LuAnn Higgs Vocal Program Notes

Mar 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Member Concerts

On Sat., March 19, 7:00 p.m., soprano LuAnn Higgs will perform “Songs from The Heart” – songs she has loved over the years. Billie Gonzalez will play unaccompanied violin works on the same program.

LuAnn Higgs Bio

LuAnn Higgs is a singer and a pianist. She studied at the University of California, Davis, California State University Sacramento, and also in Vienna at die Hochschule der Musik und darstellende Kunst. She’s continued her studies over the years and still takes two lessons a week in piano and actively studies voice.

For the past 26 years LuAnn had a “day job” in “IT” or “Information Technology” as a computer programmer, working on big applications. When LuAnn turned a “certain age,” she decided to commit wholeheartedly to music – and retired (early) from her “day job.” While working the day job, “in my spare time”,

LuAnn is a theater veteran – both on stage and “in the pit” with the with Davis Comic Opera Company and others. She’s directed and played and even won two “Elly Awards” as “Best Actress in a Musical” and was nominated for two more.

Recent productions include vocal directing “Jungle Book” for Sense Theatre, a theater for children with Autism, and also was musical director and pianist for “Fever-The Great Songs of Peggy Lee” a fund raiser for “Citizens Who Care” in Davis. She currently teaches voice privately and is an active accompanist.

The pieces LuAnn has chosen for the March 19th performance are really a labor of love; most of them were introduced to LuAnn by the many wonderful teachers she’s had. LuAnn enjoys songs of whimsy and humor (Elfenlied, Villanelle des petits canards); the rich dissonance of Wolf, and the melancholy and other-worldliness of French Song. Barber’s “The Hermit Songs” are just fun. The Hermit Songs were basically just “doodles” or written meanderings by monks, not really for anyone to read – “Poems translated from anonymous Irish texts of the eighth to thirteenth centuries”. The Handel and Mozart are just fun to start and end with – joyous and rippling!

“I truly appreciate the opportunity to perform for the Saturday Club. I love to teach and accompany – and I am usually called upon to perform those roles, so this is a special treat for me.” – LuAnn Higgs

Program

O had I Jubal’s Lyre – Handel

German Set:

Elfenlied – Wolf
Das verlassene Mädchen – Wolf

French Set:

Villanelle des petits canards – Chabrier
Clair de lune – Faure

Hermit Songs – Barber (Selections)
I. At Saint Patrick’s Purgatory
IV. The Heavenly Banquet
V. The Crucifixon
VII. Promiscuity
VIII. The Monk and his Cat

Alleluia – Mozart – from Exsultate, jubilate Motet K.165

Translations

German – From The Fishcher-Dieskau Book of Lieder – translations by George Bird and Richard Stokes
French from A French Song Companion by Graham Johnson, Richard Stokes

German Translations:

Elfenlied/Elf-song (Edward Mörike)

The village watch cried out at night
‘Eleven!’
An elfin elf asleep in the wood, at eleven,
Thinks that, from the valley,
The nightingale is calling him by name,
Or Silpelit summoning him,
The elf rubs his eyes,
Ventures from his snail-shell home,
And is like a drunken man—
Not having slept his fill—
And hobbles hobble-hobble
Down through the hazels to the valley,
Keeping ever so close to the wall
Where the glow-worms sit, light by light.
‘What bright windows are those?
Must be a wedding going on there,
With the little ones sitting at the table
And having fun in the ballroom-
I’ll just take a peek!’
–Same, he bangs his head on stone!
Elf, don’t you think you’ve had enough?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Das verlassene Mägdlein/Forsaken Servant-girl ä

At cock-crow, early,
Before the tiny stars are gone,
I must be at the hearth,
Must light the fire.

Pretty the flames’ glow,
The sparks leap;
I stare into them,
Lost in grief.

Suddenly it comes to me,
Unfaithful boy,
That last night
I dreamt of you.

Tear upon tear
Then falls;
So the day starts—-
Would it were gone again!

French Translations:

Villanelle des petits canards (Rosemonde Gérard)

There they go, the little ducks,
All along the river bank,
Like good country-folk!

Paddling and waggling,
Happy to muddy the clear water,
They go on their way, the little ducks.

A little gullible, perhaps,
But they go about their business,
Like good country-folk!

Into the tadpole-teeming wter,
Where a delicate weed is trembling,
They make their way, the little ducks.

Walking in scattered groups
With a regular gait,
Like good country-folk;

In the beautiful spinach green
Of the moist watercress,
They make their way, the little ducks,

And though a little mocking,
They’re by nature benevolent,
Like good country-folk!

Chattering in circles,
Making a terrible racket,
They go on their way, the little ducks,

Plump and glossy and cheery,
With a gaiety all their own,
Like good country-folk!

Amorous and snuffling,
Each one with his lady,
They go on their way, the little ducks,
Like good country-folk!

Clair de lune – Paul Verlaine

Your soul is a chosen landscape
Bewitched by masquers and bergamakers,
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.

Singing as they go in a minor key
Of conquering love and life’s favours
They do not seem to believe in their fortune
And their song mingles with the light of the moon.

The calm light of the moon, sad and fair,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in their rapture
Tall and svelt amid marble statues.

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