Applications for songSLAM 2017 are now closed and full up!
See you there - soho's HERE theater April 25th at 8:30pm
In preparation for our world premiere performance of Mortality Mansions on March 30th, Sparks Co-Artistic Director Martha Guth interviews poet Donald Hall in his farm house in New Hampshire.
Donald Hall has written over fifty books including more than two dozen books of poetry, as well as children’s books, art criticism, essays, plays and other edited volumes. His many honors include two Guggenheim fellowships and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. He served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2006-2007 and in 2010, he was awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Obama.
Happy birthday, Edmund Rubbra! Born on this day in 1901, Rubbra's compositional career encompassed everything from symphonies to song--including a number of works for voice and harp. Below, we feature the third movement of his "The Jade Mountain," settings of translations by Witter Bynner of Tang dynasty (618 - 907) poems (published under the same name).
Bynner was an American poet and translator who became close with the Chinese scholar Kiang Kang-hu (or Jiang Kanghu) when both were teaching at UC Berkeley. He and Kiang Kang-hu collaborated on translations of a famous anthology of Tang dynasty poems, compiled in the late 18th century by Sun Zhu (1722-1778). Their work, completed in 1929, became the first complete translation of Sun Zhu's "Three Hundred Tang Poems" to English.
The music for Celestial Refrains: Songs of Juliana Hall was chosen directly by its featured composer. In this article, composer Juliana Hall discusses her musical roots, her compositional process, and the inspiration behind the music chosen for Celestial Refrains.
The Cartoonery of Tyler Duncan (Baritone)
For those of us who love Brahms’s songs, our first encounter with “Kein Haus, keine Heimat” (No house, no homeland) was probably a shock—it certainly was for me. Published in 1884 when Brahms was fifty-one years old, this work is twenty measures of undiluted bitterness, over almost before...
It is often observed of Brahms’ songs that they emphasize rounded melody and harmony at the expense of textual nuance. Three ideas lie behind this view: that Brahms’ devotion to folksong as an ideal of self- sufficient melody limits his response to words both rhythmically and in imagery; and that this ideal also tends to an instrumental character that prioritizes musical development over poetic text; and...
Deen Larsen’s extraordinary words stop me in my tracks. My tracks, so often hasty and restless, at first resist the meditative depth of his thoughts, but then, slowing out of curiousity, welcome the provocation. Thank you, Deen, for...
It can be disappointing to open an art song recital program and find no translations inside, especially these days when there can be such delightful variety in the languages offered in one concert. Perhaps many North American audience-members will know enough French or Spanish to get the gist of...
Singing as a profession is famously difficult to sustain. Any one of us who has walked a few steps on this path knows how difficult it is to find representation, to endure the endless rounds of fruitless auditions, to land enough gigs to make it possible to keep going… frustrations abound. But what about when you’ve finally gotten the gig (hurrah!), yet after all the work it took you to get there, it just feels... somehow… unsatisfying?
Did you know that the terms used by sommeliers and wine aficionados to describe the layered characteristics of fine wines directly parallel those used by opera professionals to describe the subtleties of the voice? Magnum Opus Tasting Concerts is a brand-new, salon-type event combining wine tasting and song recitals. We produce curated recitals that feature world-class singers matched with world-class wines whose descriptions parallel one another...
I suppose I was predisposed early on to starting an art song festival. I played Schubert’s wonderful, expansive D Major Sonata, D. 850, in high school and was familiar with the more famous Schubert songs before I arrived at Peabody for my undergrad. It was there that I met baritone Ryan de Ryke and his mentor, the great John Shirley-Quirk...