The University of Ibadan campus anticipates a music frenzy as Gloriastyle Music moves to host the Maiden edition of the “An Evening of Bel Canto with Gloria Nwoke” musical recital.
Gloria Nwoke is a 300 level student of the Department of Music, University of Ibadan. She is a musicologist, music educator, multi-talented instrumentalist and singer. With her sonorous voice, she has carved a niche in the dynamic world of music as a classical/contemporary Musician. Her music concert, “An Evening of Bel Canto” finds its root in the Italian music culture. Bel Canto is a style of opera music that was popular with the Italians in the late century. It means “Beautiful Singing” in the English language.
In an interview with Campus News, Gloria reveals that the concert “An Evening of Bel Canto” started as an idea in late 2019; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert could not hold, hence its maiden edition in 2021. In her words, “it was born out of my love for singing and music in general. It’s something that I do on a daily, and have to perform in many places and with so many groups. I decided there’s something I could do on my own – host a concert in form of a recital. It’s also an avenue to give out good music for people who appreciate it but don’t get to see it always because it’s uncommon.”
Given the nature of the kind of music she performs and the thematic expression of the word “Bel Canto”, when asked why she decided to choose such a path in an environment that is largely dominated by young persons who are more inclined to contemporary sounds, she said ” I’m actually a classical musician, although I do a bit of contemporary music also. Bel canto has its roots in Italy and it means good music. The concert is not just a night of classical music but also contemporary music. The main focus is actually “beautiful singing” and everyone who comes for the concert will be well served.”
Also, in her remarks on how she has been able to preserve the conceived idea since 2019, she acknowledged the impact of her friends she falls back on to draw inspiration and innovative ideas to bring the idea into reality. Gloria said “I’ve had to meet people (my friends) and talk to people about it and they’ve had to put me through and provide insights and instructions on how the event should go. I created a committee I work with and they have been super amazing. Their creativity is top-notch and it’s part of what has brought us where we are today. What started as an idea is becoming a tangible reality. It has also come through a whole lot of brainstorming”.
She also acknowledged the impact of the Music Department in helping to see Bel Canto come to reality, and also balancing academic work. She said ” I’ve been trying, it’s not been easy. (Laughs) but then we just have to balance. School is still the main priority and everything else comes after that. I’ve been trying and it’s been working out. The department has been helpful, understanding, and very encouraging. My lecturers, H.O.D and other staff of the department have been wonderful. They understand young talents who want to explore and try out things, they’ve been able to provide guidance and advice when and where necessary and this has been a source of encouragement”
When asked about people who have been a source of inspiration to her and have influenced her kind of music she responded with names of renowned classical musicians in Nigeria. “We have a lot of Classical musicians in Nigeria who are doing well. A long list of them actually which includes Omo Bello, Daniel Okereke, Genevieve Ogu, Dr Holland Agata, Mr Joe Oparamanuike, and many others.”
With regards to what the future holds for An Evening of Bel Canto, she mentioned that although this is the maiden edition, it’s not the peak. She stated that the plan is that sometimes in the future, the event will be a talent showcasing platform where musicians will have an opportunity to showcase themselves. This is because of the atmosphere that surrounds the musical environment in this part of the world.
An Evening of Bel Canto promises to be a night of good music as there would be several musical performances from different individuals and in different ways. It’s surely going to be a night of good music. The concert is a FREE ENTRY event scheduled to hold on Friday, November 19, 2021, at the Concert Hall, Music Department, University of Ibadan at 4:30 pm. The concert will be streamed on YouTube on @Gloriastyle Music and Facebook @Gloriastyle_music