The future of singing

By now most people have seen the daring a capella performance of Carl Alexander singing the national anthem at the recent commencement ceremony of Northwestern University.  To be sure, Mr. Alexander took more risk than either Joyce DiDonato or Renée Fleming when they were charged with the same task for albeit, a slightly larger audience. Nevertheless, the full scope of Carl Alexander's courage and creativity were barely on display in these two minutes.  In May, as part of his master's degree requirement, Alexander presented a multi-media recital complete with dancer, video projections, spoken word, and graphic art entitled Shelter: A Glance into Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. A high-concept project with an urgent message about race relations globally and personally – this was the endeavor of an artist whose ideas are far ahead of a young singer's accomplished technical ability.  It remains to be seen just how the Classical Music World will be able to embrace and celebrate this talent.  The Editor is heartened by the rise to fame of countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen and by the passionate reception of Alexander's local peers, the Editor included.  Experience Carl Alexander's thrilling voice as one fourth of an impressive roster of singers (countertenor Matthew Truss, tenor Henry Pleas III, bass Vince Wallace) for the Unveiled Voices Project free performances this weekend of In a Persian Garden: The Life of Liza Lehmann.