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Countertenors David Walker ’88 and Ralph Daniel Rawe have released a compilation of Handel and Monteverdi arias entitled Il Regalo Dell’Imperatore. After a successful concert featuring the music, they decided to record the project. Along with their arranger, Walker and Rawe organized and financed the CD themselves.

“We love working in the classical music business, but we have realized that it is more rewarding to create our own projects, or to create our own realities,” Walker says. “The music business is really changing, so rather than waiting for the business to dictate all the work we do, we are making some of it happen for ourselves.”

Il Regalo Dell’Imperatore tells the classic Roman story of friendship and love among Nero, Ottone, and Poppea. Walker was drawn to the story of two men battling for one woman’s love. After sorting through the Handel and Monteverdi operas involving these three characters, Walker and Rawe brought together their favorites.

Because they financed the CD themselves, the countertenors had to record the entire project in one day. Walker hopes that listeners enjoy the CD’s artistry and appreciate the unusual and exciting quality of two countertenors singing solo arias and duets. The singers are backed by a 12-piece chamber orchestra.

An A.B. engineering graduate, Walker also loved music while attending Lafayette. Although he fell a few courses short of completing a minor in music theory, his choral director, Jean Anne Shafferman, significantly influenced his future endeavors.

“Not only did she inspire me musically, she inspired me in many other aspects of life,” Walker notes.

He completed his master’s degree in music in vocal performance at Florida State University. Walker won the 1998 Metropolitan Opera National Councils Auditions and the Sullivan Foundation Award. He also received the 1999 ARIA Award.

Walker returned to campus in October 2003 to perform baroque consort music with the Four Nations Ensemble at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles