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Disney's My Son Pinocchio Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Book by David Stern Overview / Synopsis My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto's Musical Tale is a light-hearted spin on the classic Pinocchio story. Once the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto his wish for a new son, the new father finds his parenting skills are a bit rough. With a book by David Stern, Academy Award®-winning composer Stephen Schwartz creates an original score expanded from Disney's Geppetto, the live-action TV movie starring Drew Carey, and paired with much loved songs from Disney's animated feature Pinocchio. Audio Sampler - HL00112989 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00113001 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Guide 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs Choreography DVD Media Disc 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00112980 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00112979 - Director's Script $100.00 00112981 - Actor's Script $10.00 00112982 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 00112984 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $50.00 00112987 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00112985 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00112986 - Student Rehearsal CD 20 Pak $100.00 00112988 - Media Disc $10.00 00112989 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample When You Wish Upon A Star (Part 1) [Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue, The Blue Fairy] When You Wish Upon A Star (Part 2) [Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue, The Blue Fairy] Toys [Geppetto, Town Children, Town Mothers, Town Fathers] Empty Heart [Geppetto] Rise and Shine (Part 1) [Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue] Geppetto and Son (Part 1) [Geppetto, Pinocchio] Geppetto and Son (Part 2) [Geppetto] Rise and Shine (Part 2) [Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue] Geppetto and Son (Part 3) [Geppetto, Pinocchio] Rise and Shine (Part 3) [Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue] Geppetto and Son (Part 4) [Geppetto] When You Wish Upon A Star (Reprise) [Pinocchio] Geppetto's Music Box [Geppetto] I've Got No Strings [Pinocchio, Marionettes] Bravo Stromboli [Stromboli, Marionettes] Just Because It's Magic [The Blue Fairy, Rosa, Viola, Arancia, Sue] Satisfaction Guaranteed (Part 1) [Talia, Maria, Professore Buonragazzo] Satisfaction Guaranteed (Part 2) [Boy 1] Satisfaction Guaranteed (Part 3) [Boy 2, Junior, Professore Buonragazzo, Company] Bravo Stromboli (Reprise) [Stomboli, Marionettes] Pleasure Island (Part 1) [Ringleader, Roustabouts] Pleasure Island (Part 2) [Ringleader] Geppetto and Son (Whale Reprise) [Geppetto, Pinocchio] Since I Gave My Heart Away (Part 1) [Geppetto,Fairies in Training] Since I Gave My Heart Away (Part 2) [Geppetto,The Blue Fairy, Company] Bows [Company] ANIMALS Animals (Pig, Foxes, Horse) serve as voices of reason for Geppetto's journey. Performers cast in these roles do not have to sing; however, comic timing and deadpan delivery are essential. These performers should be comfortable inhabiting the mismatched animals they portray. BERNARDO & MARIA Bernardo & Maria are married residents of Idyllia who are looking to purchase a "perfect" daughter from Professore Buonragazzo. These roles require group singing only. These performers can become part of the ensemble in other group numbers. THE BLUE FAIRY The Blue Fairy is convinced of her own perfection and does not like having it called into question. The performer you cast should have good comedic instincts and a solid singing voice. This role does not require excessive dancing. Range: G3 - E5 BOY 1 Boy 1 is one of three spokespeople for a group of traveling singers. They are larger than life as they spread joy throughout Rainbow Valley with their songs.Boy 1 is the first replacement for Pinocchio, created by Professore Buonragazzo's machine. Find an actor who can mimic a comedic version of the famous puppet. Range: C3 - C4 BOY 2 Boy 2 is the second replacement for Pinocchio. He should be even more wooden than Boy 1. Range: C3 - C4 CHILDREN OF IDYLLIA Children of Idyllia (Amelia, Salvatore, Carla, Lucia, Giuseppe, Boy 1, Boy 2) are the perfect children created by Professore Buonragazzo. Performers cast in these roles should be able to sing in groups, with featured speaking lines. There are great opportunities for movement and dance. DELINQUENTS Delinquents (Malvolio, Brutto, Sporco, others) can expand to include more performers and are great roles for non-singers. Also, they must be comfortable turning into donkeys. GEPPETTO Geppetto A Sharecropper who bids his time until he can go away to college. He has a quiet strength.Geppetto is a lonely toymaker who longs to be a father. Look for a mature performer who feels comfortable playing a parent to Pinocchio and isn't afraid of showing emotion. Cast a strong singer, as Geppetto has several solos. Range: Bb3 - F5 JUNIOR Junior is Professore Buonragazzo's mirrorimage assistant, created using the child-making machine. The performer in this role will need to work closely with the performer playing the Professor to mimic his movements. A short solo is required, but it can be spoken if necessary. Range: Bb3 - C#5 MARIONETTES Marionettes are the stringed puppets in Stromboli's show. There are solos available for marionettes, if you choose to separate their voices from Stromboli. Marionettes can be added as need to the ensemble. Range: Bb3 - E5 PINOCCHIO Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who doesn't know where he belongs. Look for a performer who can handle the lively personality of a little boy while also capturing tender moments. Although Pinocchio is a boy, the role can be played by a boy or girl. Pinocchio has a few solos, but a strong character actor can easily act through them. Range: G3 - E5 PROFESSORE BUONGRAZZO Professore Buongrazzo is a passionate, mad scientist obsessed with building perfect children. While some solos are required, character work is most important for this role. Range: Bb3 - C#4 THE RINGLEADER The Ringleader runs Pleasure Island. The performer playing this role should have a real sense of showmanship. This role requires some singing and is a great opportunity to showcase a dancer. The Ringleader can be played by a boy or a girl, but be sure to cast a performer who can commit to the character's mischievous ways. Range: A3 - E5 ROSA, VIOLA & ARANCIA Rosa, Viola & Arancia, fairies in training, are sweet and kind. The performers in these roles should be expressive observers since they often oversee the action occurring onstage during flashbacks. They sing as a group, often alongside the Blue Fairy. Their individual distinctions from one another can be discovered during rehearsal. ROUSTABOUTS Roustabouts are the sidekicks to Pleasure Island's Ringleader. When performing these roles, personality is key. Group singing is required. SIGNORA GIOVANNI Signora Giovaani is Pinocchio's teacher. The role can be a great opportunity to feature a performer who doesn't sing. If needed, this performer can become part of the ensemble in other group numbers. STROMBOLI Stromboli is a bumbling, loud, incompetent puppeteer who has at least a few screws loose. Cast a versatile performer who can create silly voices to take this character and his marionettes over-the-top. Stromboli's songs are challenging, so look for someone who is comfortable with his solos and doesn't shy away from silliness. Range: Bb3 - F5 SUE Sue is a fairy in training who marches to the beat of her own drum. She isn't your typical fairy, as sweetness isn't in her nature. The performer in this role can be brooding or brash, but certainly a contrast to Rosa, Viola and Arancia, although vocally she should blend in. TALIA Talia is the "perfect child" created for Maria and Bernardo by Professore Buonragazzo's machine. Talia sings and dances to impress her parents, so this is a great role to feature a dancer. Range: C3 - C4 THE TOWN CHILDREN The Town Children (Dante, Agata, Fiorello, Francesca, Adriana, Luigi, Gina, Lia, Rico) love the toys in Geppetto's shop. The performers cast in these roles should be able to create individual personalities for their characters. There are opportunities for solos, but performers can sing in groups. TOWN PARENTS Town Parents (Signora Lisi, Signore Fucito, Signora Mancini, Signor Alcamo, Signora Sommelia, Signora Contrastana, Signora Rosati, Signore Proto, Signore Marino) are the beleaguered mothers and judgmental fathers of the town children. The performers cast in these roles should be able to create individual personalities for their characters. There are opportunities for solos, but performers can sing in groups.
Disney's Frozen Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music & Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez Book by Jennifer Lee Based on the Disney film written by Jennifer Lee and directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee Overview / Synopsis The enchanting modern classic from Disney is ready for your Broadway Junior stars! Frozen JR. is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, and brings Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage. The show features all the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen JR. expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure and plenty of humor, Frozen JR. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart! Audio Sampler - HL00284884 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00284886 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Script Performance/Accompaniment & Guide Vocal Audio (Digital Only) Choreography Videos (Digital Only) Downloadable Media Resources (Digital Only) Digital Delivery Update Now you can receive digital access to many of the ShowKit components you know and love. Look forward to easily distributing these crucial components to your cast and creative team: Performance Accompaniment Tracks and Guide Vocal Tracks (Formerly Accompaniment CD & Rehearsal CD, respectively) will now be delivered together as a digital download and easily shared with your entire team, cast, and crew Choreography Videos (formerly the Choreography DVD) will be available to stream directly from mtishows.com. Now not only your choreographer but the entire cast will have access to fantastic step-by-step instruction for every Broadway Junior title! Downloadable Resources (formerly the Resources (or Media) Disc), including Audition Materials, a customizable press release, program and other helpful templates, and more can all be accessed with a click of a button 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00284870 - Director's Guide $100.00 00284871 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00284872 - Actor's Script $10.00 00284874 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00284876 - Rehearsal/AccompanimentRehearsal/Accomp. CD $75.00 00284879 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00284882 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00284883 - Media Disc $10.00 Hear A Sample Let the Sun Shine On A Little Bit of You Do You Want to Build a Snowman? For the First Time in Forever Dangerous to Dream Love is an Open Door Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People In Summer Hygge Let It Go Fixer Upper Colder by the Minute Finale Young Anna Young Anna, Middle Anna and Anna are all the young Princess of Arendelle at different ages. Filled with a tremendous amount of light, energy and love, Anna is a hopelessly optimistic extrovert at all ages, but as she grows older, she longs for connection with others, especially her sister, Elsa. Each version of this warm and determined princess requires a strong singer with great comic timing. Because Anna and Elsa share such a close bond, consider auditioning these roles together to get a sense of the performers' chemistry. Once your actors playing Young Anna and Middle Anna are finished with these roles, consider adding them to the ensemble for the remainder of the show. Gender: Female Vocal Range: A3 - D5 Middle Anna Gender: Female Vocal Range: A3 - B4 Anna Gender: Female Vocal Range: G3 - D5 Vocal range Bottom: G3 Young Elsa Young Elsa, Middle Elsa and Elsa are all the elder Princess of Arendelle at different ages. Next in line for the throne, Elsa has been born with magical powers that can overwhelm her when she becomes afraid and harm others if not handled with care. Fearful of hurting anyone, especially her beloved sister, Anna, Elsa becomes anxious and withdrawn as she grows older, before eventually learning to take control of, and become confident in, her powers which she masterfully uses to manipulate the Snow Chorus. With the exception of Middle Elsa, who has only one lyric, look for very strong singers who can portray Elsa's restrained nature. Once your actors playing Young Elsa and Middle Elsa are finished with these roles, consider adding them to the ensemble for the remainder of the show. Gender: Female Vocal Range: A3 - C#5 Middle Elsa Gender: Female Vocal Range: A3 - F#4 Elsa Gender: Female Vocal Range: F#3 - D5 King Agnarr The warm-hearted ruler of Arendelle is committed to protecting both his family and the Townspeople from his eldest daughter's powers. With only one singing solo, focus on casting an actor who can play this father figure convincingly. Gender: Male Queen Iduna The queen possesses a sense of rightness and kindness that guides her in her protection of her two young girls. A daughter of the Northern Nomads, this queen has the ability to communicate with the Hidden Folk of the mountains and so understands Elsa's powers deeply; look for an actor who can portray this sense of compassion. Gender: Female Pabbie Pabbie and Bulda are the mystical leaders of the Hidden Folk who have a soft spot for "strays." Ever-benevolent, these parental figures want what's best for Kristoff, even if they are a bit misguided in their efforts. Look for amiable performers who will endear themselves to the audience in the crowd-pleaser, "Fixer Upper." Gender: Both Bulda Pabbie and Bulda are the mystical leaders of the Hidden Folk who have a soft spot for "strays." Ever-benevolent, these parental figures want what's best for Kristoff, even if they are a bit misguided in their efforts. Look for amiable performers who will endear themselves to the audience in the crowd- pleaser, "Fixer Upper." Gender: Both Bishop The bishop officiates the coronation and passing of the crown to Elsa. This spiritual supervisor must communicate to the Townspeople of Arendelle in a serious and formal manner. Gender: Both Kristoff Kristoff is a hardworking ice harvester. Kristoff has a sarcastic veneer and a rough-around-the-edges exterior that hides a big heart. Taken in by the Hidden Folk when he was young, he loves Pabbie and Bulda dearly, but is a bit of a loner with a reindeer for a best friend- until he meets Anna. With only a few short singing solos, focus on casting a performer who can balance a cynical sense of humor with charming banter. Gender: Male Vocal Range: G2 - A3 Sven Sven is a reindeer of few words, fiercely loyal pal to Kristoff, and loves giving the ice harvester a hard time. Look for a performer with good comic timing and terrific physical acting skills who can devise a strong movement vocabulary to bring this furry charmer to life. Consider auditioning potential Svens and Kristoffs together as the two should share a visible bond. Gender: Both Vocal Range: A3 - A4 Hans The ambitious Prince of the Southern Isles and overlooked thirteenth son of a king. Hans constantly strives to find a way to make good and stand out. He boasts an exceedingly charming facade that fools everyone - including Anna and, ideally, the audience! - into believing he's Prince Charming, when really, he's just a jerk. Cast an actor who can play both sides of this two-faced prince with relish as well as confidently sing the moments of harmony in "Love Is an Open Door." Gender: Male Vocal Range: G2 - B3 Weselton A visiting duke who possesses a huge inferiority complex. A bombastic, overbearing sycophant, Weselton's sole purpose is to hobnob with influencers and royalty. Look for an actor who can portray the narrow-minded naysayer with over-the-top gusto. Gender: Both Olaf The magical snowman created by Anna and Elsa when they were young. Olaf is endearingly delighted by everything - especially the idea of summer. Goofy and sweet, Olaf should possess a childlike innocence and excellent comic timing. Gender: Male Vocal Range: F#2 - D4 Oaken An exceedingly cheerful and convivial wandering salesperson and ardent devotee to all things cozy and comfortable. Oaken's "Hygge" is a showstopper, so cast an actor who can portray the peppy peddler's infectious warmth with flair and good humor. Gender: Both Ensemble Includes the following roles: Townspeople, Snow Chorus, Hidden Folk, Castle Staff, Housekeeper, Butler, Handmaiden, Cook, Steward, Guards, Summer Chorus, Oaken's Family Gender: Both
Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Book by Jenny Laird Music and Lyrics by Randy Courts Additional Lyrics by Will Osborne Based on Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne Overview / Synopsis A magical tree house transports Jack and Annie to the land of the dinosaurs in this adaptation of the best-selling book series. (30-MINUTE VERSION FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS) What would you do if a tree house in your neighborhood could transport you anywhere you wanted to go? While exploring one afternoon, siblings Jack and Annie discover a tree house full of books. Jack looks through a book about dinosaurs and wishes he could see a real one. Suddenly the wind begins to blow and the tree house starts to spin wildly. When it finally stops, Jack and Annie open their eyes to find they have been transported back to the time of the dinosaurs. Join Jack and Annie on their adventure back in time to experience an amazing group of dinosaurs face to face. MAGIC TREE HOUSE: DINOSAURS BEFORE DARK KIDS is an adaptation of the first of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series. The books are number one New York Times' bestsellers - more than 100 million copies have been sold in North America alone. The series has been translated into many languages and is available in more than 100 countries around the world. It's story time in the forest, and all the young Saplings, along with Stump, a grumpy old tree stump, have gathered to hear Otto, the oak tell his latest tale. Today, Otto's story begins in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, where a brother and sister named Jack and Annie find a mysterious tree house and discover that it is filled with a magnificent collection of books (How Far Can You See?). As Jack is looking at a picture in a book about dinosaurs, he idly wishes they could go there - and, magically, the wind begins to blow and the tree house begins to spin (Taking the Tree House for a Spin). Terrified, Jack and Annie cover their heads and cling to each other. The spinning stops. Jack and Annie look out the tree house window to discover that they have arrived in a land that looks exactly like the picture Jack was looking at in the dinosaur book. Annie spots Henry, a Pteranodon. Before Jack can stop her, Annie scrambles down the tree house rope ladder to meet the strange creature. Jack warns her about the dangers of making friends too hastily (Friend or Foe). Terri, Larry, and Gary, three Triceratops, enter the clearing. As curious about the two strange human creatures as Jack and Annie are about them, the Triceratops join in the song, with everyone finally agreeing that they can be friends. As Jack is making notes about his experience, he spots a gold medallion with the letter "M" on the ground. Before he can consider the mystery of how the medallion came to be in dinosaur times, Annie calls out that she's found something wonderful - a nest full of dinosaur eggs! Annie takes a flower from the nest and suddenly, with a huge roar, Natty the Anatosaurus rushes in to protect her nest! Annie freezes as Natty is joined by two more Anatosaurus, Susan and Joan. While Jack tries to figure out what to do, the three Anatosaurus mothers commiserate about the challenges of dinosaur motherhood (A Mother's Work is Never Done). During the song, Annie slowly crawls back to Jack and they watch from a safe distance - until Annie decides to make friends with Natty. To Jack's surprise, Natty is receptive to Annie's friendly approach, and Jack and Annie are amazed that they are having an adventure with real live dinosaurs (When We Woke). The eggs begin to hatch, and as the Baby Dinosaurs emerge they marvel at the wonders of the world into which they are being born (Wonder). Annie and Jack go to find food for the babies and discover a watering hole - the only place where plant eaters and meat eaters gather together. They watch as a variety of dinosaurs gather at the watering hole (March of the Dinosaurs). The peaceful scene at the watering hole is interrupted by the terrifying arrival of a Tyrannosaurus Rex (Roar). The Triceratops distract the T-Rex while Jack and Annie run back to the tree house but when they get there, Jack realizes he has forgotten his backpack and has to go back to get it. Jack races back and retrieves his backpack, but before he can get back to the tree house, the T-Rex spots him! Jack hides in some ferns and distracts the T-Rex by throwing a rock into another part of the clearing. Jack is about to make a run for the tree house when Henry arrives with Annie on his back. Henry rescues Jack, and Jack and Annie are thrilled to find themselves flying on the back of a Pteranodon (When We Woke - Reprise). Henry delivers Jack and Annie to the tree house, and they share a sad goodbye. Jack tells Annie the reason he had to go back for his backpack: he's figured out that the tree house magic works by pointing to a picture in a book and wishing to go there and he needed a picture of Frog Creek from his backpack to wish them home. He makes the wish and they return to the woods where the story began. The Saplings, Stump, Jack and Annie are all excited to see where the tree house will travel next (How Far Can You See? - Epilogue). Audio Sampler - HL00121237 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00121238 $545.00 This ShowKit includes: 2 Accompaniment & Guide Vocal CDs Choreography DVD Director's Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets Media Disk Piano/Vocal Score 30-Minute KIDS Request Individual Components 00121239 - Director's Guide $100.00 00121241 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00121230 - Actor's Script $10.00 00121231 - Actor's Script 10-Pak $75.00 00121232 - Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD $75.00 00121233 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00121234 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-Pak $100.00 00121235 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00121236 - Media Disc $10.00 00121237 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample How Far Can You See? Taking The Tree House For A Spin Friend or Foe (Part 1) Friend or Foe (Part 2) A Mother's Work Is Never Done When We Woke Wonder March Of The Dinosaurs (Part 1) March of The Dinosaurs (Part 2) Roar What? The Backpack Think, Jack, Think When We Woke (Reprise) Spinning Again How Far Can You See? (Epilogue) Ankylosaurus Ankylosaurus: four-ton dinosaurs with spikes on their backs. Annie Annie: Jack's younger sister and, in many ways, his opposite in terms of personality. She is a risk-taker who often follows her heart instead of her head. She sometimes teases Jack about his careful attitude toward life and often encourages him to be more adventurous. She loves animals of any kind and has a very loving heart. Range: A3-D5 Baby Dinosaurs Baby Dinosaurs: Freshly hatched Anatosaurus dinosaurs who are filled with wonder upon encountering the world for the first time. Gary Gary: The boldest, hippest and friendliest of the Triceratops. He is the first to step out of the ferns to get a better look at Annie and Jack. He is as impulsive, curious and guileless as Annie. Range: A3-D5 Henry Henry: A pteranodon that Jack and Annie encounter upon first arriving. Annie names him Henry and believes he is magic. Iguanodons Iguanodons: The cool kids of the dinosaur lot. They have spikes for thumbs and are not afraid to brag about it. Jack Jack: He is bookish, careful and thoughtful, but he is NOT a nerd! Jack has tremendous curiosity about the world around him and loves to take notes about his observations. Jack tends to be very cautious in new situations, and his adventures in the tree house help him develop his confidence. He has a good (and protective) relationship with his younger sister, Annie, though her more impetuous nature often gets on his nerves. Range: A3-D5 Joan Joan: The most stressed out of all the Anatosaurus Mothers. Range: A3-C5 Larry Larry: The nerdiest of the Triceratops and is a little henpecked by Terri, but he isn't afraid to speak his mind. Range: A3-D5 Natty Natty: The ultimate mother hen and takes great pride in protecting the baby Anatosaurus eggs. Range: A3-C5 Otto Otto: The oldest oak tree in the forest, a mild-mannered grandfatherly or grandmotherly type and a natural storyteller. Range: C4-E5 Panoplosaurus Panoplosaurus: Tank-like dinosaurs who take a lot of pride in all of their unique characteristics. Protoceratops Protoceratops: The "runts" of the dinosaur litter Red Pines/ Hemlocks Red Pines/ Hemlocks: Groups of trees who narrate the story for the opening and closing of the show. Saplings Saplings: Young, spirited and curious Trees, eager to hear about the mysterious tree house that appears in their Woods. Stump Stump: A grumpy tree stump, who, in direct contrast to Otto, is impatient and ill-tempered. Range: C4-E5 Susan Susan: A sassy Anatosaurus Mom who is more intrigued by Jack and Annie's presence than afraid of them. Range: A3-C5 Terri Terri: The most domineering of the Triceratops, but her bossy comments toward Larry should serve as comic relief and not be perceived as bullying. Range: A3-F5 Toto Toto: Susan's pestering child. She (or he) is as sassy as her mother and a bit of an imp. Range: D4-A4 T-Rex T-Rex: A fierce, meat-eating dinosaur that Jack and Annie encounter right before getting back to the tree house. Troodon Troodon: The "brains" of the dinosaur lot but are not braggarts.
Frequently Asked Questions - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Frequently Asked Questions about Broadway Junior Musicals How long can we perform this show? Your Performance License is good for 12 months. You can keep all the materials after the 12 month period, but the materials are not reusable. Can I perform the same show the next year and just purchase the rights since I already have the materials? You will need to purchase a new kit and sign a new performance license if you would like to perform the show again at another time. The materials are not re-useable, refundable or transferable. Can I videotape the performance? The shows that can be videotaped with the purchase of a Video License at $75 include: Disney's Aladdin JR. Disney's Aladdin KIDS Annie JR. Annie KIDS Disney's The Aristocats KIDS Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR. Disney's Cinderella KIDS Dear Edwina JR. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs before Dark KIDS Elf The Musical JR. Fame JR. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley JR. Disney's Frozen JR. Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR. Guys and Dolls JR. Disney's High School Musical 2 JR. Disney's High School Musical JR. Honk! JR. Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR. Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS Magic Tree House: The Knight at Dawn KIDS Disney's The Lion King JR. Disney's The Lion King KIDS Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR. Mary Poppins JR. Disney's Mulan JR. Disney's My Son Pinocchio JR. Peter Pan JR. Disney's Peter Pan JR. Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon KIDS Seussical JR. Seussical KIDS Shrek The Musical JR. Singin' in the Rain JR. Disney's Sleeping Beauty KIDS Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS Main restrictions: video recordings are for cast/crew/families only, can't be sold and can't be broadcast in any way including on the Internet. The remaining shows do not allow videotaping. Parents cannot tape, even just for their own personal in-home use. It has nothing to do with how the tape would be used, not being sold, etc. It all comes down to legal copyright rights. Here is how Music Theatre International explains it: Unfortunately, the rights to videotape are not available. Copyright law gives authors the exclusive right to control the reproduction of their work. When a license is granted for a live stage production of a show, that license does not include the right to tape it because the authors retain the sole right to decide when or if their work is recorded in any way. Even a videotape made for classroom use, as a personal memento or as an archival school record violates the authors' separate right to reproduce their work. In most cases, the authors have already granted such rights exclusively to film or television companies, in which case videotaping this show would also be infringing upon the rights granted by the authors to a third party. Can I post a video of our performance on YouTube? There is no broadcasting of the show in any way, even if you've signed a video license. The license specifically restricts the right to broadcast your performance on YouTube, any school channel, etc. I have a few students who were in the 9th grade last year and are going into the 10th grade, can I still allow them to perform in the show? No. All performers are required to be in the 9th grade or under when the show is performed. Can I perform only certain musical numbers from the show? No. The show must be performed exactly as it has been provided to you in the ShowKit™ materials and you cannot delete, alter or make changes of any kind in the text of the play, the musical numbers, characters or characterizations. I have a question that's not listed. How do I contact a person? Call us on our Teacher VIP line: 1-800-322-1127 or email us at broadwayjunior@halleonard.com
Legally Blonde Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music & Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe & Nell Benjamin Book by Heather Hach Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture Overview / Synopsis One Act, Book Musical, Pop / Rock, Rated G Broadway Junior Version  Harvard's beloved blonde takes the stage by glittery pink storm in this fun and upbeat musical. (60-MINUTE VERSION FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS) A fabulously fun international award-winning musical based on the adored movie, LEGALLY BLONDE JR., follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Adapted for younger performers and based on the popular movie, this show features an upbeat original score that's sure to leave cast members and audiences alike seeing pink! When Elle's high school boyfriend Warner dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she's not "serious" enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate Emmett and spunky hairdresser Paulette along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren't mutually exclusive - in fact, law may be her natural calling after all as she quickly begins outsmarting her peers. LEGALLY BLONDE JR. features a large, expandable cast, lead and supporting roles for male and female actors, as well as energetic production numbers. The show's sense of humor, as well as its themes of self-empowerment and open-mindedness, make LEGALLY BLONDE JR. ideal for young performers. At the Delta Nu sorority house, word is out that Elle Woods is going to dinner to get engaged to her beau Warner Huntington III ("Omigod You Guys"). Margo, Serena and Pilar lead the other Delta Nus to the mall, where Elle is having trouble choosing the right dress for the occasion. Later at dinner, just when Elle is sure Warner is going to propose, he breaks up with her, explaining that with his departure for Harvard Law School, it's time to get serious ("Serious"). Devastated, Elle locks herself in her room. Twelve days later, the Delta Nus finally get Elle to emerge ("Daughter of Delta Nu"). Elle realizes the only solution to her heartache is to get into Harvard Law and prove to Warner she's serious enough for him ("What You Want"). Sorority sister Kate helps Elle study for the LSAT, and after several attempts and a lot of hard work, Elle's application comes upon Harvard Admissions. Lowell, Winthrop and Pforzheimer, three Harvard admissions coordinators, decide to admit Elle after a very extravagant song and dance (which she submits in lieu of a personal essay) citing love as her main motivation.  On the first day of class, Elle meets her fellow first-year law classmates, Aaron, Padamadan and Enid, as well as Warner, who is shocked to see her on campus. Callahan (the most feared teacher at Harvard) kicks Elle out of class for being unprepared at the suggestion of classmate Vivienne Kensington. Callahan's TA, Emmett, tries to console Elle, but her mood only worsens when Warner confesses to Elle that Vivienne is his new girlfriend. Elle finds the nearest salon and meets Paulette, who commiserates with her situation ("Ireland"). Afterward, Elle runs into Vivienne who invites her to a costume party. Elle attends, hoping to see Warner, but is dismayed to discover she is the only one who wore a costume - much to Vivienne's delight. On the way home, Elle meets Emmett, who tells Elle how hard he's worked to get where he is and encourages her to do the same ("Chip On My Shoulder"). Time is passing quickly at law school and Elle is working harder than ever, eventually winning her first court case in class and receiving a recommendation to apply for Callahan's internship. With her newfound confidence, Elle helps Paulette win her dog back from her estranged boyfriend, Dewey. Back at Harvard, Warner and Vivienne win two of Callahan's coveted internship positions, and Warner proposes to Vivienne on the spot right in front of Elle. Before her heart can break, Emmett shows her the internship list, and Elle is ecstatic to discover her name is on it as well ("So Much Better").  The interns quickly jump into the case of fitness video guru Brooke Wyndham, who is accused of killing her wealthy husband. After watching her fitness video ("Whipped into Shape"), the interns meet her at a correctional facility where she refuses to give her alibi to anyone but Elle, thanks to their Delta Nu sisterhood ("Delta Nu Nu Nu"). In confidence, Brooke shares with Elle that she was getting liposuction the day her husband was killed, so there is no way she could be guilty, but no one can know because her fitness empire would be destroyed. The other interns demand that Elle give up Brooke's alibi, but Elle refuses to go against her Delta Nu pledge.  Back at the salon, Paulette has eyes for the UPS delivery man, Kyle, but isn't confident enough to go after him. Elle teaches her a guaranteed move to win any guy's affections - the Bend and Snap ("Bend and Snap"), but when Paulette tries it, she accidentally breaks Kyle's nose. Elle returns to the case, but Callahan has a different agenda and tries to kiss her, just as Vivienne returns, unnoticed. Elle rejects Callahan's advances and is fired. Defeated, she prepares to go home convinced she was only ever seen as a joke, even though Emmett asks her to stay, finally realizing that he is in love with her ("Legally Blonde"). Elle stops by the salon to say goodbye to Paulette, but Vivienne - who witnessed what happened to Elle in Callahan's office and finally understands her - convinces her to keep fighting. The entire salon rallies behind Elle as she heads back to the courtroom ("Legally Blonde - Remix") where Brooke fires Callahan and hires Elle to continue her defense.  Everyone is present to witness Elle's first day in court, including Paulette and Kyle (now a couple), Margo, Serena, Pilar and the other Delta Nus. Brooke's stepdaughter Chutney takes the stand, testifying that when she got out of the shower, she witnessed Brooke standing over her father's body, covered in blood. When asked what she had been doing earlier that day, Chutney reveals she had gotten a perm, and Elle realizes a flaw in Chutney's alibi - she couldn't possibly have showered the same day as receiving a perm or her hair would be flattened. Since her perm is still intact, she has obviously lied about her alibi. Under some intense questioning from Elle, Chutney accidentally reveals that she killed her father, mistaking him for Brooke. Elle wins the case and Brooke is set free. Warner tries to propose to Elle, but she gently refuses, having gained her independence and a desire to be the best she can be ("Find My Way"). Three years later, Elle is made valedictorian of her class, and in her commencement speech she proposes to Emmett, who accepts. Everyone celebrates their legally blonde friend and heroine, Elle Woods ("Finale"). Audio Sampler - HL00125163 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00125152 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Books Choreography DVD Director's Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets Media Disk 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs Piano/Vocal Score 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00125153 - Director's Guide $100.00 00125154 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00125155 - Actor's Script $10.00 00125156 - Actor's Script 10-Pak $75.00 00125157 - Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD $75.00 00125158 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00125159 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-Pak $100.00 00125160 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00125161 - Media Disc $10.00 00125163 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Omigod You Guys (Part 1) Omigod You Guys (Part 2) Serious (Part 1) Serious (Part 2) Daughter of Delta Nu What You Want (Part 1) What You Want (Part 2) What You Want (Part 3) Ireland Chip On My Shoulder (Part 1) Chip On My Shoulder (Part 2) Chip On My Shoulder (Part 3) Run Rufus Run!