Blaise Claudio Pascal, Saint Lucian born lyric tenor has died. He was the son of well-known Saint Lucian shipping agent Christie Mendes.
Blaise had spent the past few years in Saint Lucia after moving back home from the US teaching voice lessons and conducting workshops with choirs and with rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents through the arts on island. He had collaborated with the Saint Lucia School of Music, CDF and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board on a few music projects and had also performed at a number of national and state functions, rising to critical acclaim in his homeland.
An avid supporter of charity, in July 2008 he was the featured artist in a song recital for the St. Lucia Salvation Army Meals on Wheels program. For that recital Blaise composed and arranged a special set of six Saint Lucian folksongs to classical piano with pianist Andrew Rosenblum. In December 2007, he sang a benefit recital for the St. Lucia School of Music where he taught vocals. He was also a part of a special production during this year Jazz and Arts Festival in Saint Lucia.
Blaise has also travelled and performed extensively including, Sicily, Italy in September 2007 as a participant of the Citta di Alcamo CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE PER CANTANTI LIRICI. He also performed in Romania for Opera Brasov and the Union Avenue Opera of St. Louis, MO engaged him as the happy dust drug-dealing Sportin’ Life in Gershwin’s PORGY AND BESS. While residing in Los Angeles and working with vocal coach Armen Guzelimian on repertoire he was engaged with the Los Angeles Opera singing the role of Nelson in PORGY AND BESS.
Equally at home with the oratorio repertoire he sang the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem for the Pittsburg Bach Choir and Orchestra under direction of Thomas Wesley Douglas. He has also sang the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and has sung the role of King Kaspar in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Giancarlo Menotti for Opera Kansas in Wichita, KS where he went to school among other things. As a soloist in recital repertoire Blaise has sung in places such as Barcelona,Spain, Basel, Switzerland, Utrecht, Holland, Berlin, Germany, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Italy, St.Croix and of course Saint Lucia.
He moved to New York after the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, which was held in May. Blaise reportedly took ill in July whilst in New York and was diagnosed with having pneumonia. One of his lungs subsequently had collapsed whilst in hospital and his kidneys reportedly also started to fail.
Blaise Pascal remained in a coma at a hospital in NY up until his passing on Wednesday Thursday September 25 at about 12:01 according to a close family member. He was 37. Blaise would have celebrated his 38 birthday on October 28.
Family members have left Saint Lucia for New York where Blaise body will be cremated on Saturday followed by a celebration of his life in New York on Monday September 30. His ashes will be flown to Saint Lucia for another musical tribute and celebration of his life on Saturday October 5, 2013.