From the Renaissance to barbershop: an interview with singer Francesco Logozzo

Feb 7, 2019

Boston-based tenor Francesco Logozzo

The acclaimed choirs of the Church of the Advent of Boston have been making top-quality music for generations, and singing there requires a “blisteringly fast” learning curve -- not to mention sometimes giving up sleep on Sunday mornings. Tenor Francesco Logozzo sings in the church’s professional choir, which performs a different Mass every Sunday, along with motets, a psalm, and other pieces, and he sings in the mixed professional and congregational Parish Choir – which requires getting up at 6:30 a.m. and learning entirely different music for the earlier Mass.

“We do all sorts of eras of music, from the 16th century all the way to the 21st; as a former choir director of mine would say, ‘the notes are still wet on the page’ for some of the pieces,” Logozzo told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview in the KRWG studios. For the professional choir, “we only rehearse these works three or four times maximum before they’re put up in the service,” he said, adding that becoming a good sight-singer “is one of the things that is most important about the job.”

Logozzo also talked about history and innovations of the Church of the Advent’s famous Aeolian-Skinner organ. “It has 4,500 pipes and it’s quite the behemoth sound when you’re inside the room – because the room is completely made from stone and all the sound reflects off of all the walls. It can be soul-vibrating.”

Logozzo’s great passion as a singer, though, is barbershop singing, and he performs in a number of ensembles in the northeast. “I totally fell in love with it” after high school, he said, explaining that it involves many of the same skills as singing renaissance church music. To hear more about the intricacies of early vocal music and Logozzo's love of barbershop singing, listen here:

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