/Elle Reflects So Much Better Whipped Into Shape Delta Nu Nu Nu And Snap Bend And Snap Legally Blonde Legally Blonde Remix (Part 1) Legally Blonde Remix (Part 2) Legally Blonde Remix (Part 3) Scene Of The Crime (Part 2) Find My Way/Finale Cast Size Large (over 20), Flexible Cast Type Ensemble Cast - Many featured roles, Mainly Women, Showcases trained dancers, Showcases trained singers, Star Vehicle - Female, Teenage Roles Dance Requirement Heavy (Extensive Dance Sections/Solos), Standard (Musical Staging/Some Dance/Optional) AARON SCHULTZ, SUNDEEP AGRAWAL PADAMADAN and ENID HOOPES Three law students with academic credits that would intimidate anyone. BROOKE WYNDAM An exercise video mogul who is also a former sorority girl. She is energetic and charismatic, yet currently on trial for murder. Range: A3-D5 CHUTNEY WYNDHAM Brooke's unhappy stepdaughter with a really bad perm and an even worse attitude. DEWEY Paulette's brash ex-husband who lives in a trailer and holds her dog captive. ELLE WOODS The quintessential Valley Girl may appear like a typical blonde California sorority girl, but don't count her out. She is hardworking, optimistic and tenacious. Range: F#3-Eb5 EMMETT FORREST A smart and sensitive law student who takes Elle under his wing. He is charming, quirky, loveable, and friendly. Range: C3-F#4 ENSEMBLE WAITERS, DELTA NUS, FRAT BOYS, GREEK CHORUS, STUDENTS and INMATES. GAELEN, JUDGE, JET BLUE PILOT, SALESWOMAN, STORE MANAGER, PRISON GUARD, BOOKISH CLIENT and SABRINA Featured roles for young performers who may have less experience on the stage but have vibrant personalities. GRANDMASTER CHAD A fun cameo role for a young guy who is a great musician but may be less experienced onstage. Range: D3-D4 KATE A featured Delta Nu sister - the acedemic of the bunch. Range: Bb3-Db5 KIKI THE COLORIST, CASHIER and STYLIST Part of Paulette's entourage at the salon who are very adept at the "Bend and Snap." Range: C4-A4 KYLE The delivery man who Paulette has her eyes on each time his job brings him to the salon. MARGOT, SERENA, and PILAR Elle's trio of best friends and Delta Nu sisters. Range: F#3-C#5 PAULETTE A brash, caring, optimistic hair stylist who is friends with Elle and longs to find a man for herself. Range: A3-Bb4 PROFESSOR CALLAHAN The most-feared professor at Harvard Law School. Range: Bb2-F#4 VIVIENNE KENSINGTON A smart, savvy, and uptight law student and Warner's fiancee who initially dismisses Elle, but grows to be her friend. Range: A3-Eb5 WARNER HUNTINGTON III A good-looking but shallow and pompous guy who breaks Elle's heart and heads off to Harvard Law. He is caught between his former life with Elle and his newfound serious East Coast life with Vivienne. Range: D3-F4 WHITNEY Vivienne's law school friend and partner in mischief when it comes to bringing down Elle. WINTHROP, LOWELL and PFORZHEIMER Three admissions officers of Harvard Law School who eventually admit Elle into the program after some critical evaluation.
The Pirates of Penzance Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Book by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Music by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Lyrics by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Overview / Synopsis Set sail with this classic comedy that boasts one of the most famous patter songs in musical theatre history. The wit and whimsy of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic score is suffused with a modern sensibility in The Pirates of Penzance JR, a swashbuckling musical journey! Set on the rocky coast of Cornwall, England, The Pirates of Penzance JR begins with a group of pirates who are celebrating the birthday of one of their own, Frederic, who has reached his 21st year. Finally having served the full length of his required time with the pirates, he decides to strike off on his own and become an upstanding citizen - which may even mean bringing the pirates to justice. Thus turns out to be a tricky prospect indeed, especially when Frederic's freedom is called into question! The Pirates of Penzance JR is a light, comic introduction to the work of Gilbert and Sullivan, featuring opportunities for singing as an ensemble or in small groups, with vocal parts written in unison or simple two-part harmony. Audio Sampler - HL00160203 $10.00 ShowKit - HL9971456 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Student Books Director's Guide Piano/Vocal Score 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreography DVD 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 9971459 - Director's Guide $100.00 9971458 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 9971457 - Student Book $10.00 9971461 - Student Book 10-pak $75.00 9971408 - Performance/Accomp CD pack $75.00 9971463 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 9971464 - Student Rehearsal CDs 20-Pak $100.00 9971460 - Choreography DVD $50.00 9971462 - Media Disc $10.00 00160203 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Pour, O Pour the Pirate Sherry [Pirates, Samuel] When Frederic Was a Little Lad [Ruth] Oh, Better Far to Live and Die [Pirate King, Pirates] Oh, False One, You Have Deceived Me [Frederic, Ruth] Climbing Over Rocky Mountain [Daughters, Edith, Kate] Stop, Ladies, Pray! [Frederic, Edith, Kate, Daughters] Oh, Is There Not One Maiden [Frederic, Daughters, Mabel] Poor Wandering One [Mabel, Daughters] Stay, We Must Not Lose Our Senses [Frederic, Daughters, Pirates] I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General [Major-General, Chorus] Oh, Men of Dark and Dismal Fate [Major-General, Samuel, Pirate King, Pirates, Mabel, Daughters] Oh, Dry the Glistening Tear [Daughters] When the Foeman Bares His Steel (Tarantara!) [Peter, Tiger Lily, Brave Girls, Lost Boys, Children] When You Had Left Our Pirate Fold (Part 1) [Ruth, Frederic, Pirate King] When You Had Left Our Pirate Fold (Part 2) [Ruth, Frederic, Pirate King] Tarantara! (Reprise) [Sergeant, Police] A Rollicking Band of Pirates We [Pirates] With Cat-like Tread, Upon Our Prey We Steal [Pirates, Police] Now What Is This, and What Is That [Daughters, Pirates, Major-General, Mabel, Frederic] Finale [Sergeant, Pirate King, Police, Daughters, Major-General, Ruth, Pirate King, Mabel, Frederic, Edith] Samuel Samuel is a pirate and serves as the second in command to the Pirate King. Where the Pirate King is self-assured, assertive, and strong, Samuel is more bookish. Think of him as the accountant to the Pirates. Samuel has some featured solos and it is a good role for a performer who is showing good promise, but needs to nurture their skills a bit. Vocal range: Bb3-Eb3 Pirate King The Pirate King is a great comic lead for a boy who is self assured, a bit of a ham, and great at physical comedy. Cast someone who is inventive, fearless and willing to take positive risks. The Pirate King should sing reasonably well, but he doesn't need to be a polished singer. Consider casting someone who is athletically inclined and a natural leader-this is a great role for the star soccer player, or captain of the football team. Vocal range: B3-Eb5 Frederic Frederic is the male ing�nue of the show. He should have a great voice that is polished. Frederic should also have looks that qualify as "dreamy" if at all possible. Think Davy Jones, Luke Perry or anyone who may be worthy of the cover of Teen Beat or Teen People. Frederic can be a better singer than an actor, but it's great if he can be both. Vocal range: B3-F5 Ruth Ruth is a humoristic tour-de-force for a young comedian. She should be able to play matronly but still be vibrant and full of energy. An actress who is physically different from Frederic is a great choice. For example, if your Frederic is tall and thin, consider a short and stocky Ruth. Ruth transforms from old matronly, to a knock-out beauty when she returns with the Pirate King in "When Fred'ric Was a Little Lad", so it's great to cast an actress who is versatile. Ruth has a featured solo, but doesn't have to be a polished singer. Cast a comedian who is naturally funny, and can be bigger than life. Someone who played Miss Hannigan in Annie Junior, or Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man Junior would make a great Ruth. Vocal range: G3-Eb5 Kate, Edith, and Isabel Kate, Edith and Isabel are the leaders of General Stanley's wards, with Edith serving as the leader among the three. Of the three, Kate and Edith have solos, although you could break-up their solos to provide Isabel with a solo as well. These three should be good singers, good dancers, and reasonable actresses. Traditionally, Edith wears glasses and is more bookish, Kate is aggressive and tomboyish, while Isabel is younger and more na�ve. However, these three roles are open to interpretation. Consider having your actresses create their own character types as long as the characters are specific and can be sustained throughout the entire production. These are great roles for actresses you are nurturing for future lead parts. Vocal range: G3-F5 Mabel Mabel is the female ing�nue to Frederic's male ing�nue. She must have a polished, operatic or legitimate voice. Mabel should be attractive and a reasonable actress, but doesn't need to be an accomplished actress. She's the female star of the show, and the character who takes the biggest risk. Vocal range: G3-G5 Major-General Stanley Major-General Stanely is one of the signature character types in any Gilbert and Sullivan show. For Pirates the Major-General is the character who delivers the rapid fire patter song. An excellent part for a young performer who may not have great pitch, but has great rhythm. Cast that kid who listens to hip-hop and rap; they'll be a natural as the Major-General. Personality is primary in this part; acting, singing, and dancing are a definite second thought. Vocal range: A3-Eb5 Sergeant The Sergeant of Police should be a good singer and a great dancer. Don't hesitate to cast a girl in this role; simply slap on a handlebar moustache and you'll be good to go! Think "Key Stone Cops" as your inspiration. Vocal range: C4-E5 Police Chorus For this chorus, you can cast your best dancers and singers and mix boys and girls, or just girls if that's your best option. The police are traditionally portrayed as "Key Stone Cops"; so performers who are physically adept will be a great addition to your show. Vocal range: E3-F#5 Daughter Chorus These are the wards of Major General Stanley and can range in type and talent as broadly as required. Consider casting Daughters who are accomplished dancers and letting them take the lead in the dances. Cast singing Daughters to lead the singing; throw in some kids who can neither sing nor dance but are great character actresses and encourage them to be funny. Mix it up and your Daughter chorus will be an outstanding addition to your Pirates company. Vocal range: F3-G5 Pirate Chorus If you didn't read the Daughter chorus description, do so now. Everything that applies to casting the Daughters, applies to the Pirates. Don't hesitate to mix boys and girls as Pirates. (In fact sometimes girls make the best pirates!) You can have your chorus of Police play Pirates in the early numbers to give everyone more to do. Vocal range: Bb3-F#5
Disney's Aristocats KIDS - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Al Rinker and Floyd Huddleston, Terry Gilkyson Music Adapted and Arranged and Additional music and Lyrics by Bryan Louiselle Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by Michael Bernard Based on the 1970 Disney film "The Aristocats" Overview / Synopsis Madame's jealous butler, Edgar, cat-naps Duchess and her kittens and abandons them in the Parisian countryside. What's a cat to do? Luckily, Thomas O'Malley and his rag-tag bunch of Alley Cats come to their rescue! With a beloved Disney score, the feline adventure in The Aristocats KIDS is sure to get your audiences tapping their feet to its hip, jazzy beat. Audio Sampler - HL08746857 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09970776 $445.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Student Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Script Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD Choreography DVD 30 Family Matters Booklets 30-Minute KIDS Request Individual Components 09970777 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09970783 - Director's Script $50.00 09970778 - Actor's Script $10.00 09970795 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 09970790 - Rehearsal/Accompaniment CDs $75.00 09970792 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09970791 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 09970993 - Student Rehearsal CD 20 Pak $100.00 08746857 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Prologue / The Aristocats [Alley Cats, Scat Cat, Duchess, Toulouse, Marie, Berlioz, Aristocats, Madame, All, Edgar] Scales and Arpeggios [Kittens, Aristocats, Duchess, Edgar, Roquefort] 'Night, Kittens [Edgar] Use Your Nose [Napoleon, Dogs] O'Malley Enters [O'Malley] Thomas O'Malley Cats [Groups, All, O'Malley, Alley Cats, Duchess] The Gabble Girls [Amelia, Abigail, O'Malley, Aristocats] Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat [Scat Cat, O'Malley, Wacky, Hep, Mad, Slick, Berlioz, Alley Cats, Toulouse, Marie, All] Back Home [Alley Cats] Cat Wash [Edgar] Roquefort to the Rescue [Roquefort, Aristocats] Somebody is Looking for a Cat [Alley Cats, Roquefort] Use Your Nose (Reprise) [Dogs] The Gabble Girls (Reprise) [Amelia, Abigail] The Butler Did It! / Finale [Aristocats, Edgar, Abigail, Amelia, Napoleon, Animals, Cats, Roquefort, Dogs, Geese] Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat (Reprise) [All, Audience] Thomas O'Malley Thomas O'Malley, an alley cat, is the charming and charismatic lead alley cat. He lives as a free spirit with no attachments but secretly desires to be part of a family. This role requires a strong actor, singer, and mover. He should also be comfortable flirting with the actress playing Duchess. When auditioning, mix and match your O'Malley and Duchess hopefuls into different pairs and look for the best chemistry. The success of the show largely hinges on the energy of this leading cat so cast your strongest performer in this role. Duchess Duchess is the elegant and nurturing mother of the Aristokittens. This leading role requires small group singing, but no solos, so cast your strongest actor and mover, rather than singer. Look for a mature actress who is able to convey a maternal figure. Try to audition Duchess hopefuls with O'Malleys and Aristokittens to see who works best together. Edgar Edgar is the villainous butler of Madame. He's allergic to the pampered Aristocats and secretly hates tending to them. This leading part requires one of your strongest and most mature performers with excellent acting and singing skills. Cast an actor who can portray a believable sneeze, possesses excellent comedic timing, and is unafraid to be mean. Toulouse and Berlioz Toulouse and Berlioz are Duchess's sons. Since these Aristokittens are in the majority of the scenes but require little solo singing, cast two of your stronger actors who can sing well. Toulouse yearns to be seen as tougher than he is and has a small singing solo, so cast accordingly. Berlioz a slightly smaller part than Toulouse and requires no solo singing. If possible, the Aristokittens should be physically smaller than Duchess. Marie Marie is the spirited and sassy daugher of Duchess. She is the youngest child and a charmer just like her mother. Since she's in the majority of the show and has a small singing solo, cast a stronger actor rather than singer. When auditioning, mix and match Aristokitten hopefuls into different trios to see who works best together. Roqueforts Roqueforts is the naive yet ultimately brave house mouse who overcomes his fears and saves the Aristokittens from Edgar. This role requires a strong singer and character actor who can believably play innocent and frightened. If possible, cast someone physically smaller than the Alley Cats to in order emphasize his vulnerability when confronting them. Roquefort can be played by either a girl or a boy. Madame Madame is the eccentric and kind human owner of the Aristocats who loves her pets more than anything else in the world. This small character role requires a good actor who possesses the maturity to play a maternal role. She should also be capable of delivering a short singing solo. Since Madame only appears at the beginning and end of the show, consider double casting her as an Alley Cat for the country section of the show. General Napoleon and Private Lafayette General Napoleon and Private Lafayette are two country dogs in a comedic power struggle throughout the show. Napoleon is the power-hungry leader and Lafayette the not-so-subservient private. These roles do not require solo singing, so cast based on acting and the ability to move like a dog. Since this comic duo feeds off of each other, cast actors who can work well together. If you have a small cast, consider double casting them as Alley Cats in the opening number and for "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat." Napoleon and Lafayette can be played by either girls or boys. Vichy and Ssoise Vichy and Ssoise are two privates in the dog army who report to General Napoleon. These are smaller acting roles that require good movers and solid singing voices appropriate for small group singing. If you have a small cast, consider double casting them as Alley Cats in the opening number and for "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat." Amelia and Abigail Amelia and Abigail are the two bold geese sisters who rescue O'Malley from the river and lead the way out of the country back to Paris. These comedic characters sing a duet (but no solos), so cast solid singers and actors. It's also important for Amelia and Abby to be able to move convincingly as geese. If you have a small cast, consider double casting them as Alley Cats in the opening number and for "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat." Scat Cat Scat Cat is the jazzy leader of the Alley Cat narrators. He or she is ultra hip and enjoys introducing the Aristocats to jazz music. Scat Cat leads the song "Ev'rybody Want to Be a Cat" so cast a strong singer and smooth mover. When auditioning, look for a child that's willing to go over-the-top on both movement and acting improvisations. The more creative and able to perform outside the box, the better. Scat Cat can be played by either a girl or a boy. The Alley Cats The Alley Cats - Hep, Mad, Slick and Wacky although small acting parts, are the glue that holds The Aristocats KIDS together. These storytellers set up and comment on the action as well as execute the scene changes. These roles require actors with strong speaking voices who can focus onstage for long periods of time. They should also have good memories for the more complicated blocking of scene changes and transitions. Casting extra Alley Cats is a great way to use additional children you may have. Depending upon ability, they can take part in all or only some of the production numbers which call for the Alley Cats. Use some strong singers in these roles to help fill out the sound of the chorus.
