A Studio Recital Featuring Students of Patrice Michaels
Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:00pm
This recital will be presented via Zoom. Register via the link below to receive access to the recital.
Alexa Bartschat, Alexi Ortega Chavez, Andrew Pulver, Audrey Neace, Sabrina Chen, Lucy London, Daphne Meng, Carly Passer, and Antonio Ruiz-Nokes
Jason Carlson and Shuyi Guan
This webinar-style presentation is a sampling of the year’s work in the studio of Patrice Michaels. Each singer will introduce two selections from their repertoire (drawn from operatic and oratorio arias, art song, and Tin Pan Alley), recorded live from the Bienen School of Music. Conversation to follow.
The program includes music of Adams, Bernstein, Ellington, Hailstork, Handel, Purcell, Tchaikovsky, Barber, Bizet, Debussy, Falla, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, and Sor.
Image credit: Susquehanna U Rehearsal Room: Chris Dawson, architect/Mowery ConstructionFree Event
Leonard Bernstein, "Simple Song" (Stephen Schwartz & Leonard Bernstein) from Mass
Modest Mussorgsky, "Gde ty, zvjozdochka?" (N.I. Grekov)
Alexi Ortega Chavez, tenor
Jason Carlson, piano
H. Leslie Adams, "Wild Swans" (Edna St. Vincent Millay) from Five Millay Songs
Edward "Duke" Ellington, "I Let a Song Go Outta My Heart" (Mills-Nemo-Redmond)
Alexa Bartschat, soprano
Shuyi Guan, piano
Noel Da Costa, "It's Time to Sleep" (George Houston Bass) from Two Songs for Julie-Ju
Henry Purcell, "From Rosy Bowers" (Tom d'Urfey) from Don Quixote
Audrey Neace, mezzo-soprano
Jason Carlson, piano
G. F. Handel, "See, the Raging Flames Arise" (Thomas Morell) from Joshua
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, "Sred' shumnovo bala" (In the Midst of the Ball), Op. 38, No. 3 (Leo Tolstoy)
Andrew Pulver, baritone
Jason Carlson, piano
Fernando Obradors, "Del cabello mas sutil" (Traditional)
H. Leslie Adams, "Branch by Branch" (Edna St. Vincent Millay) from Five Millay Songs
Daphne Meng, soprano
Shuyi Guan, piano
Fernando Sor, "Muchacha y la verguenza" (Anonymous)
W. A. Mozart, "Alleluia" (Unknown text) from Exsultate, jubilate
Lucy London, soprano
Erica Cha, guitar
Shuyi Guan, piano
Maurice Ravel, "Chanson romanesque" (Paul Morand) from Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Samuel Barber, "The Desire for Hermitage" (Anonymous, ~8th-9th c.) from Hermit Songs
Antonio Ruiz-Nokes, bass-baritone
Jason Carlson, piano
H. Leslie Adams, "Prayer" (Langston Hughes) from Nightsongs
Georges Bizet, "Je dis que rien ne m'enouvante" ("Micaela's Aria") (Meilhac & Halévy) from Carmen
Sabrina Chen, soprano
Jason Carlson, piano
Claude Debussy, "Romance" (Paul Bourget)
F. J. Haydn, "With Verdure Clad" (G. van Swieten after Linley) from The Creation
Carly Passer, soprano
Jason Carlson, piano
Special thanks to:
Laura Nielsen, Bill Milgram, and Nathan Frye
In order of presentation
"Gde ty, zyiozdochka" (Nicholai Ivanovich Grekov)
"Where are you, little star?"
Gde ty, zvjozdochka, akh, gde ty, jasnaja?
Where are you, little star, ah where are you, my fair one?
Il' zatmilasja tuchej mrachnoju?
Overshadowed by a black storm cloud?
Gde ty, devica, gde ty, krasnaja?
Storm cloud gloomy.
Il' pokinula druga milogo?
Where are you, fair maiden, where are you, my beautiful?
I ja s goresti, so ljutoj toski,
Have you left your dear one?
Pojdu vo pole, pole chistoje,
Left the joy of your eyes.
Ne uvizhu li jasnoj zvezdochki
A black cloud has hidden my little star,
Ja ne vstrechu li krasnoj devicy?
