Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Of concerts and recitals

I forgot to mention a few other news-worthy items in my last post. Don't know how it could happen. I mean how many concerts have I sung recently? None! My last public performance was shortly before Dante's birth 13 months ago. My next performance will be on Oct. 31st. And no, it will not be an evening of Halloween music (is there such a thing? I must look into this!). I'll be reprising my performance of various pieces by none other than Hildegard von Bingen, one of my most favorite composers and a fascinating figure in History (or Herstory, considering she was a woman doing amazing things in the middle ages). This is the 4th or 5th time I've performed this particular program with the Schola Hildegardensis of Dillenburg, but it's been several years since the last one. It'll be wonderful to do it again and to see the women in the group and work with Joachim Dreher (the organist/choir director at the Herz Jesu Pfarrei in Dillenburg). It feels great to have something to work toward (I work best with a concrete goal) and the voice feels pretty good. Perhaps a little rusty, but not like one would think after months of use solely for lullabies and children's songs.

So, in the unlikely event that you actually live near Dillenburg, Germany and would like to come hear me sing, here are the pertinent details:

Schola Hildegardensis (Direction/Leitung Joachim Dreher) with Diane Severson, Solo
Music by / Gesänge von Hildegard von Bingen
Sunday/Sonntag, 31 October 2010, 17:00 (5:00 pm)
Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Dillenburg (Kirchberg)

Shortly thereafter, I'm providing my singing pupils with an opportunity to perform one of the songs we've worked on for the others. This is not a public performance. It will take place in my studio (at home!) and only those taking lessons from me will make up the audience. I used to do these regularly when I lived and taught in Frankfurt and this is the first one I've organized here in Hannover. Each singer will perform one song and it'll be about half/half classical music and pop/Jazz. A nice mix. At the end, I'll sing a few songs. I hire a pianist for these things, since I am a miserable accompanist and I'd like to listen as well. There will be 8 pupils singing, plus me, so it'll only last about 45 minutes at most, I'd say. Each pupil will have a brief rehearsal on the day with the accompanist.

I think I forgot to mention that my mother-in-law asked me to sing for some of her friends at a Kaffee Klatsch while we were in Italy recently. This is the first time she's ever done so. And I was happy to do so. So many of Magnus' family have never heard me sing and I took that opportunity to repeat the program for the family that came to Dante's birthday. This was the program:

Durante, Danza, danza fanciulla
Caccini, Amarilli mia bella
Giordani, Caro mio ben
Händel, Ombra mai fu (Xerxes)
Händel, Lascia, ch'io pianga (Rinaldo)
Mozart, Ach, ich fühl's (Zauberflöte)
Schubert, An die Musik
Schumann, Widmung
Händel, Oh, had I Jubal's Lyre (Joshua)

I must say, it went extremely well. I had put together a CD of the accompaniment (karaoke style) and stood in front of the TV and sang to about 10 people sitting on the terrace. I suppose the whole neighborhood could have listened too. Needless to say, they loved it. I'll probably do it again. It was fun!



Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

It's great to hear that you're performing again! It must have been very gratifying singing for your mother-in-law and her friends.

Diane Severson said...

Yeah, actually it was. Since I've never been asked to sing. Maybe she was afraid to ask. Then when they were here visiting I was preparing what I was going to sing for a friend's birthday party (his request) and asked them to listen and help me decide which 3 pieces. I guess that gave her the idea and that it would work with little trouble with a karaoke CD. Italians love singing and they appreciate good singers, so they were very effusive...