Disney's The Lion King KIDS - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music and Lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice Additional Music and Lyrics by Lebo M and Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor Overview / Synopsis Disney's The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world, and now-for the first time ever-you have the opportunity to produce this one-of-a-kind musical. The Lion King Experience is an immersive, project-based exploration of theater-making. This easy-to-use program has been developed to give you all the tools you need to introduce theater in the classroom and to produce your very own production of The Lion King. In addition to a performance license to produce The Lion King KIDS, a 30-minute adaptation created especially for the strengths and skill levels of elementary school students, The Lion King Experience includes a ShowKit® of materials to help bring your production to life and a rigorous 11-session curriculum that explores the fundamentals of theater-making. Audio Sampler - HL00137559 $10.00 ShowKit - 00137549 $645.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts 1 Director's Guide Director's Script 2-Performance CD/2-Accompaniment CD 1-Choreography DVD 1-Demonstration DVD 1-Resource CD 1 Piano/Vocal Score 3 pack of Djembe 1 Experience Binder Includes Activities and Sessions for the Kids 30 Family Matters Booklets 30-Minute KIDS Request Individual Components 00137550 - Director's Guide $100.00 00137551 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00137552 - Actor's Script $10.00 00137553 - Actor's Script 10 Pak $75.00 00137554 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $75.00 00137555 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00137556 - Student Rehearsal CDs (20-Pak) $100.00 00137557 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00137558 - Resources Disc $10.00 00137560 - Experience Binder $100.00 00137877 - Demonstration DVD $50.00 00137559 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample One By One Circle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama I Just Can't Wait To Be King Be Prepared Hakuna Matata (Part 1) Hakuna Matata (Part 2) Can You Feel The Love Tonight He Lives In You Luau Hawaiian Treat Cast Size Medium (11-20), Large (over 20), Flexible Cast Type Children in Cast, Ensemble Cast - Many featured roles, Strong/Large Chorus, Teenage Roles Dance Requirement None/minimal, Standard (Musical Staging/Some Dance/Optional) Banzai Banzai A slick yet childish hyena who works for Scar. He would be the leader of the group if hyenas weren't so lazy. Look for an outgoing and confident actor who can portray nastiness and gruffness. As Banzai is always featured with Shenzi and Ed, consider auditioning the hyenas in trios. Gender: Male, Any Age Ed Ed The third member of Scar's trio of lackeys. He has a loud, cackling laugh that is his only form of communication. Ed should be played by an actor who can laugh unabashedly and communicate through physicality and facial expressions rather than words. This role can be played by a boy or girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Hyenas Hyenas Scar's army, helping carry out his evil plot to take over the Pridelands. Hyenas are mangy, mindless creatures who sing in "Be Prepared." Cast actors who are able to sing the background parts of that song while playing the loud and raucous characters. Your hyenas can double as animals of the Pridelands or lionesses. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Mufasa Mufasa The strong, honorable, and wise lion who leads the Pridelands. Mufasa should command respect onstage and also show tenderness with his son, Simba. Cast a mature actor who can convincingly portray the king. Gender: Male, Any Age Nala Nala Grows from a cub to a lioness before she confronts Scar, so cast a more mature actress. As with Young Simba and older Simba, ensure that this switch in actors performing a single role is clear. Direct the actors to share a mask or costume piece that distinctly represents Nala. Gender: Female, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - Bb4 Pumbaa Pumbaa A kindhearted, sensitive warthog who enjoys his simple life of grubs and relaxation. Cast a boy or girl who can portray this loveable and loyal friend to Timon and Simba with deadpan humor. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: B3 - E5 Rafiki (1-5) Rafiki (1-5) A wise madrill who acts as healer of the Pridelands and guides Simba on his journey home. The Rafiki narrators - five aspects of one character - are the five leading villagers who become the story's narrators. They are key to the storytelling, and should be played by confident performers who are able to enunciate and project, so look for strong singers, as together they sing sections of "He Lives in You" and "Cricle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama." There is an air of mystery to Rafiki, who seemingly knows all, so be sure to cast actors who can command the stage as a cohesive unit. Though written to feature five narrators, the script can be adapted to incorporate more students (or fewer) depending upon your cast size. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - Bb4 Sarabi Sarabi A featured lioness, Mufasa's mate, and Simba's mother. She has a few speaking lines and provides an opportunity for an actor who can be maternal to Simba and leader of the lionesses. Gender: Female, Any Age Scar Scar The antagonist of the show, overcome with jealousy of his brother, Mufasa, and nephew, Simba. Coldhearted and wickedly intelligent, he will stop at nothing to become king of the Pridelands. Cast a mature performer who can bring out this villain's dark side while handling Scar's sarcastic sense of humor. As his solos can be spoken, opt for an actor over a singer. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: B3 - B4 Shenzi Shenzi One of Scar's hyenas who plot to take over the Pridelands. She is the sassy one of the trio and is always looking out for herself. With Banzai and Ed, she should be able to laugh loudly and long, as well as be menacing to Young Simba and Young Nala. Female, Any Age Simba Simba Grows from a cub to lion in "Hakuna Matata." Older Simba has more complex moments as he reunites with Nala, mourns his father, and returns to confront Scar, so cast a more mature actor. Be sure that the change in actors is clear: Try having Young Simba hand-off a costume piece, such as a medallion, to older Simba. Also be sure that Simba and Young Simba share a movement vocabulary. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - C#5 Timon Timon An outcast meerkat who lives in the jungle with Pumbaa. He is afraid of his own shadow, but pretends to be the confident, relaxed leader of the duo. Timon is one of the funniest characters in the show and should be played by a charismatic actor who understands comic timing. This part can be played by a boy or a girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age Vocal Range: Bb3 - D5 Villagers Villagers Your entire cast will portray villagers, with central characters emerging from this essential group. Whether an actor transforms into a lioness, Simba, or Mufasa, this can be done by donning a costume piece, prop, or mask to transition from villager to character. Some villagers will play many roles in the story, from animals of the Pridelands (such as giraffes, elephants, lionesses, etc.) to hyenas to wildebeest (should you choose to stage the stampede with actors). Whenever not speaking as their assigned characters, cast members will return to their villager characters, sitting and watching the action unfold on the perimeter of the stage. Use this concept to suit the needs of your ensemble; multiple actors can play the same role throughout the show simply by passing on a key costume or prop piece. Young Nala Young Nala A courageous lion and Young Simba's best friend. She is not afraid to speak her mind. While Young Nala does sing a little, look for a strong female performer who can portray this confident cub. Gender: Female, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - A4 Young Simba Young Simba The protagonist of the story, is an adventurous and endearing cub who can't wait to be king of the Pridelands. Simba is playful, energetic, and naive, but after his father Mufasa's death, Simba struggles with shame and his destiny. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role. Gender: Male, Any Age Vocal Range: C4 - C#5 Zazu Zazu The anxious yet loyal assistant to Mufasa who is always busy trying to do his duty. Zazu's lyrics are spoken rather than sung, and the role can be played by a boy or girl. Gender: Male or Female, Any Age
Sister Act Jr. - Broadway Junior Menu LEARN MORE About Broadway Junior What Comes With the Showkit™? How to License a Broadway Junior Musical Order an Audio Sampler Frequently Asked Questions 60-Min.ute Musicals [JR.] 60-Minute Musicals Aladdin Jr. (Disney) Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Disney) Annie Jr. Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Disney) Bugsy Malone Jr. Children Of Eden Jr. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Dear Edwina Jr. Doctor Dolittle Jr. Elf The Musical Jr. Fame Jr. Fiddler on the Roof Jr. Finian's Rainbow Jr. Flat Stanley Jr. Frozen Jr. (Disney) A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. (Magic Tree House) Godspell Jr. Guys and Dolls Jr. Hairspray Jr. High School Musical Jr. (Disney) High School Musical 2 Jr. (Disney) Honk! Jr. Into the Woods Jr. James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Roald Dahl) Junie B. Jones Jr. Legally Blonde Jr. The Lion King Jr. (Disney) The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney) Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr. Mary Poppins Jr. (Disney/Cameron Mackintosh) Matilda Jr. (Roald Dahl) Moana Jr. (Disney) The Music Man Jr. My Son Pinocchio Jr. (Disney) Once on This Island Jr. Peter Pan Jr. (Broadway) The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. The Pirates of Penzance Jr. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Seussical Jr. Shrek Jr. Singin' In The Rain Jr. Sister Act Jr. Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Willy Wonka Jr. (Roald Dahl) Xanadu Jr. 30-Min.ute Musicals [KIDS] 30-Minute Musicals 101 Dalmatians KIDS (Disney) Aladdin KIDS (Disney) Annie KIDS Aristocats KIDS (Disney) Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS (Magic Tree House) Frozen KIDS (Disney) The Jungle Book KIDS (Disney) The Knight at Dawn KIDS (Magic Tree House) The Lion King KIDS (Disney) The Music Man KIDS Pirates Past Noon KIDS (Magic Tree House) Seussical KIDS Willy Wonka KIDS (Roald Dahl) Winnie the Pooh KIDS (Disney) A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS Product Information Musical Numbers Cast of Characters Credits Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Glenn Slater Book by Bill & Cheri Steinkellner Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane Overview / Synopsis It's Christmas Eve in 1977 Philadelphia, and Deloris is in the middle of a high- energy audition with her backup singers ("Take Me To Heaven (Nightclub)"). She and the girls are performing for Curtis, Deloris's boyfriend, and his thugs, Joey, TJ, Pablo, and Ernie. Despite praise from the thugs, Curtis doesn't believe Deloris and her singers are ready to perform in his club. After this rejection and a disappointing Christmas gift, Deloris decides that she deserves better, walking away from Curtis and his club with confidence ("Fabulous, Baby!"). However, Deloris is unwillingly drawn back in when she accidentally witnesses Curtis murdering Ernie for being a police informant. Curtis confronts her, but she flees. Deloris goes straight to the police station where Officer Eddie Souther takes an interest in what she has to say. Immediately recognizing the officer as "Sweaty Eddie," a boy who had a crush on her in high school, Deloris puts her faith in Eddie, trusting him to find her a place to hide from her dangerous boyfriend. Eddie thinks of "the perfect place," Queen of Angels Cathedral in South Philadelphia. Mother Superior hesitates to take in the "wayward woman" Monsignor O'Hara describes, but upon his insistence, she agrees. Both Deloris and Mother Superior are shocked when they discover Deloris will be hiding there for a month. Mother Superior is especially distressed to discover that Deloris is not religious. She describes Deloris's new environment to her, handing her a nun's habit to wear ("Here Within These Walls"). Mother Superior introduces Deloris to the nuns, referring to her as Sister Mary Clarence "from a more progressive order." The nuns say a prayer and begin to eat dinner, but when Deloris complains about the food, Mother Superior proposes a fast. While Deloris complains, the nuns enthusiastically share all the reasons why they love being nuns ("It's Good To Be A Nun"). Mother Superior and Deloris are left alone, and Mother Superior has a proposition: would Deloris like to join the choir? The singer quickly says she will. The next morning, Deloris arrives at choir practice and is immediately shocked at how terrible the choir sounds. The nuns, however, are amazed at Deloris's musical talent. Taking the musical baton from choir leader Mary Lazarus, Deloris reminds the nuns that they are "rejoicing" and "singing to the Lord." She encourages the nuns to sing louder, to sing on key, and to blend with each other. By the end of the rehearsal, the choir sounds incredible ("Raise Your Voice"). The choir continues to impress at the next church service, where they draw crowds the church hasn't had for a long time ("Take Me To Heaven (Nun Choir Version)"). But not everyone is impressed by the choir's new sound - Mother Superior calls Eddie to the church, asking him to take Deloris away. Eddie relays this command to Deloris, who is frustrated and concerned that Curtis will find her. She is disappointed with Eddie, and Eddie wishes desperately that he could be her knight in shining armor ("I Could Be That Guy"). Deloris approaches Mother Superior about the choir, trying to get her to understand their performances could be beneficial to the church. Mother Superior disagrees... until Monsignor O'Hara reports that the church is receiving a large number of donations. Mother Superior agrees to keep Deloris in the choir, and the next church service is even more energetic than the previous one ("Sunday Morning Fever - Part 2"). Positive publicity flows in, and the choir is even invited to perform for the pope! The nuns are ecstatic. However, all the publicity has a price - Curtis and his thugs recognize Deloris on TV. They hatch a plot to get into the convent and steal her away ("Lady In The Long Black Dress"). Right before their performance for the pope, the nuns nervously gather in Deloris's room. They ask her to lead them in a blessing, and she does ("Bless Our Show"). Suddenly, Mother Superior bursts into the room, telling Deloris she is in danger and must leave. The nuns are confused - who is Deloris? The musician reveals her true identity and the reason she has been staying in the convent. Though the nuns are shocked and saddened by the news, sweet young postulant Mary Robert approaches Deloris and asks to go with her. The young woman is beginning to doubt being a nun is her true calling ("The Life I Never Led"). Deloris tells her she can't make Mary Robert's decision for her; she must figure that out herself. Mary Robert leaves Deloris her rosary, and Deloris expresses her wish to stay with her sisters ("Sister Act"). The nuns are rehearsing for their performance for the pope when Deloris walks into the room. She has chosen to perform with them, and the nuns are overjoyed. But their joy is quickly interrupted when they hear the sound of a window breaking. Curtis has come for Deloris! The nuns scatter, attempting to hide their sister. After a few minutes of antics, Curtis corners Mary Robert, and Deloris steps in to protect her. With her sisters behind her and Curtis coming for her, Deloris kneels and prays ("Sister Act (Reprise)"). Curtis crosses to Deloris, ready to strike, when Eddie jumps out from the middle of the nuns, surprising the thug. The cops handcuff Curtis and take him away, and Deloris rewards Eddie with a kiss. Mother Superior asks if Deloris will come back to the church to visit, and Deloris says she will be back often to sing. The sisters end the show with a rousing performance for the pope ("Spread The Love Around"). Audio Sampler - HL00294768 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00294771 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Scripts Piano/Vocal Score Director's Script Performance/Accompaniment & Guide Vocal Audio (Digital Only) Choreography Videos (Digital Only) Downloadable Media Resources (Digital Only) Digital Delivery Update Now you can receive digital access to many of the ShowKit components you know and love. Look forward to easily distributing these crucial components to your cast and creative team: Performance Accompaniment Tracks and Guide Vocal Tracks (Formerly Accompaniment CD & Rehearsal CD, respectively) will now be delivered together as a digital download and easily shared with your entire team, cast, and crew Choreography Videos (formerly the Choreography DVD) will be available to stream directly from mtishows.com. Now not only your choreographer but the entire cast will have access to fantastic step-by-step instruction for every Broadway Junior title! Downloadable Resources (formerly the Resources (or Media) Disc), including