The cold soil has taken my fair maiden.
Tucha chjornaja skryla zvjozdochku,
Zemlja khladnaja vzjala devicu.
"Средь шумного бала, случайно"
"In the Midst of the Ball" (Translation: Laura Prichard)
Средь шумного бала, случайно,
In the midst of a noisy ball, by chance
В тревоге мирской суеты,
In the midst of a noisy ball, by chance,
Тебя я увидел, но тайна
Among the tumultuous whirl of life,
Твои покрывала черты.
I caught a glimpse of you, but mystery veiled your features.
Лишь очи печально глядели,
Your eyes betrayed your sadness,
А голос так дивно звучал,
But your voice rang out divinely,
Как звон отдалённой свирели,
Like the sound of distant pipes,
Как моря [играющий]1 вал.
Or like the dancing waves of the sea.
Мне стан твой понравился тонкий
I was entranced by your slender form,
И весь твой задумчивый вид,
Your pensive expression,
А смех твой, и грустный, и звонкий,
And your laughter, both sad and ringing,
С тех пор в моём сердце звучит.
Since then, echoes in my heart.
В часы одинокие ночи
During the lonely hours of night
Люблю я, усталый, прилечь;
I love to lie down, to rest;
Я вижу печальные очи,
I see those sad eyes,
Я слышу веселую речь,
I hear that merry laugh,
И грустно я, грустно так засыпаю,
And oh so wistfully, I drift off,
И в грёзах неведомых сплю...
And sink into mysterious dreams...
Люблю ли тебя, я не знаю,
Do I love you? I don’t know,
Но кажется мне, что люблю!
But it seems like I do!
"Del cabello más sutil" (Traditional)
"From the finest hair" (Translation: Richard Stokes)
Del cabello más sutil
From the finest hair
Que tienes en tu trenzado
in your tresses
He de hacer una cadena
I wish to make a chain
Para traerte a mi lado.
to draw you to my side.
Una alcarraza en tu casa,
In your house, young girl,
Chiquilla, quisiera ser,
I'd fain be a pitcher,
Para besarte en la boca,
to kiss your lips
Cuando fueras a beber.
whenever you went to drink. Ah!
"Muchacha y la vergüenza" (Anonymous)
"The girl and her shame"
Muchacha, y la vergüenza
Girl, and your shame
¿Dónde se ha ido?
Where it has gone?
‘Las cucarachas, madre
‘The cockroaches, Mother,
Se la han comido.’
They have eaten it.’
Girl, you are lying
Porque las cucarachas
No tienen dientes
Don’t have teeth.
"Chanson romanesque" (Paul Morand)
"Romanesque Song" (Translation: Richard Stokes)
Si vous me disiez que la terre
Were you to tell that the earth
À tant tourner vous offensa,
Offended you with so much turning,
Je lui dépêcherais Pança:
I'd dispatch Panza to deal with it:
Vous la verriez fixe et se taire.
You'd see it still and silenced.
Si vous me disiez que l'ennui
Were you to tell me that you are wearied
Vous vient du ciel trop fleuri d'astres,
By a sky too studded with stars -
Déchirant les divins cadastres,
Tearing the divine order asunder,
Je faucherais d'un coup la nuit.
I'd scythe the night with a single blow.
Si vous me disiez que l'espace
Were you to tell me that space itself,
Ainsi vidé ne vous plaît point,
Thus denuded was not to your taste -
Chevalier dieu, la lance au poing.
As a god-like knight, with lance in hand,
J'étoilerais le vent qui passe.
I'd sow the fleeting wind with stars.
Mais si vous disiez que mon sang
But were you to tell me that my blood
Est plus à moi qu'à vous, ma Dame,
Is more mine, my Lady, than your own,
Je blêmirais dessous le blâme
I'd pale at the admonishment
Et je mourrais, vous bénissant.
And, blessing you, would die.
"Aria de Micaela" (Meilhac & Halévy)
"Micaela’s Aria" (Translation: unattributed)
Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante,
I say that nothing can frighten me.
Je dis, hélas! que je réponds de moi;
I say, alas, that I respond to myself;
Mais j'ai beau faire la vaillante...
