Behind the Music: Rebecca Robinson
Rebecca Robinson grew up in a musical family in New York. Her parents were both professional musicians, and she began singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s children chorus at the age of 7, on stage with stars such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Renée Fleming. Her godmother was also an opera singer, and Rebecca would play “diva dress-up” in her boas and big hats on weekend visits.
This background in the arts gave Rebecca a realistic vision of what a musical career could look like. She knew her parents’ success story was an anomaly; that they were “unicorns” in a field that has very few successes. Her parents were very understanding of the patience, tumult, and struggles that come along with a musical career, when she went to graduate school for vocal performance, when she performed full-time, and when she eased back musically to develop her career in marketing and advertising.
Rebecca addressed this recent transition, saying that having a steady job and stability has allowed her to rediscover her passion for performance. Not having to worry about the bills being paid by each gig means that she can now pursue projects for the joy of performing, like recent concerts of Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Lynn Philharmonia (Boca Raton, FL). Rebecca has also realized that her support of the arts might take a different form than just performance, and is a regular contributor to Classical Public Radio.
The Boulder Chamber Orchestra’s Unity Concert is a natural extension of Rebecca’s career and philanthropy. Colorado has an active and engaged non-profit community, and Rebecca loves the idea of mixing the music and the social justice worlds. She sees it as an occasion for mutual exposure: people who might not go see a classical music concert will come to support their cause, and will hopefully be pleasantly surprised, while classical music patrons will learn about different organizations and their missions.
Drawing people together is central to Rebecca’s interpretation of the “Ode to Joy.” She finds that “the whole purpose of the ‘Ode to Joy’ is to unify people. It embodies that spirit, with people gathered in one place to celebrate goodness, love, and brotherhood. These themes are present throughout the piece, but perhaps not as obviously. Then you get to the ‘Ode to Joy’ and it’s a victory lap. To end a concert in such a way is the cherry on top – the culmination of all those ideals – and is so inspiring.”