Audition Materials, a customizable press release, program and other helpful templates, and more can all be accessed with a click of a button 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00294756 - Director's Guide $100.00 00294757 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00294758 - Actor's Script $10.00 00294759 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00294768 - Audio Sampler $10.00 MUSICAL NUMBERS TAKE ME TO HEAVEN (NIGHTCLUB) FABULOUS, BABY! THE PERFECT PLACE HERE WITHIN THESE WALLS IT'S GOOD TO BE A NUN RAISE YOUR VOICE TAKE ME TO HEAVEN (NUN CHOIR VERSION) I COULD BE THAT GUY SUNDAY MORNING FEVER TAKE ME TO HEAVEN (NEWSCAST) LADY IN THE LONG BLACK DRESS BLESS OUR SHOW THE LIFE I NEVER LED SISTER ACT SISTER ACT (REPRISE) SPREAD THE LOVE AROUND Deloris Van Cartier A strong, street- wise aspiring singer who gets caught up with the wrong crowd. When she witnesses a crime involving her ex-boyfriend, she is put in witness protection - as a nun! Deloris is reluctant at first, but the more time she spends at the convent, the more she realizes that time with the sisters is exactly what she needed. Cast a great actress and wonderful singer in this powerhouse role. Tina One of Deloris's backup singers. These featured roles are perfect for enthusiastic performers who may not be quite ready to take on a larger role. Cast solid, good singers who are comfortable with speaking lines in this fun girl group! (And feel free to add these actors to your nun ensemble later in the show.) Nina One of Deloris's backup singers. These featured roles are perfect for enthusiastic performers who may not be quite ready to take on a larger role. Cast solid, good singers who are comfortable with speaking lines in this fun girl group! (And feel free to add these actors to your nun ensemble later in the show.) Elle One of Deloris's backup singers. These featured roles are perfect for enthusiastic performers who may not be quite ready to take on a larger role. Cast solid, good singers who are comfortable with speaking lines in this fun girl group! (And feel free to add these actors to your nun ensemble later in the show.) Michelle One of Deloris's backup singers. These featured roles are perfect for enthusiastic performers who may not be quite ready to take on a larger role. Cast solid, good singers who are comfortable with speaking lines in this fun girl group! (And feel free to add these actors to your nun ensemble later in the show.) Curtis Jackson To put it frankly, a complete jerk. He's not only mean and dishonest, he's also dangerous - and he's got Deloris on his radar. Curtis does not sing a solo, so cast a fantastic actor in this role who can make the most out of playing the bad guy. Joey The wise guy of Curtis's group. He's an upbeat charmer who is always ready with a joke - even though he's one of Curtis's criminals. Cast a charismatic, funny actor with a great singing voice in this role. TJ Not the brightest bulb in the bunch, and the audience is meant to have a few laughs at his expense. Cast a solid comedic actor who has great chemistry onstage with Joey and Pablo. Pablo The strong, silent type who definitely leans into his role as the muscle of the group. He has a few lines and sings some, but most importantly, he should make a great third member of the trio with Joey and TJ. Ernie One of Curtis's thugs and, unfortunately, takes the fall for being a police informant. This is a featured role for a good actor! Feel free to double Ernie as an Altar Boy or the Monsignor O'Hara later in the show if your program is short on male actors - just make sure that the audience won't confuse the characters if they are played by the same person. Cop The first person to talk to Deloris about Ernie's murder. This is a featured role for a performer who may be new to the stage. Eddie Souther The quintessential good guy with a heart of gold. Though Eddie was overlooked by Deloris in high school, he never quite got over his crush on her, which results in a few awkwardly endearing moments throughout the show. Cast an excellent actor, singer, and dancer who can portray this hardworking, sweet, dependable cop. Mother Superior Devoted leader of the convent. Her church and her sisters come before all else - and she's not afraid to voice her opinion. Mother Superior means well and eventually comes around regarding Deloris. Mother Superior is a major role, so look for an excellent singer and actress who can portray this strong, independent woman. Monsignor O'Hara The charming spiritual leader of the Queen of Angels Cathedral. His bottom line is to save their church, and he will do anything to support the bottom line - including forcing Mother Superior to house Deloris. Monsignor O'Hara should have a good stage presence and a sense of comic timing. He does not sing a solo in the show, so cast an actor with charisma who can take over the stage! Mary Patrick A nun in the convent. She is an upbeat, over-the-top, enthusiastic person who is always looking on the bright side. She has a number of solos within songs, so cast a good singer and actor in this fun role. Mary Robert A postulant and the youngest of the abbey's inhabitants. Shy, soft- spoken, and a bit of a wallflower, she enjoys being a nun, but her friendship with Deloris lets her truly find her voice. Cast a powerhouse singer and a great actor in this role. Mary Lazarus One of the older nuns at the convent, and she leads the choir. She is rather deadpan and not particularly welcoming to Deloris at first, though Deloris's love of music eventually wins her over. Cast a great character actor with a sense of comic timing who is comfortable with character singing. Mary Martin-Of-Tours A nun who definitely exists in her own world, so cast a good actor in this role that can make strong character choices. This nun has some wonderful stand-out moments, which include delivering an excellent karate chop, but she does not sing a solo, so cast someone who is a stronger actor than singer for this memorable role. Mary Celeste Mary Celeste and Mary Irene are the convent's cooks. They have a few featured solos, so cast confident singers in these roles. Mary Irene Mary Celeste and Mary Irene are the convent's cooks. They have a few featured solos, so cast confident singers in these roles. Mary Stephen A nun in the convent with a fantastic singing voice. She's supportive of Deloris's music from the start. Cast a great singer. Mary Theresa The oldest nun in the convent. She has a few featured lines and a small solo. This role is a great opportunity for someone new to the stage, so cast a good actor in this role who is comfortable singing in a group. Nuns The Nuns (including Nun 1, Nun 2, and Nun 3) help fill out of the world of the convent. Nun 1, Nun 2, and Nun 3 have featured solos, so be sure to cast actors in these roles that are ready for their moment in the spotlight. Ensemble Roles include: additional Nuns, Altar Boys, Street People, Angry Street Person, and Members of the Congregation
20th Century French Art Songs Hal Leonard Online - French Art Songs 20th CENTURY FRENCH ART SONGS Mélodies française du XXe siècle Edited by Carol Kimball Published by Éditions Durand DF 16250/HL 50565798 High Voice edition DF 16251/HL 50565799 Medium/Low Voice edition Distributed in Europe and Asia by Hal Leonard MGB Distributed in North and South America by Hal Leonard Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Hal Leonard Australia Download & Print Introductory Notes Complete Online Introductory Notes, Unabridged copyright © 2015 Editions Durand An abridged version of editor Carol Kimball’s “Introduction” appears in the High Voice and Medium/Low Voice publications. Her complete length “Introduction” appears below. See the publications for the poetry texts in French and translations in English. GEORGES AURIC CLAUDE DEBUSSY HENRI DUTILLEUX GABRIEL FAURÉ REYNALDO HAHN ARTHUR HONEGGER JACQUES LEGUERNEY OLIVIER MESSIAEN DARIUS MILHAUD FRANCIS POULENC MAURICE RAVEL ALBERT ROUSSEL ERIK SATIE DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983) George Auric was something of a child prodigy, performing a piano recital at the Musicale Indépendante at the age of fourteen. The following year, the Société Nationale de Musique performed several songs he had composed. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and later with Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. Before he was twenty, Auric had orchestrated and written incidental music for several stage productions and ballets. He composed a significant amount of avant-garde music during the years between 1910-20. Around 1914, he widened his acquaintances to include members of Les Six, a group of composers informally associated with Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, and became a part of their group. Auric and Francis Poulenc became fast friends and remained so for life. Music criticism was an important part of Auric’s career; his writing focused on promoting the ideals of Les Six and Cocteau. He was also especially known for his film scores, which are consistently imaginative. He forged a major career in the English movies of the 1940s and ’50s. Among his most well-known scores is the music for the film Moulin Rouge. Other popular film titles with scores by Auric include The Lavender Hill Mob, Roman Holiday, Beauty and the Beast, and Bonjour Tristesse. In 1962 he became the director of the Opéra National de Paris and later, chairman of SACEM, the French Performing Rights Society. Auric continued to write classical chamber music until his death. Le Jeune sanguine (1940) from Trois Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin poem by Louise de Vilmorin (1902-1969) This mélodie is the second song in Auric’s cycle titled Trois poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin. Vilmorin’s poetry reverberates with sensitivity to affairs of the heart. She was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets; he set her poetry when writing specifically for the female voice, such as in Fiançailles pour rire. A sort of veiled humor is at the heart of this text that describes a young hussy whose lover departs early with the dawn’s first light, leaving her weeping disconsolately. Auric provides a prelude and postlude for formal balance as the miserable young woman mourns her loss. He also inserts several unexpected and amusing measures of a tango as the young man arches his back and leaves the sound of her sobbing. For his three Vilmorin songs, Auric used the style of a chansonette, or more popular song. Printemps (1935) Poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Auric composed this lilting waltz song for a play by Edouard Bourdet titled La Reine Margot (1935). The celebrated musical theatre actress-singer Yvonne Printemps created the role of Queen Margot of Navarre at Théâtre de la Michodière. Auric and Francis Poulenc collaborated on the incidental music for this play; Poulenc took the second act, Auric the first. Poulenc composed the Suite française and the song “A sa guitare”; Auric’s contribution was “Printemps.” Yvonne Printemps sang both songs in the play. Both composers used texts by Pierre de Ronsard, and the musical style of each is reminiscent of the Renaissance. Ronsard’s original poem had twenty-three stanzas. Auric set only the first three. BACK TO TOP CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Claude Debussy wrote expertly for the voice and was acutely responsive to transforming poetic nuance into musical expression. Possibly no other French composer was as attuned to blending poetry and music. His literary taste was highly refined and he maintained a visible and active role in the literary and artistic circles of his time. He chose to set poetry of his contemporaries, notably Verlaine and Mallarmé. Verlaine’s verse with its inherent musical qualities, provided Debussy with poetry for numerous works. For Debussy, poetry as poetry was the paramount determinant of the musical texture. His ability to detect the essence of a poem and perfectly transform it into musical expression makes his mélodies unique in the history of French song. Le promenoir des deux amants (1904, 1910) poems by Tristan l’Hermite (c. 1601-1656) “Auprès de cette grotte sombre,” the first song, made its first appearance with the title “La Grotte,” song two of Trois chansons de France of 1904. In 1910, it was retitled and combined with two other poems by Tristan l’Hermite (“Crois mon conseil, chère Climène” and “Je tremble en voyant ton visage”) to form the miniature cycle Le Promenoir de deux amants, which has been called the finest of all Debussy’s works for voice and piano. It is also the least-often performed. Debussy chose the texts from Les Amours de Tristan, a collection by the seventeenth-century poet Tristan l’Hermite. The poems are set close to a grotto, secluded and silent. The transparent, barely stirring waters mingle with the silence of the cloistered spot, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Debussy establishes an intimate, tender mood immediately and maintains this fragile mix of sound and color throughout the three mélodies. The interplay of resonance and texture in voice and piano results in an exquisite blend of light and shade, perfectly complementing l’Hermite’s poetic images. Subtly inflected vocal phrases are key to recreating the infinite calm and Pelléas-like atmosphere of the poetry, a perfect fusion of stillness and sensuality. Fêtes galantes II (1904) poems by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Debussy’s fascination with the work of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine resulted in his setting to music no fewer than seventeen of Verlaine’s texts. He composed two sets of three songs each, both titled Fêtes galantes, the first in 1892, and the second in 1904. Fêtes galantes II, Debussy’s last setting of Verlaine, closely following the composition of his opera Pélleas et Mélisande, is representative of the composer’s mature vocal works. It is marked by sparser textures, freer tonalities and a more concentrated compositional style than the first set; but like the first set, Fêtes galantes II presents three unrelated songs. None of the Watteau-like scenes are found here; rather, these three poems are filled with mystery, and are without sentimentality. The theme of time appears in each of the poems: the first, sentimental youthful remembrances; the second, inexorable fleeting time; and finally in the last song, time never to be reclaimed. “Les Ingénus” recalls the first awakenings of sexual attraction, and deals with the breathless awe with which a group of unsophisticated young men of the mid-nineteenth century view their similarly naïve female companions. The scene unfolds in a highly chromatic texture, skillfully balanced to preserve the delicate, poignant images in Verlaine’s verse. Debussy’s free-floating harmonies are carefully contrived to complement the uncertain emotions and repressed sensations of the youths in the poem. “Le Faune” begins with a prelude; time unravels in an inflexible dance featuring a rhythmic, hypnotic figure in the piano, imaging the traditional reed pipe and “tambourin,” a small drum played with a stick. The old terra-cotta statue in Verlaine’s poem is probably the woodland god Pan, playing a monotonous rhythm that is both sensual and slightly menacing, matching the mood of the two mélancolique pélerins. Mesmerized by the repetitive rhythms of drum and reed flute, the dejected travelers are caught in the whirlpool of passing time, which spins past as they watch helplessly. “Colloque sentimental.” Colloquial (colloque) refers to ordinary speech or conversation. This disturbing poem is the touchstone of one of Debussy’s great mélodies. It is the last poem in Verlaine’s collection titled Fêtes galantes, and provides a chilling climax. It blends themes of despair, death and disillusion. In this extraordinary song, the ghosts of two lovers meet in a wintry park. As they speak of their former love, their words match the setting: glacial and detached from feeling. Throughout the song their wintry words are enhanced by Debussy’s simple and subtle vocal treatment: one voice urgent and persistent, the other stonily indifferent. Debussy’s manipulation of musical texture between voice and piano is masterful. The sparse vocal lines are almost speech-like, and the piano figures mirror the frozen landscape in which this conversation–equally cold–takes place. The song’s kinship to Debussy’s opera Pélleas et Mélisande is unmistakable. The listener becomes one with the poem’s narrator, straining to see and hear the couple’s conversation in the icy cold of the deserted, frozen park. Debussy reaches back to “En sourdine” (the first mélodie of Fêtes galantes I), takes the wistful song of the nightingale, and inserts it into this song at various points. The nightingale’s melody (“voix de nôtre dessespoir, le rossignol chantera”) provides a touching and melancholy association, linking the two sets of Fêtes galantes together symbolically and musically, foreshadowing the disenchantment of love hinted at in “En sourdine” with the lovers’ conversation in “Colloque sentimental,” and unifying the two sets by a subtle musical component. This panel of three mélodies was Debussy’s last setting of the poetry of Paul Verlaine. Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons (1915) poem by the composer This is Debussy’s last song, written to his own text, a Christmas carol for children made homeless by World War I. Its intensity comes from its simple sincerity. Debussy composed it on the eve of his first operation for the cancer that would end his life two years later. It was his personal protest against the invasion of northern France by the German armies. When asked for permission to orchestrate the song, Debussy refused, saying, “I want this piece to be sung with the most discreet accompaniment. Not a word of the text must be lost, inspired as it is by the rapacity of our enemies. It is the only way I have to fight the war.” Originally composed in 1915 for piano and voice, Debussy also created a version for children’s chorus, and in 1916, a version for piano and two sopranos. BACK TO TOP HENRI DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Henri Dutilleux studied at the Paris Conservatory with Maurice Emmanuel. He received the Prix de Rome in 1938 at age twenty-two, and went on to work at the Paris Opéra and the French Radio. France’s musical institutions defined his career: in 1961, he joined the faculty at the école Normale de Musique, teaching composition. In 1970, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. He destroyed many of his early works, considering them derivative of Ravel, the preeminent composer in France during his youth. His music that had been published avoided demolition. After World War II, Dutilleux concentrated almost exclusively on instrumental and orchestral music, much of which has been widely programmed and recorded. His songs are not well known. In the chronological catalogue of his compositions, beginning in 1929, the Quatre mélodies for mezzo soprano or baritone is only the eleventh entry. It also exists in an orchestral version. The collection is dedicated to the French baritone Charles Panzéra and his wife, pianist Magdeleine Panzéra-Baillot, prominent interpreters of French song in the interwar years. Gabriel Fauré dedicated his last cycle, L’horizon chimérique, to Panzéra. Quatre mélodies (1942) uses poems by four different poets and presents a delightful collection of moods, although it must be admitted that the level of the poetry is not uniformly high: “Féérie au clair de lune” (poem by Raymond Genty), a graceful scherzo of dancing fairies that evokes Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “Pour une amie perdue” (Edmond Borsent); “Regards sur l’infini” (Anna de Noailles); and “Fantasio” (André Bellessort). The last mélodie is the most successful of the set and is one of two songs from the set (the other being “Pour une amie perdue”) that Dutilleux acknowledged. He wanted to exclude the first and third songs because their poetry was relatively mediocre. Fantasio (1942) from Quatre Mélodies poem by André Bellessort (1866-1942) “Fantasio” (the original title of Bellessort’s poem is “Les funérailles de Fantasio”) is a colorful poem that chronicles the funeral of the titled character, who has expired before the text begins. The poem, set in Venice during Carnival, is full of glittering and compelling imagery that changes quickly, following the pace of the Carnival. Musical textures are skillfully handled and exhibit some of Dutilleux’s developing style. “Pauvre Fantasio,” is heard several times during the text, acting as both a funereal chant that unifies the proceedings and perhaps as well, keeping the mourners’ footsteps marching together. BACK TO TOP GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924) Gabriel Fauré was one of the great composers of French song who, with Duparc and Debussy, perfected the mélodie as a true art song form. He composed about a hundred songs, all original in conception, constantly developing in style, and pointing the way to future works. His songs express a broad range of emotion and a great variety of musical textures, extending the musical parameters of the genre and inspiring new techniques of song compositions. His songs are often divided into three compositional periods for purposes of study and definition. Fauré has been characterized as a skillful watchmaker; with great precision his songs, which overflow with subtle nuances and delicate detail. His approach is in keeping with the French musical aesthetic: elegant and rational, dealing with sentiment rather than literal sensation. He was able to capture the entire poetic mood of each poem he set and to create an aura around it with his musical setting. Dans la fôret de septembre, Op. 85, No. 1 (1902) poem by Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) This touching poem symbolizes the onset of old age. Mendès was among the founders of a literary magazine, La Revue fantaisiste, which published many poems of the Parnassian poets. Fauré’s musical style perfectly suited this style of poetry: elegance of style, richness of rhyme, regularity and symmetry of rhythm. The Parnassians avoided the excessively romantic and aimed for “art-for-art’s sake.” Fauré was nearly sixty years old when he composed this mélodie, and his reaction to this poem is beautifully poignant. The words describe the poet’s reflective walk through a quiet, somber forest, capturing the chill of mortality and the overall mood of the turning point of life. The ancient forest, sensing a kindred spirit, provides the walker with a sign of friendship and understanding. Fauré set this contemplative poem in a rich harmonic musical texture with a vocal line that borders on quasi-recitative-like shapes. The solemn thoughts of old age call forth a melancholy, but it is a subtle melancholy. It is almost hymn-like in the fusion of words, emotions, and musical texture. This mélodie may be considered as marking the threshold to the final period of Fauré’s compositions. Accompagnement, Op. 85, No. 3 (1902) poem by Albert Victor Samain (1858-1900) This mélodie is a beautiful barcarolle–a nighttime scene, silvery and hazy, alluring but unreal. The image of the poet rowing on the lake is reflected in the musical texture. Fauré had a lifelong fascination with water imagery in music; this poem offers a little reel of unfolding pictures of a moonlight journey a dark lake. The words “dans le rêve” tell us that this is all a dream. This is a rarely sung Fauré mélodie that yields great rewards for the performer. Chanson, Op. 94 (1906) poem by Henri di Régnier (1864-1936) This poem has a gentle charm and a calm simplicity. It is the last of Fauré’s madrigals that include delicate love songs such as “Lydia,” and “Clair de lune.” It has a wonderful fluidity that is a perfect foil for the poetic images The text is a simple set of variations on one theme: nothing on earth has any meaning unless the beloved somehow touches it. Fauré’s reaction to the words called forth a musical setting of delicate transparency and limited range. It is not well known; like “Le Don silencieux,” “Chanson” was published as a single song and therefore not widely disseminated. It is an example of exquisitely planned musical economy, and definitely belongs in Fauré’s third period of musical compositions. Le Don silencieux, Op. 92 (1906) poem by Marie Closset (1875-1952), under the pseudonym Jean Dominique Here is another little known Fauré song, a rarity because it was published separately and was never included in any of the Fauré recueils. The poem has a gentle melancholy–the plea of a timid lover, a mixture of hope and imagined disappointment. The words are tender and flowing, but the overall mood is one of unrelieved sadness. This song marks the beginning of Fauré’s third compositional period, which includes the cycles La Chanson d’Eve, Le Jardin clos, Mirages, and L’Horizon chimérique. Writing of this mélodie in a letter to his wife, Fauré said, It does not in the least resemble any of my previous works, nor anything that I am aware of; I am very pleased about this...It translates the words gradually as they unfold themselves; it begins, opens out, and finishes, nothing more, nevertheless it is unified. 1 NOTES: Quoted in Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Guildhall School of Music and Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009), 291. Quotation from Jean-Michel Nectoux, Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life, trans. Roger Nichols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 304. This is a translation of Fauré’s letter to his wife of 17 August 1906. BACK TO TOP REYNALDO HAHN (1875-1947) Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan by birth, came to Paris with his family at age four and made a brilliant career. In addition to his career as a composer and singer, he was director of the Paris Opéra, music critic for the newspaper Figaro, and conductor of the Salzburg Festival. He was enough of a scholar to edit some of the works of Rameau. He maintained close friendships throughout his life with actress Sarah Bernhardt and writer Marcel Proust. During the Belle époque, French mélodie was at the height of its development. Hahn was a habitué of the most fashionable salons, where he was in demand as a performer. On these occasions, he usually sang and played his own accompaniment, often with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The art of singing was one of his major passions, and he wrote three books on singing (Du chant, Thèmes varies, and L’oreille au guet), as well as a memoir of Sarah Bernhardt. Hahn’s songs are models of French restraint–devoid of overt display, with beautiful melodies in a modest vocal range. They reflect the style of his teacher, Jules Massenet. Hahn composed approximately ninety-five works for solo voice: eighty-four mélodies, five English songs to texts of Robert Louis Stevenson, and six Italian songs in the Venetian dialect. After 1912, Hahn composed in larger forms: opera, operetta, and film music. Perhaps his most famous work is his operetta Ciboulette (1923), which is still performed. À Chloris (1916) poem by Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) “À Chloris” is No. 14 in Deuxième volume de vingt mélodies, the last major publication of Hahn’s songs during his lifetime. In many of his later songs, he turned to a deliberately archaic style. “À Chloris” features an elegant vocal line above a piano texture that features Baroque musical characteristics; it is its own piece, with ornamented melody and chaconne-like bass. Vocal line and piano piece are woven into a musical tapestry that is both declarative and intimate. Poet Théophile de Viau was considered one of the most influential libertin poets during Louis XIII’s reign. The libertins’ verses had a unique charm that is instantly appealing, but somewhat artificial. Despite this, de Viau’s love poetry is not bland, but full of suggestive passion and elegant wit. BACK TO TOP ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955) Arthur Honegger composed over forty mélodies for voice and piano. Taken as a whole, they are diverse and imaginative. For his texts, he favored contemporary poets such as Jean Cocteau, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, and Paul Fort. He also chose to set unrelated poems by a single poet, such as his Poesies (Cocteau) and Alcools (Apollinaire). Poetry with strong imagery appealed to the dramatist in his personality. For Honegger, as for most successful mélodie composers, the word provides the starting place. He is quoted as saying: For me, the music a song is always dependent upon the poetic model. It must join so closely with the poetry, that they become inseparable and one can picture the poem in wholly musical terms. This is not to say that the music becomes subservient. It must be so crafted that it can stand on its own merits, playable without the text, logical and complete. 1 Born of Swiss parents in Le Havre, France, Arthur Honegger initially studied for two years at the Zurich Conservatory, but enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire from 1911 to 1918, studying with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d’Indy. Some of his more familiar large vocal works include the dramatic psalm Le roi David (King David), composed in 1921 and still in the choral repertoire; and his dramatic oratorio of 1935, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the stake), with text by Paul Claudel, considered to be one of his finest works. Between the world wars, he composed nine ballets and three vocal stage works, among works in other genres. His total compositional catalog is an impressive list of music: orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballets, operas, operettas, and oratorios. Widely known as a train enthusiast, he was passionately interested in locomotives, to which he attributed almost human characteristics. His “mouvement symphonique,” Pacific 231, gained him early acclaim in 1923. Honegger’s musical style is a fascinating mixture of impressionistic effects peppered with penetrating dissonances. He had a fondness for mixing tonalities and using modality. His compositions for the voice display an eclectic focus of coloristic harmonies and architectural clarity. He was a member of Les Six, but unlike most of that group, did not share their overwhelming reaction against German romanticism. Honegger’s musical style is fuller and more serious than his colleagues. He and Darius Milhaud were close friends. Honegger’s generous body of song has proved of enduring interest to contemporary performers. His was a distinctive voice in the vocal music of the twentieth-century French mélodie. Trois Psaumes (1940-41) from the Huguenot Psalter Psaumes XXXIV and CXL translated by Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605) Psaume CXXXVIII translated by Clément Marot (1496-1544) The spirit of Bach shines in the first psaume, “Psalm 34,” in which a chant-like vocal line alternates with a gently moving episodic keyboard part. This call and response continues until the last three vocal phrases, when the vocal line merges with the instrumental texture in a psalm of praise. The second song is “Psalm 140,” “ô Dieu donne-moi la déliverance de cet homme pernicieux” (O God, deliver me from this evil man). Honegger’s biographer, Harry Halbreich, suggests that the “evil man” who was oppressing Europe in those last days of 1940 might be the reason for Honegger’s text choice. This piece was composed before the first and third songs. Its emotional mood peaks with the chorale tune “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” 2 The last song in the set, “Psalm 138,” has the Latin title “Confiteor tibi, Domine” (I thank thee, O Lord) and is a paraphrase by Clément Marot, one of the greatest of the French Renaissance poets. It contains a familiar chorale tune, which is used in canon between voice and piano. NOTES: Arthur Canter and Rachel Joselson, Liner notes, The Songs of Arthur Honegger and Jacques Leguerney. Rachel Joselson, Réne Lecuona , piano. Albany Records, TROY691, 2004. Harry Halbreich, trans. Roger Nichols, Arthur Honegger (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1999), 165. BACK TO TOP JACQUES LEGUERNEY (1906-1997) Most of Jacques Leguerney’s sixty-eight mélodies were composed and published from 1940 to 1964. Many were commissioned and premiered by French baritone Gérard Souzay, his sister, soprano Geneviève Touraine, and pianist Jacqueline Bonneau. Early songs are comparable in mood and style with Ravel or Roussel (who encouraged Leguerney’s composition); later songs have been compared to those of his contemporary, Poulenc. Leguerney writes virtuoso piano parts–often dramatic, and with such an individual sense of harmonic style and color that Pierre Bernac reportedly described them as “mélodies de pianist.” 1 When asked about Leguerney’s songs, Gérard Souzay wrote, “How does one describe this music which is, at the same time, classic and modern? It is pure, but colorfully nuanced; it speaks to the heart as well as the mind–at times calm at times witty–wise, yet sensual...” 2 Many of Leguerney’s songs deal with themes of love and nature, expressing a huge range of emotions from deeply felt meditation to wild, ribald humor. Leguerney stopped composing in 1964, and his songs became neglected. The quality of Leguerney’s text setting, lyrical beauty, and harmonic innovations all call for his songs to be better known and more widely performed. Jacques Leguerney was drawn to the work of Renaissance poets, notably Ronsard. There are eight collections titled Poèmes de la Pléaide, representing settings of sixteenth and seventeenth-century French poetry and totaling thirty-two songs. Additionally, there are cycles and other collections [for a complete listing of Leguerney’s songs, see Dibbern, Kimball, and Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney]. 3 They may be thought of as the last in the great mainstream of twentieth-century French song. La Caverne d’écho (1954) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 7 poem by Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant (1594-1661) Dedication: Josiane and Jean Cier. First performance: Bernard Kruysen, baritone; Jean-Charles Richard, pianist. 29 May 1965, Radio France Culture. Marc-Antoine Girard, sieur de Saint-Amant, wrote poetry of great descriptive power, and his use of language set him apart from the other seventeenth-century poets. He was also an adept musician and skillful lute player, writing verses that often describe musical sounds linked to visual images. The poem takes place in a dark cave, home of the nymph, Echo; it is a charmed place, absolutely still and peaceful. The poet’s lute resounds inside the cavern as he tries to soothe the inconsolable Echo, who mourns for her lover Narcissus. Leguerney creates the grotto’s mysterious resonance with bitonality. Piano figures illustrate the strumming of the lute. The text contains many sounds with the consonant “r.” The rolling quality of this speech sonority re-creates the cavern’s resonance. The closing measures of the mélodie produce a striking effect as the singer’s voice echoes eerily in the cavern, blending with the piano’s resonance and creating a remarkably realistic echo. À son page (1944) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 2 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Gérard Souzay. First performance: Gérard Souzay, baritone; Jacqueline Robin (Bonneau). 