But I play the part of the courageous one in vain...
Au fond du coeur je meurs d'effroi!
From the bottom of my heart, I die of fear!
Seule en ce lieu sauvage
Alone in this savage place
Toute seule j'ai peur,
All alone I am afraid,
Mais j'ai tort d'avoir peur.
But I am wrong to have fear
Vous me donnerez du courage;
You will give me courage;
Vous me protégerez, Seigneur!
You will protect me, Lord!
Je vais voir de près cette femme,
I am going to see face to face this woman,
Dont les artifices maudits
Whose cursed guile
Ont fini par faire un infâme
Has ended up to make a vile person
De celui que j'aimais jadis!
Of him that I loved once!
Elle est dangereuse...elle est belle!
She is dangerous, she is beautiful!
Mais je ne veux pas avoir peur!
But I do not want to be afraid!
Non, non, je ne veux pas avoir peur!
No, no, I do not want to be afraid!
Je parlerai haut devant elle...
ah! I will speak up before her...ah!
Seigneur, vous me protégerez.
Lord, you will protect me.
Protégez-moi! Ô Seigneur!
Protect me! O Lord!
Donnez-moi du courage!
Give me courage!
"Romance" (Paul Bourget)
"Romance" (Translation: IPASource)
L’âme évaporée et souffrante, l’âme douce,
The vanishing and suffering soul, the gentle soul,
L’âme odorante des lis divins que j’ai cueillis dans le jardin de ta pensée,
The fragrant soul of divine lilies that I have gathered in the garden of your thought,
Oú donc les vents l’ont-ils chassée, Cette âme adorable des lis?
Where then have the winds driven them, This adorable soul of the lilies?
N’est-il plus un parfum qui reste de la suavité celeste,
Does no more perfume remain of the celestial sweetness,
Des jours ou tu m’enveloppais d’une vapeur surnaturelle,
Of the days when you enveloped me with a magical vapor,
Faite d’espoir, d’amour fidéle, de beatitude, et de paix?
Made of hope, of faithful love, of heavenly happiness, and of peace?
Remarks on the Songs
In order of presentation
“Wild Swans” is part of the Five Millay Songs, composed by H. Leslie Adams to poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). Adams creates a strong relationship between the text and music, exemplified in Millay’s description of the swans, set to a soaring melodic line. The piano does not serve merely as accompaniment, but is there to complete the thoughts of the singer when words fail. The middle of the song features increasing tension, rising dynamics and challenging harmonic activity as the protagonist seeks freedom from a suffocating life (“House without air, I lock your door.”), and searches for the kind of freedom the swans experience as they are flying. Both text and music bring the human and natural worlds together in an immersive listening experience.
“I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” was written by Ellington for his jazz orchestra while on a tour in 1938, with text eventually added by Irving Mills (1894-1985), Henry Nemo (1909-1999), and John Redmond (1906-1947). When Duke arrived in New York, he asked Nemo to write lyrics for the song, and Redmond ended up collaborating with Nemo to create the version heard tonight. Irving Mills was Ellington’s publicist/manager, and probably had no part in writing the lyric, but his name is included in this and many other compositions as co-lyricist, most likely so he could receive royalties. Many jazz musicians have performed versions of this song, including Martha Tilton, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie.
“Two Songs for Julie Ju” is an art song set by Noel da Costa with text by George Houston Bass (1938-1990). Da Costa was a Nigerian-Jamaican composer and violinist. He fused elements of jazz, Caribbean music, and African music into his (self-described) “conservatively chromatic” style. Many of his pieces were set to poems by notable black poets. The second song of this set, “II. It’s time to sleep,” is filled with motifs that repeat underneath the singer in a complex piano line and make their way into the vocal setting. Articulated figures are carefully notated and rarely the same. This constantly shifting detail and fragmented structure offer mature musical reflections of the mother’s consideration for her young daughter’s future, and her love for the father of her child.
