Soprano sings effortless and jaw-dropping Handel aria from church pulpit

28 January 2021, 10:06

Watch soprano’s incredible vocal acrobatics in Handel’s Messiah
Watch soprano’s incredible vocal acrobatics in Handel’s Messiah. Picture: Facebook/Jeanine de Bique

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Lyric soprano Jeanine de Bique, and an outrageously impressive moment of vocal virtuosity.

When Jeanine de Bique took to the pulpit, the Internet’s ever-scrolling thumb came to a screeching halt, to watch the magic unfold.

The Trinidadian soprano was rehearsing for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, US, when fellow singer Morris Robinson, an American operatic bass, started to film.

With seemingly the greatest ease, De Bique sings a spectacularly fiendish passage from the Baroque work’s coloratura soprano aria, ‘Rejoice greatly’, accompanied by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

After crushing a virtuosic nine-second melisma at breakneck tempo, De Bique does a brilliant ‘happy dance’ to celebrate her vocal achievement, which culminates in a perfectly placed high F.

Just listen.

Read more: Soprano sings ‘Queen of the Night’ aria while upside down on aerial silks >

“This was definitely the highlight of my weekend!!” De Bique captioned her video, which has since been shared far and wide, garnering more than eight million views on the Facebook page Ludwig van Beethoven.

One user commented: “Jeanine de Bique is one of the – if not THE – most beautiful soprano voice I have heard in years. [Her] joy and power just explodes in this Handel aria.”

The lyric soprano has been making waves with her interpretations of Baroque repertoire. But she wants people to know she is still learning.

“The whole Handel thing is brand new to me, but I’m really excited that people see and feel that I have potential to do it and are willing to teach me,” she tells San Francisco Classical Voice.

“I’m singing the way I sing anything else. There are people who specialize in this repertoire, and I’m willing to learn from them. The one thing I learned from Cecilia Bartoli [the Italian mezzo-soprano] when we talked once was that with Handel, and with coloratura, the articulation is what’s most important.

“Preciseness and the articulation of the notes is what makes a good coloratura line, and this is what’s important for Baroque music and this is what I want to perfect.”