3 May 1945, Salle Gaveau, Paris. This is a lusty scene with four characters: a nobleman tipsy from drink, his page, and two women, Jeanne and Barbe. Carpe diem is the theme here. The singer philosophizes on this idea while enjoying his wine and the tender companionship of the two beautiful women. Leguerney evokes the crackling staccato of a stylized harpsichord with rhythmic accents in the piano. The text is brilliantly set with jagged vocal lines and driving rhythms that illustrate the singer’s intoxication. It ends with Leguerney’s repetition of the last poetic line and the addition of nonsense syllables which fit beautifully into the imagery and mood of Ronsard’s colorful characters. Je me lamente (1943) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 1 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Geneviève Touraine. First performance: Paul Derenne, tenor; Jeanne Blancard, pianist. 29 March 1944, Salle de l’Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris. This is one of Leguerney’s most beautiful songs, setting Pierre de Ronsard’s text from his collection of love poems for Marie Dupin, a country girl from a small village in southern France. She was half his age and probably represented the youth he constantly pursued. It has been suggested that the Marie in question was probably Marie de Clèves, passionately adored by Henri III. 4 Leguerney called this mélodie a constant crescendo from beginning to end. 5 Ronsard’s anguish is captured with a texture of stark chords, crowned by a regal and sustained vocal line. As the song progresses, the poet’s anguish is embodied in a more expansive texture, bidding Marie a happy resting place near God or in the Elysian fields. NOTES: Liner notes by Mary Dibbern. Mélodies sur poèmes de la Renaissance (Jacques Leguerney).Harmonia Mundi France. LP recording HMC 1171. Letter to the author. Quoted in Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun. Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001), 3. Ibid., 289-295. Ibid., 69. See note 20. Ibid., 70. BACK TO TOP OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Olivier Messiaen was born in 1908 in Avignon, France, into a literary family. He grew up around words and absorbed their shapes, colors and sounds naturally. His father, Pierre Messiaen, was a well-known translator of Shakespeare, and his mother, Cécile Sauvage, was a poet. As a youngster, before beginning to compose music, he had an especially perceptive ear attuned to the unique prosody of the French language. Early in his compositional career, he published a book titled Technique de mon langage musical (1944). About his musical setting of words, Jane Manning observes: ...the syllables themselves create a glittering mosaic of sonorities and subtle resonances, in addition to their actual meaning (many of the poems do not translate at all satisfactorily). The composer’s awareness of the minutiae of verbal enunciations and articulations is miraculous. Each vocal sound can be precisely placed as intended, all dynamics are scrupulously plotted, and the performer’s involvement and intimate connection to the music is enhanced by the sensual nature of words projection... 1 He often used stained glass to explain his music. When viewed from a distance, the myriad details blend into a single entity, whose purpose is to dazzle the listener. Understanding is not necessary, feeling is the prime requisite. The music of Olivier Messiaen is a skillfully designed and unique language, with meaning and form kept separate. Its meaning is unchangeable, harkening back to Gregorian chant, culminating in instruments that are able to prolong sound (organ, strings, or the ondes Martenot). Messiaen’s musical language is defined by its rhythms and tone colors. His uncanny instinct for associating sound with color produced works unique in their concept of the combination of sounds. He said that when he heard or read music, his mind’s eye saw colors that move with the music; he sensed these colors, and at times he precisely indicated their arrangements in his scores. His fascination with birdsong was lifelong; he referred to himself as an ornithologist and tracked birds and their songs all over the world. He considered their resonances as songs and not merely sounds. He notated these on manuscript paper and they found their way into his music. Trois mélodies (1930) poems by Olivier Messiaen, Cécile Sauvage (1883-1927) This little cycle of songs is Messiaen’s first recognized work for voice and piano. The songs are modest in length and not typical of Messiaen’s later style, but show influences of late Fauré and Duparc in the overall musical texture. There is only one song in his vocal compositions in which Messiaen set the poetry of another poet. It is found in this cycle, which uses the text of his mother, the poet Cécile Sauvage, who died three years before the composition of this work. The three movements form a warm and delicate little triptych. Two of Messiaen’s own poems stand on either side of the poem by Cécile Sauvage, throwing that charming little poem into high relief. “Pourquoi?” introduces a litany of the pleasures of nature: birdsong, the unfolding seasons, and water images. The poet becomes emotional, asking why all these bring him no joy. “La Sourire,” the shortest song of the set, is a beautiful microcosm of intimate and spiritual understanding between two people. It is a delicate example of musical economy and word setting in a quasi-recitative style. The last song, “La fiancée perdue,” offers fleeting hints of Messiaen’s cycle to come, Poèmes pour Mi–most specifically, the final song. Here, the poet prays for divine blessing on the soul of the “fiancée” in the title. The fervent incantation illuminates and affirms man’s connection to a higher authority. Examining the poetic content of the three texts, we are struck by the images that underlie the words: the emotional outburst “pourquoi,” (why?), perhaps questioning the death of Cécile, followed by Cécile’s tender affirmation of love, and finally, the prayer asking for Divine grace and the blessing of the soul of the departed. NOTES: Jane Manning, “The Songs and Song Cycles,” in The Messiaen Companion, ed. Peter Hill (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995), 107. BACK TO TOP DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974) Darius Milhaud was probably the most prolific composer of the group known as Les Six (Francis Poulenc, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Milhaud). The group was unified by friendship rather than a single musical style. Championed by influential writer Jean Cocteau and composer Erik Satie, Les Six often presented their works at the same concerts and met with great regularity–often at Milhaud’s house–to make music and exchange ideas. Louis Durey observed that it was the wide diversity in their personalities and musical styles that gave the group its rich depth and permitted its development. Embodied in the credo of their musical thought was relative sparseness of texture and clarity. Turn-of-the-century France offered popular entertainments that drew the French to an environment of merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, outdoor concerts, circuses, and a jumble of excitement. Milhaud was fascinated by Parisian street life, and could hear the sounds of the Montmartre fair from his apartment. Often on their group outings, Les Six went together to the Cirque de Médrano to see the Fratellinis, a famous family of clowns of that day. Milhaud observed that their acts were worthy of the Commedia dell’arte. 1 Trois Poèmes de Jean Cocteau, Op. 59 (1920) poems by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) Trois poèmes de Jean Cocteau is like lyric fragments. The small-range vocal lines have a sparse lyricism–one of emotional mood rather than overt melody. The little mélodies are skillful studies in brevity. These match Cocteau’s rather enigmatic poems that exemplify the style termed dépouillé (stripped to the essentials), his aesthetic creed. Milhaud dedicated the songs to Satie. The three miniatures are a colorful kaleidoscope of the circus and the outdoor fairs that entranced the French during this period. “Fumée” describes the equestrienne of the Cirque Médrano atop a horse, jumping through hoops, captured in Toulouse-Lautrec’s familiar painting titled “L’écuyère au Cirque Fernando (1888); “Fête de Bordeaux” is a description of the merry-go-round at the Bordeaux fair; and “Fête de Montmartre” evokes the nighttime boats and sailors, possibly having to do with a game involving camouflaged ships found at the Montmartre fair. Milhaud infuses stylistic and melodic elements of folk songs and children’s tunes into the tiny pieces, tying the innate excitement of these popular destinations to simple, childlike reactions. NOTES: Laurence Davies, The Gallic Muse (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1967), 164. BACK TO TOP FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963) Francis Poulenc’s 150 mélodies form the largest body of songs to be added to French vocal literature in the twentieth century. Poulenc’s flair for the dramatic, combined with his superb skill in mixing poetry and music, produced songs that singers find immensely gratifying, not only for their musical value, but for their heightened sense of drama. Poulenc’s mélodies reflect concern and feeling for declamation, inflection, breathing, and above all, show extraordinary warmth of feeling for the human voice. He was fond of saying, “J’aime la voix humaine!” The sophistication of Poulenc’s songs spring from their poetic inspirations. Poulenc was quite knowledgeable about poetry, and chose his texts carefully. His gift of divining the inner life of the texts he set produced songs that do more than merely illustrate the poems. His gift for melody is at the very heart of all his songs and seems to assert itself naturally in shaping the color, weight, and meaning of the texts he set. Ce doux petit visage (1938) poem by Paul éluard (1895-1952) Paul Eluard was one of Poulenc’s three main poets. This is a beautiful introduction to Eluard’s poetry, lyrical and passionately intense. The simplicity of Poulenc’s setting allows the poem to shine. It is one of Poulenc’s tiny gems, and he admitted his partiality to the short song. Eluard’s skill at evoking nostalgia and melancholy are seen here, linked to lost youth. The mélodie is dedicated to the memory of Raymonde Linossier, Poulenc’s most intimate childhood friend, who influenced his literary taste and musical tendencies. He said: “I have a great liking for this short song. Raymonde Linossier was my best advisor for the music of my youth. How many times, during the years since her death, I would have liked to have had her opinion on this or the other of my works.” 1 La Grenouillère (1938) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) “La Grenouillère” is an outstanding example of Poulenc’s romantic lyricism. This is a text by Guillaume Apollinaire describing the Ile de Croissy, an island in the Seine on the outskirts of Paris, frequented by artists and their models, and celebrated in paintings by Monet, Manet, and Renoir. “The Froggery” was a restaurant on the island. The overall images of happy days that cannot be relived can be seen in Pierre Auguste Renoir’s paintings Les Déjeuner des canotiers (The Boatman’s Luncheon), or La Grenouillère. In this lament for boating parties on the Seine, vocal phrases are sustained and languid, floating over a slowly rocking piano accompaniment. The lazy piano figures mirror the empty tethered boats rocking on the water, bumping against each other, and give expression to the sweet melancholy of the poet’s words. Montparnasse (1945) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Apollinaire’s poem is dated 1912. Poulenc writes in his journal of songs that it took him four years to complete “Montparnasse,” almost phrase by phrase, and that he had no regrets about the length of time it took because “it is one of my best songs.” 2 It is a sentimental and heartfelt tribute to Paris. Both Apollinaire and Poulenc loved the city and it played a continuing role in their work. “Montparnasse” is about the idyllic artistic existence lived at the edge of Paris. Poulenc wrote in his diary: “Let us imagine this Montparnasse all at once discovered by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Apollinaire.” 3 The mélodie has a carefree nonchalance about it; it is not sad, but thoughtful– a beautiful blend of poetic and musical lyricism. Poulenc’s vocal and harmonic textures are full of surprising harmonic details that bind this song–which he composed in fragments–together into a touching and expressive picture of Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. Bleuet (1939) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets. This is a wartime poem that Apollinaire penned in 1917 in Paris in convalescence after a head injury; both Apollinaire and Poulenc served in World War II. There are several word plays at work here. “Bleuet” was the nickname for French soldiers in World War I, because their uniforms were blue, like the color of a little cornflower, which is a “bleuet.” Also, “Un bleu” was the term used for a raw recruit. “Bleuet” is one of Poulenc’s most moving songs– agonizing in its emotional content yet noble in its message. It is a quiet and private moment in which a twenty-year-old boy who does not yet know all that life can be, is characterized–and addressed–by the poet in a sweetly serious speech. Poulenc wrote that for him, the key to the poem were the words, “It is five o’clock and you would know how to die.” 4 This song is simple, intimate, and poignant. Les Chemins de l’amour (1940) poem by Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) Poulenc composed this valse chantée as incidental music for Léocadia, a play by Jean Anouilh. Within the play, the song was described as a pseudo Viennese waltz, and functioned as a leitmotiv in the plot. Sung by Yvonne Printemps, one of France’s most celebrated musical theatre stars, “Les Chemins de l’amour” became a popular success. It embodies the relaxed elegance of a self-styled Viennese waltz style, encased in one of Poulenc’s haunting melodies. Banalités (1940) poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Banalités is not a cycle, but a group of five songs. The poems have no connection with each other; however, their order provides a well-constructed recital group. They may be performed separately. The work is one of Poulenc’s most popular vocal works, and deservedly so. Poulenc chose contrasting poems, placing them so that the collection begins briskly and ends with lyrical gravity. “Chanson d’Orkenise” is Poulenc’s title for the poem contained in the strange mixture of prose and poetry that Apollinaire called Onirocritique. Orkenise is a road in Autun leading to the Roman gate of the same name. The musical setting has the feeling of a popular folk song. The narrator sings of a tramp leaving the city and a carter who is entering it - one leaving his heart there, one bringing his heart to be married. There is a word in the poem with a double meaning: “grise” can be translated as “gray” or “tipsy.” The merry quality of the song opens the set with gaiety, but both Apollinaire and Poulenc offer a little food for thought. “Hôtel” is a poem that immediately represented for Poulenc a hotel room in Montparnassse, where the idle poet wants only to bask in the sun’s warmth and smoke. Pierre Bernac referred to it as “the laziest song ever written.” 5 The piano figures are fashioned of Poulenc’s luxuriant chromatic harmonies, stacked as if to cushion the lethargy of the singer. “Fagnes de Wallonie” is set in the gloomy, desolate uplands of the Ardennes with a terrain of vast heaths, twisted trees, and peat bogs, swept by winds of considerable force. Its gloomy setting complements the melancholy mood of the poet. Poulenc’s spiky musical setting is a whirlwind that sweeps from beginning to end in a turbulent texture that demands precise articulation from singer and pianist. Sandwiched between Songs 3 and 5 is a tiny bonbon, “Voyage à Paris.” It resembles a little commercial jingle about Paris–“which one day love must have created”–an invitation to the pleasures of that beautiful city, away from “the dreary countryside.” Poulenc sprinkles his quicksilver setting–a valse-musette–with indications of “amiable” and “avec charme.” The composer referred to it as having “deliciously stupid lines...Anything that concerns Paris I approach with tears in my eyes and my head full of music.” 