it’s just never been a song I’ve really felt that connection to. I think she’s performed this about as well as you can ask, and I wouldn’t fault her for a thing; she hits the high-notes with grace, beauty and vibrant power to her tone…and I’d put her right up with the best of the best when it comes to how she’s approached this song overall. And while “Carousel: You’ll Never Walk Alone” isn’t likely to become a favorite of mine any time soon…I do commend her for performing this one with more heart & passion that almost any version I’ve personally heard. For me, Germaine continues to sound wonderful even in circumstances like these where I don’t feel like the writing of a song can match up to the talent she puts on display. I do feel that the one of Germaine’s strongest performances comes on “Madama Butterfly: “Un Bel Di Vedremo” – which is inarguably one tough mother of a song to sing. Not only does D’Rosario get through this with another exceptional performance, I think she really puts the life right into this song. Brilliantly versatile as an artist, she soars spectacularly through the intense dynamics this song contains with a commanding confidence and stunning delivery. Tender when she needs to be gentle, fiery & inspired when the music calls for it…again, she really displays the difference it makes when a singer in Opera-music really connects to the material they perform. You can hear in her voice that she really has a ton of love and respect for this song…I think it shows audibly in ways we can truly hear, and as a result she’s come out winning once again with a beautiful rendition of this tune. I wasn’t nearly as familiar with this song as I was with the last two I’d heard…so a lot of this one felt like it was spent with Germaine’s voice as my only guide…which I happily let lead me along through the intense emotions that fill the atmosphere of the writing while she filled the speakers with perfectly matched inflections in her voice and the tone of her powerful performance. I also really enjoyed the final track on the page…a song called “Winter Light.” I couldn’t find this one anywhere else…which doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist somewhere…but I have a feeling that this might be a composition both written and performed by Germaine. I could be wrong…but again, you can feel a real connection here from her voice to the song…whether it’s her own or someone else’s, she’s really given this song the emotion and strong-but-delicate voice it truly deserves. You could argue this one is a little lighter on the Opera-side in a way…it drifts close to the pop-side of Opera (if that’s a thing…) but I certainly didn’t mind. It has all the charm and sweetness of the best songs you hear around the holidays and I think she’s again put in one of her absolute best performances here on “Winter Light.” She really has a magnificent amount of talent – and all of these songs have been exceptionally well-recorded to really capture and preserve that magic she has in her vocals. And even though it wasn’t on my list of what I was supposed to be checking out here today…I think that it’s noteworthy that her performance on “Panis Angelicus” is every bit as fantastic as the rest. You can really hear the beauty and control she sings with on this song…I couldn’t help myself from mentioning it along with the rest here. She really finds the emotions within these tunes and consistently delivers on both a professional and personal level; didn’t seem to matter which song I listened to, the end result was always a stunningly beautiful performance that really showcased her class, talent and grace. I think she’s a strong enough voice that she can help bring Opera-music back to a lot of stereo-speakers out there…and unlike many that have tried, unique enough and talented enough to certainly remember. ”

— Jer @ SBS sleepingbagstudios, Canada