While meaning can get lost between languages, it’s different when you’re singing.
That’s the feeling of cabaret singer and Vancouver Island resident Cari Burdett, who’s performing her multi lingual music at Errington War Memorial Hall on Saturday.
Burnett, who’s based out of Duncan, will sing in Spanish, Swedish and Italian, as well as English, but says knowing all those languages is not necessary to enjoy her performance.
“The passion and the mood of the song translate quite a bit,” she said. “Of course not everyone understands Italian or French, but I think they are beautiful languages to listen to.”
Burdett’s love of languages began early. She took French immersion in Victoria, and at the age of 12 travelled to Russia as a peace ambassador for Canada. Then, at 15, she took a trip to China.
“Travelling at a young age opened my eyes and ears and heart to different cultures,” she said.
Deciding to study opera at McGill University, Burdett was required to study French, Italian and German.
Now, she’s fluent in four languages, and has an understanding of Spanish, German and Russian, with Russian being a particular favourite. She attributes this to her eastern European gypsy roots on her mother’s side.
After years of performing the work of others, Burdett is excited to be writing her own music and developing her own style, which she describes as an art song-jazz fusion, with a classical, timeless feel. The shorthand she uses for that is cabaret.
“It’s a classical background you can say, but it’s offering more of a pop feel. So it’s trying to be accessible to more people,” she said.
There is also a dramatic and storytelling element to the music, and an intimacy with the audience.
Burnett will also be performing three new pieces for the first time at Errington Hall.
Asked why it’s important to her to perform in various languages, she said, “I’m just trying to be honest with what I have to share, what my passions and gifts are, and one of those include languages, so I’m trying to find a way of sharing those.”
Burnett will be accompanied by Adrian Dolan on piano, Scott White on bass, Marc Atkinson on guitar and Richard Moody on violin.
Tickets are $20. The performance starts at 8 p.m.