America’s Got Talent Performer Fernando Varela Of Forte Fame Performs The Star Spangled Banner

20130704-145553.jpgHappy Independence Day to my American readers.

In order to celebrate Independence Day in grand style, I have packed a one-two punch in “Star Spangled Banner” video performances here on this blogging site.

Below this topic, you will see and hear a gorgeous rendition of both the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America by the immensely talented David Archuleta.

And, in this topic, you will be treated to a glorious rendition of The Star Spangled Banner as performed by Forte member, Fernando Varela. It is an extremely unique and challenging version – full of endless twists and surprises.

Not only was Fernando blessed with a prodigious vocal gift, but also the wisdom to understand that his God-given talent needed superlative care and guidance.

To this end, through hard work, perseverance, determination and vision, Fernando has been able to excite and energize a crowd in a magical way and touch them in a manner never experienced before.

As you listen to this recording, you will be in absolute awe at what he has achieved here. It is a passionate, inspiring and memorable recording that is unique to Fernando.

And, as you listen, you will ask the question: “Where has this guy has been hiding all these years”?

One answer: in plain sight.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

10 Responses to “America’s Got Talent Performer Fernando Varela Of Forte Fame Performs The Star Spangled Banner”

  1. My goodness, that was a powerful performance by Fernado. I got chills. The visuals were quite remarkable as well. Thank you, Rosanne!


  2. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing, MCL :)!!


  3. I think Varela is the best from the Forte trio, great performance.

    As to “Where has this guy has been hiding all these years” – wasn’t he trying to make it in opera performing in regional theaters before switching to crossover? He also started on a crossover where he also recorded and performed in crossover circles.

    There is A LOT of talent among those who are trying to make it in opera where only one in thousands of voice majors succeeds. Of course, crossover has different requirements, and not many can go from classical to pop. Still, there are more beautiful voices out there than people realize.


  4. Kitty – absolutely. Lots of talent to behold in this great big world of ours.

    I have been aware of Fernando for a few years and he has been working very hard to achieve a higher level of fame. It makes me sad that the majority of music fans out there were totally unaware of his enormous talent before AGT.

    Hopefully his collaboration with the other singers in FORTE, Josh Page and Hana Ryu, will be the card to propel him and his two peers to international success.


  5. Kariann and Darlene – thank you for your wonderful comments about both David’s and Fernando’s performance of the USA Anthem. Both epitomize exceptional ability and use their God given talent to achieve spectacular, memorable performing moments for their fans.


  6. Masterclass Lady – yes, it’s really sad so many people are totally not aware of his talent. I am sad every time I look at wonderful performances of classical singers on you tube (as well as all classical musicians and even classical dancers) and see only a few views. I think the idea of putting a group together with Josh Page and Hana Ryu will make them more interesting and stand out from the crowd.

    One other thing that really make me sad is that how people go wild over any Nessun Dorma or O mio babbino caro on these talent show, but none of them actually think of checking out so many great performances. I know you did a feature comparing Nessun Dorma performances. I just thought of a few more, but it’s a different topic.


  7. Kitty – totally agree. Send me your ideas and I can write another blog topic about this.

    Quite frankly, I am really tired of Nessun Dorma unless it is sung correctly as Fernando and other superlative, trained singers have done in the past. Same as well for O Mio Babbino.

    These songs should never be attempted by untrained singers. Never. And they should be in their mid to late twenties. Puccini and Verdi arias are not meant to be interpreted by young and/or untrained singers. Sing Mozart or Rossini instead.


  8. Totally agree. I am also sick of hearing these arias. Funny thing, you hardly ever hear them in opera competitions.

    In terms of mid-to-late 20s though, there are exceptions. After all, Ponselle made her debut as Leonora in Forza at the Met at 21 and Regina Resnik sang Lady Macbeth at 20 …

    Have you listened to how Michael Fabiano sounded at 24? His Nessun Dorma recordings are from the time he is 27, but he sang more pretty difficult selections at 24 as well. I don’t want to post a link here since this is Varela discussion, but I am sure you can find it if you’ve not heard him. Also, check out 21-year old Rebecca Pedersen, there is O mio babbino caro, but much more difficult selections as well. Nadine Sierra did a good job at 17, much better at 21.


  9. Kitty – thanks for the information. Can’t wait to have a listen to these singers.

    I think the idea behind Mozart and Rossini for young singers is to help develop the bel canto method of singing to its fullest capacity.

    Plus the lighter sound of the baroque period is a superb fit for these voices. The runs are like technical exercises and, in the end, will strengthen the singers’ ability to sustain their phrase
    lines in proper fashion.

    These baroque arias also strengthen the development of the head voice which I think is the nucleus behind really great singing.


  10. ML – I see. I am not sure if these singers have the requisite agility for this repertory, though Fabiano did sing Lucia. I’d be very interested in hearing what you think.


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