“From Rosy Bowers” by Henry Purcell was written into the play The Comical History of Don Quixote as incidental music, which serves to create an atmosphere within a play or a film. Many of the incidental pieces in …Don Quixote were written by Purcell, though some were written by other notable Restoration composers. The piece comes in the part of the play where Altisidora must seduce Don Quixote away from his beloved Dulcinea. The song contains five distinct moods: a minor and longing opening, a spritely dance, a despairing adagio, intervening passion, and eventual madness. It begs the listener to explore the singer’s perspective as she implores the gods for advice.
"Muchacha y la vergüenza" is a seguidilla—a Spanish triple-time dance piece—written by Spanish composer Fernando Sor, who was known for his skill as both guitarist and composer. He wrote many such short seguidillas and other guitar compositions, but Sor also composed symphonies, ballets, a Mass, and, at the age of 19, one opera. This song illustrates Sor's interest in theatricality: the maneuver between the voices of the mother and child gets at a core frustration that we've all experienced. Somewhere along the line, this song was interpreted to mean a hickey as the source of "shame"/"vergüenza". It is possible to interpret this word as one tangible way that a girl can express (or cover up) her shame, and a mother can trap her in it.
"Alleluia" from Mozart's 1773 motet Exsultate, Jubilate, is a virtuosic three minutes, and the coloratura finale to the three -movement-plus-recitative work that Mozart created for Venanzio Rauzzini. Rauzzini sang the leading role in Mozart’s Lucio Silla in Milan, and the composer was so impressed with Rauzzini’s singing that he penned this nominally liturgical piece, with a text of currently unknown origin. Castrati (male singers whose testicles were intentionally removed in order to preserve a pre-pubescent vocal range) sang the motet in its first years, but as this practice of physical alteration fell out of fashion, the piece was co-opted by female soprani.
Based on Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Don Quixotte à Dulcinée was Maurice Ravel’s final work. The cycle was written for the 1933 cinema adaptation of Don Quixote starring bass Fyodor Chaliapin and was intended to be four songs, but due to Ravel’s increasing illness, he was unable to complete the work and Jacques Ibert’s setting of the Quichotte story was ultimately sung by Chaliapin in the movie. “Chanson Romanesque” opens the cycle, invoking a flamenco pattern in the accompaniment as Quichotte promises to accomplish increasingly grand and impossible tasks for his beloved Dulcinée. Ravel and Morand’s interpretation of Quichotte is lusty, chivalrous, and confident. Though Don Quichotte appears nothing more than an old man atop an exhausted horse professing love to a peasant girl, Ravel’s setting provides insight into the nobility Quixote sees in himself.
“The Desire for Hermitage” by Samuel Barber is the tenth and final song of his Op. 29, Hermit Songs. The text is based on a translation of margin notations in a medieval manuscript from the 8th or 9th century Ireland. Barber brings to music a monk’s pondering of the spiritual freedom that comes from material sacrifice. Barber debuted the piece himself, accompanying soprano Leontyne Price in 1953. He would go on to win his first of two Pulitzer Prizes five years later for his opera Vanessa. Barber composed Hermit Songs well into his career, already having his First Essay for Orchestra and Adagio for Strings performed by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1938. Barber’s pieces were diverse in scale and style, ranging from chamber works to his larger operas.
Claude Debussy was born into a poor French family but his knack for piano sent him to the Paris Conservatory at age 11. Debussy’s style, sometimes seen as strange by his instructors, was later likened to the Impressionist Art Movement (rooted in Paris during the 1870s and 1880s in which visual art contained reflecting light and eschewing definitive lines and shapes), though he vehemently rejected this equivalency. However, his earlier works, such as “Romance,” composed and published in 1891 to a poem by his friend Paul Bourget (1852-1935), display a romantic-era sensibility, infused with his unique harmonic language and sometimes startling shifts of color and shape, hinting at a genius about to unfold.
Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian classical composer known for his contributions the to opera, symphonic works, chamber music, song and oratorio (the musical form from which this aria is taken). Haydn started as a young singer in Vienna; when he aged out of the range necessary for choir boys to sing church music he worked as a freelance musician and composer. His works eventually gained recognition enough to be offered an aristocratic patronage, which enabled him to have the resources necessary to flourish in this time period. Haydn became the Kapellmeister (music director) for one of his employers, and it was in this role that he composed one of his most famous oratorios, The Creation, in 1798. An oratorio is different from an opera in that it is conceived to be performed in a concert setting rather than in a theatrical one. Inspired by trips to England and the works of George Frideric Handel, Haydn wanted to try his hand at this form, a practical choice for the time during Lent when theatrical presentations were forbidden. The Creation, written in both German and English, was wonderfully received and catapulted him to superstardom in Vienna and beyond as one of the most well-known composers of the Classical era in Europe.
