Friday, July 10, 2009

Suzie Muzik Nuz

Because I don't know how to organize this without writing multiple blogs a day . . .

The August "Night Cafe" program is taking shape. The company that hired me ask that I sing "less classical, more jazz" this time. I was a little miffed at first. Art songs and arias are art forms I can throw myself into and be somewhat pleased with the results. Jazz and Broadway feel like a sell-out. That's not to say I don't enjoy them or think they have merit . . . I'm just not suited for them. I guess I can't be the judge of that.

So, my program went from this:

1. The Water is Wide, an American folktune arr. by Mark Hayes
2. How Could I Ever Know?, from the Broadway musical The Secret Garden
3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from the Broadway musical The Wizard of Oz
4. Seit ich ihn gesehen
, by Robert Schumann
5. Gretchen am Spinnrade, by Franz Schubert
6. Du bist die Ruh, by Franz Schubert
7. Think of Me, from the Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera
8. Song to the Moon, from Antonin Dvorak's opera Rusalka

To this:

1. The Sound of Music, from The Sound of Music
2. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz
3. My Ship, from Lady in the Dark
4. Can't Help Lovin' dat Man, from Show Boat
5. Hello, Young Lovers, from The King and I
6. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, from The Phantom of the Opera
7. How Could I Ever Know?, from The Secret Garden
8. Till There Was You, from The Music Man
9. Goodnight My Someone, from The Music Man

Despite my bruised ego, I'm pretty happy with the change. My original program was hodgepodge and hoity toity. The audience will enjoy the new set more, which is all the matters in the end, really. I'm enjoying letting loose and forgetting my classical singer's etiquette. This program is pure fun, which is what I need right now.

The next song cycle I'm forcing down your throats is Dominic Argento's Songs About Spring - a cycle of five songs set to the quirky and bizarre poetry of e.e. cummings. I can't find my recording of Patrice Michaels singing the cycle, so you're going to have to grit your teeth and bear someone else . . . ok, maybe I will post two blogs today. Aren't you excited?!?!

Finally, I want to "pay it forward" and pass on a rare and precious gift that a friend passed to me. It's called The Take-Away Shows, and it's about the best-thing-after-Hannah in my life right now. Musicians sharing their music whilst strolling the streets of Paris - genius. I'm specifically enamored with these performances by Andrew Bird and these performances by Grizzly Bear. I laugh and cry every time I watch them. I hope they make life a little sweeter for you as well.

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