In order of appearance
Alexis Ortega Chavez (he/him) is a freshman majoring in Musicology and Voice/Opera Performance at the Bienen School of Music. He was recently awarded a position to work with Professor Sarah Bartolome in the Emerging Scholars Program, which provides FGLI/BIPOC students support to conduct non-lab-based research. He is directing Gallantry, A Soap Opera for the forthcoming presentation by Opera Projects for University Singers (OPUS) and will serve as co-president of that organization beginning next year.
Alexa Bartschat is a freshman majoring in Voice/Opera Performance, Choral Music Education (Bienen School of Music), and Psychology (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences). From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Alexa performed in her high school’s musical each year and sang in the Bayshore Lutheran Church choir. She continues to teach piano at the elementary level, and is looking forward to participating in operas and musicals at Northwestern.
Audrey Neace (she/her) is a freshman majoring in Choral Music Education and Voice/Opera Performance (Bienen School of Music). She has a deep-rooted interest in music education accessibility for all, and hopes to explore this as her career develops. She was most recently seen in the role of Hansel in OPUS’ production of Hansel and Gretel, and is the Social Chair of Northwestern’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education.
Andrew Pulver is a freshman pursuing dual degrees in Voice/Opera Performance (Bienen School of Music) and Computer Science (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences). As a boy soprano he sang concerts, fundraisers and shows, including 17 operatic productions with solo roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, and Glimmerglass Festival. While in high school he played leading roles in Cinderella, Fiddler on the Roof and Beauty and the Beast. As a baritone, he has continued to sing in concerts and fundraisers.
Daphne Meng (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Music Education and Voice/Opera Performance (Bienen School of Music). Most recently, she performed in the chorus of Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo with Northwestern Opera Theatre. She currently serves as the Music Director of Northwestern’s Extreme Measures A Cappella. Outside of music, she works for Jumpstart at Northwestern’s Civic Engagement Center, where she films weekly educational videos for three- to five-year-olds in Evanston and Rogers Park.
Lucy London (she/they), is a sophomore majoring in Performance Studies (School of Communications) and Voice/Opera Performance (Bienen School of Music), minoring in Environmental Policy & Culture (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences). They are striving to create art that expands relationships with the Earth and ourselves. Lucy is a climate justice organizer with Fossil Free Northwestern, and this summer will be bringing music and performance art to the frontline fight against Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota.
Antonio Ruiz-Nokes (he/him) is a sophomore Voice/Opera and Music Education major. He recently sang as a chorister in L'Orfeo with the Northwestern Opera Theatre, and as Taxis in Les Aventures du Roi Pausole with Northwestern’s Opera Projects for Undergraduate Students (OPUS). He has sung with the Northwestern University Singers and St. Luke’s Church Choir in Evanston. Antonio mentors through Northwestern’s Arts and Music Programs for Education in Detention Centers (AMPED), teaching music technology to Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center residents.
Sabrina Chen (she/her) is a sophomore studying Voice/Opera Performance (Bienen School of Music) and Communication Studies (School of Communications). She is a member and Treasurer of the Northwestern Treblemakers a cappella ensemble. Sabrina performed in the chorus of OPUS’s production of Les Adventures du Roi Pausole and as well as the chorus of Northwestern Opera Theatre's remote production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.
Carly Passer (she/her) is a sophomore pursuing degrees in Voice/Opera (Bienen School of Music) and Learning Sciences (School of Education and Social Policy). A board member for Chicago Undergraduate Program (a student-run organization for social justice issues in Chicagoland), she’s also Director of Jewish Education for NU’s Jewish Theatre Ensemble and a member of Camp Kesem. Carly recently performed as a chorister in Northwestern Opera Theatre’s virtual production of L’Orfeo, and as Laetita in Opera Projects for University Singer’s production of The Old Maid and the Thief.