6 The cycle concludes with “Sanglots”, one of Apollinaire’s finest poems about the universality of lost love, a theme that Poulenc matches with exquisite modulations in a setting that embodies the essence of the words. The vocal lines are eloquently lyrical. The poem is difficult to understand because of the juxtaposition of the main narrative and the interior “asides,” that in effect form a poem within a poem. 7 The song has an elegant serenity that culminates in a stunning climactic point at the words: “Est mort d’amour ou c’est tout comme/ Est mort d’amour et le voici.” The ending lines of the song sustain the profoundly calm mood, bringing Banalités to its close. La Courte Paille (1960) poems by Maurice Carême (1899-1978) The last song cycle Poulenc composed was La Courte paille, on seven poems of Belgian poet Maurice Carême. Poulenc composed the songs for soprano Denise Duval, creator of leading roles in his three operas, hoping that she would sing them to her young son. Poulenc considered the mélodies very poetic and whimsical; unfortunately, Duval disliked the music and never did sing the cycle. Poulenc asked Carême to provide an overall title for the work and requested permission to change the titles of several selected poems: the original title of “Quelle aventure!” is “Une puce et l’éléphant”; “Le Reine de cœur” is “Vitres de lune”; “Le carafon” is “La carafe et le carafon.” For the cycle’s title, Carême chose La Courte Paille (The Short Straw), referring to drawing lots by the method of a short straw. Poulenc was delighted, saying the title symbolized his little musical game exactly. He also wrote in his diary, “They must be sung tenderly; that is the surest way to touch the heart of a child.” 8 The cycle is full of child-like innocence, whimsy and imagination, with a few shadowy undertones. The first song, “Le Sommeil,” is a beautiful lullaby to a restless child who cannot go to sleep, tossing and turning in his small bed. He seems ill, crying and perspiring, but hopefully will finally surrender to slumber. In “Quelle aventure!” the child describes an absurd happening: he saw a flea driving a carriage with a small elephant in it. The story grows more bizarre but the rhythmic pace never wavers, careening to the end of the song when the child wonders how on earth he’ll ever be able to persuade “Mama” that it really happened. The verses are witty, yet the shrieks of “Mon Dieu!” are laced with a feeling of childish terror. “La Reine du cœur” is a beautiful, languid melody that paints a picture of the mysterious Queen of Hearts, beckoning to visitors from her frosty castle, where she reigns over a court of lovers, including the young dead. In “Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu...,” the child is chided “on all sides” about studying. The title of the song presents the French vowels, and the text contains words that make their plural with an “x” (“pou, chou, genou, hibou”). The formidable cat of the poem’s opening lines is none other than that tricky feline Puss-in-Boots! The entire song is a little tongue-twister, an exercise in diction and accuracy. “Les anges musiciens” are none other than the school children staying home on Thursday, the half-day school holiday in France in Poulenc’s time, practicing Mozart on their harps, just like good little angel musicians should do. “Le carafon” is a crazy little story of a carafe that longs for a baby carafe (carafon) just like the giraffe at the zoo, who has a girafon. This is a ridiculous rhyming game like those that children love to play. The text is full of whimsical characters: the carafe, a giraffe, a sorcerer astride a phonograph, Merlin, and finally, a carafon. “Lune d’Avril” is another lullaby, very slow and otherworldly, which serves as an epilogue. Bound together in a musical texture that features a syncopated pedal point, it is filled with enchanted images the child wishes to dream about: a land of joy, light, and flowers where all guns are silent. The ending leaves the listener suspended in a mood of unfinished magic. La Courte Paille is the last vocal music Poulenc composed. NOTES: Quoted in Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1977), 125. Francis Poulenc, Journal de mes mélodies, trans. Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, 1985), 75. Ibid., 75. Ibid., 57. Bernac, 72. Poulenc, 67. The English translation of “Sanglots” has parentheses that delineate the “asides” so that both “poems” may be seen. These may be found in Pierre Bernac’s books Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, page 75, or The Interpretation of French Song, pages 284-85 Poulenc, 109. BACK TO TOP MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) The songs of Maurice Ravel represent a transition between the mature mélodies of Debussy and the vocal literature that followed, notably the songs of Les Six. Debussy dominated the French musical scene from the turn of the century until his death in 1918. It was Ravel who was regarded as the leading musical spokesman for France following World War I. He was a skillful craftsman and his songs have a sense of evenness of rhythmic structure and flow that call for scrupulous execution. The fusion of music and text into a logical whole was of utmost importance to him. He composed elegant and subtle mélodies, using classical phrase structure. His melodic phrases often tend toward modality. His songs range from those with a folk-like style to more to those that are more speech-like, and those that encompass a melodic romanticism. He was precise in his thought and his scoring, and scrupulous in his musical execution. His music encompassed some of the fascinating influences of the post-Wagnerian era. Ravel’s musical contributions were of utmost importance to this exciting and new era in French cultural history. He made notable contributions to musical literature for the piano, the French art song, opera, chamber music, orchestral literature, and the ballet. Sur l’herbe (1907) poem by Paul Verlaine (1833-1896) This mélodie is Ravel’s only setting of Verlaine. It has often been suggested that this poem was probably inspired by Watteau’s painting L’île enchantée. There is also a reference to a famous eighteenth-century dancer, Marie-Anne Cuppi, known as (La) Camargo, who was immortalized on canvas by the painter Nicolas Lancret. The scene is an outside gathering, elegant and artificial. A number of people are there, chief among them, a licentious abbé, slightly tipsy from a bit too much Cyprian wine. He exchanges a few disconnected gallantries with the ladies–innocent conversations on the surface, but sensuous in undertone. The conversation is disconnected; we do not know exactly who is speaking. Ravel shapes very flexible vocal phrases, in keeping with the abbé’s intoxicated state, underscored with graceful piano figures that evoke an eighteenth-century dance. In a letter to Jean-Aubrey, Ravel commented on “Sur l’herbe”: “In this piece, as in the Histoires naturelles, the impression must be given that one is almost not singing. A bit of preciosity is found there which is indicated moreover by the text and the music.” 1 Noël des jouets (1905) poem by the composer This is the only solo song for which Ravel wrote the text. It describes a Christmas manger scene, replete with the Virgin and Christ-child, animals, and angels. It embodies Ravel’s delight with tiny mechanical toys and figures, and his fascination with the unspoiled world of child-like experience. His genius for text painting is displayed in the delightful mélodie. The mechanical toys come to life in the piano figures. Ravel’s charming text creates the images around and over the crèche, with not a word wasted. Ravel commented that the music is “clear and plain, like the mechanical toys of the poem.” 2 This little song foreshadows other Ravel settings of make-believe, beginning with the song cycle Histoires naturelles and culminating with his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges. The music of menacing dog Belzébuth foreshadows the music of the Beast in the Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère lOye). Rêves (1927) poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) The poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue has been described as reflecting the union of dream and memory. This mélodie has a tender lyricism within a sparse musical texture. The text is fashioned of a series of miniature images that pass by rather quickly, unrelated, like the images found in dreams. For all their differences, they have a simplicity about them that seems timeless, existing together, as the poet says, “in a vague countryside.” When the dreamer finally awakens, the little fleeting pictures “die quietly.” The piano postlude perpetuates the dream state, creating an ethereal little microcosm that continues to draw the dreamer to it. Ronsard à son âme (1924) poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) In his Abrégé de l’art poétique français (1565) Pierre de Ronsard advocated the union of poetry and music, and Renaissance composers frequently set his poems. 3 In this strikingly simple mélodie, Ronsard speaks to his soul, calling it by a series of diminutives: little soul, dainty little one, sweet little one. Ravel uses a series of parallel fifths in the piano figures to invoke a Renaissance mood. This is Ronsard’s last poem, and Ravel’s last adaptation of Renaissance poetry. Ravel’s setting recalls the elegance of his early mélodie, “D’Anne qui me jecta de la neige,” to a poem of Clément Marot. Manteau de fleurs (1903) poem by Paul Barthélemy Jeulin (1863-1936) The poem notes everything in the garden that is pink–all the flowers that will become a beautiful cloak to complement the beauty of the lady of the poem. Ravel usually had very sophisticated taste in choosing texts; this particular poem is an unusual choice. It is a simple text, somewhat banal, but Ravel’s shimmering musical texture imparts a dramatic character for each flower in the poem. The overall piano texture suggests orchestral colors. The last section of the mélodie changes course slightly, with the piano harmonies creating a slightly wistful mood. Clearly, Ravel lavished a beautiful musical setting on a rather ordinary set of words. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1932-33) [Medium/Low Voice edition only] poems by Paul Morand (1888-1976) This miniature cycle was Ravel’s last vocal work. His musical portrait of the noble Spanish knight, Don Quixote, is embodied in three mélodies, all based on characteristic Spanish or Basque dance rhythms: (1) the guajira, alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meter; (2) the zorzica, a Basque dance in quintuple meter; and (3) the jota, a lively triple-metered Spanish dance. “Chanson Romanesque” presents the chivalrous idealist Don Quixote, confidently promising to rearrange everything in nature to his lady Dulcinea’s liking in order to win her favor. Dulcinea is in reality a poor farm girl, but the Don’s illusion will not be shaken. He remains authoritative and focused in his quest for her love. “Chanson épique” is Quixote’s reverent prayer to Saint Michael and Saint George, beseeching them to bless his sword and his Lady. Ravel creates a beautifully sustained and prayerful vocal line over a simple accompaniment. “Chanson à boire” is a exuberant drinking song. Although the Don’s tippling has made him overly boisterous, he never oversteps the bounds of his noble bearing. His robust laughter is heard in the piano figures and even a hiccup intrudes between “lorsque j’ai” and “lorsque j’ai bu.” NOTES: Maurice Ravel, in a letter to Jean-Aubrey written in September, 1907. Quoted in Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 165-66. Quoted in Orenstein, 161. Orenstein, 192. BACK TO TOP ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937) In 1894 Albert Roussel left a highly successful career as a naval officer to pursue music. After completing his studies, he became professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Satie and Varèse were among his students. Roussel was one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. He composed almost forty mélodies as well as chamber music, ballets, and operas. His style is eclectic but highly individual. Early works show the influence of Vincent d’Indy, works dating from 1910 to 1920 exhibit influences of Debussy and Ravel, but he turned to neoclassicism in his later compositions. His love for the sea was almost a spiritual attraction and continued to influence his music throughout his career. He had a fascination for distant places; his extended tour of Southeast Asia in 1909 had a tremendous influence on his composition. “Sarabande” and “Cœur en peril” are mélodies to texts of René Chalupt, a close friend. They are found in op. 20 and 50, respectively. Roussel’s overall musical catalogue is not extensive, but its quality is of an extremely high level, and his vocal writing in particular contains some mélodies of great delicacy and style, squarely in the French tradition. For Roussel, the word held primacy in his mélodies, being both transformed by its musical setting and merging with it to create a perfect union. Commenting on the quality of Roussel’s songs, composer Charles Koechlin is quoted as saying: “The sense of austerity pervading them, stemming simply from the composer’s natural reserve, heightens their expressiveness and further embellishes them; in language and content they are absolutely personal. This collection of songs is one which will last because its essence is undying sensitivity.” 1 Sarabande (1919) from Deux mélodies, Op. 20, No. 2 poem by René Chalupt This is surely one of Roussel’s most delicate and magical creations. His writing for the piano is particularly outstanding, placing Chalupt’s poem in an overall texture of elegance and veiled sensuality. There is an Oriental delicacy in Roussel’s musical evocation of the fluttering doves, feathers drifting into a pool, and the gentle drift of chestnut blossoms onto bare flesh. Cœur en péril (1933-34) from Deux mélodies, Op. 50, No. 1 poem by René Chalupt This mélodie is much different in mood–witty and flirtatious. It is the narrative of a young man eager to convince his ladylove of his fidelity. Vocal phrases are tuneful, with a spirited piano texture of Iberian flavor. NOTES: Liner notes, Dom Angelico Surchamp, trans. Elisabeth Carroll, Roussel Mélodies, Colette Alliot-Lugaz, Mady Mesplé, Kurt Ollmann, José Van Dam; Dalton Baldwin, Patrick Gallois. EMI Digital. CDS 7492712, 1987 BACK TO TOP ERIK SATIE (1866-1925) Erik Satie wrote very few songs and most of them date from late in his life. The eccentric father figure of the French avant-garde of the twentieth century had a wildly independent spirit that found its way into his musical compositions. Throughout his life, he kept a great deal of childlike inquisitiveness and innocence. He was a curious personality of unconventional habits whose sense of the absurd and whimsy permeated both his life and his music. Quintessential Satie compositions are laconic and witty. It was Satie who named Les Nouveaux Jeunes, soon known as Les Six, and influenced the early development of the group. La Statue de bronze (1916) from Trois Mélodies poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) This is Satie’s first setting of the poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue, the “Bohemian poet of Paris.” Satie used Fargue’s witty verses again for Ludions. The scene is a garden game–the jeu de tonneau. A bronze frog, perched atop a cabinet with numbered chambers, grows impatient of being the target of the game where metal disks are tossed into her mouth. She dreams of being freed from her pedestal and being able to use her wide-open mouth to utter “LE MOT.” 1 She wants to be free to join the other frogs gathered near the rust-colored washhouse “blowing musical bubbles from the soapy moonlight.” But the game continues, the disks rattle through her mouth into numbered compartments and at night, insects sleep in her mouth. This mélodie can be linked musically to “La Grenouille américaine,” found in Ludions. Both songs share piano figures derived from the café-concert chanson. Ludions (1923) poems by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) Ludions is the last of Satie’s purely vocal works, composed two years before his death, and is perhaps his finest set of songs. It epitomizes his lifelong quest for musical simplicity and his irreverence for the intricate compositional techniques and overactive emotions of the Impressionists. Ludions is translated as “bottle imps” (a ludion is a little figure suspended in a hollow ball, which descends or rises in a vase filled with water when one presses down on the elastic membrane covering the mouth of the vase). The cycle is a kaleidoscopic set of musical miniatures, riddled with puns and illogical phrases. Fargue’s nonsensical verse complements Satie’s musical aesthetic, and the two friends’ personalities closely matched one another. All the mélodies in Ludions are short, like tiny cameos. They are colorful, saucy, fantastic, and defy translation. “Air du rat,” “La Grenouille américaine,” and “Chanson du chat” are right out of the music hall, and Satie uses with a mock-serious “tongue-in-cheek” treatment for “Spleen” and “Air du poète.” Je te veux (1902) poem by Henry Pacory (1873-?) The valse chantée, or sung waltz was a favorite of the café concerts, for which Satie composed a number of works. Café concerts were a form of Parisian popular entertainment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The all-musical programs were held outside; French popular singers presented repertoire that catered to lower and middle-class audiences who came to talk, eat, drink, and observe the long informal programs, for which there was no admission charge. “Je te veux” was composed for Paulette Darty, dubbed “the Queen of the slow waltz.” It was one of her signature musical presentations for the caf’conc (café concerts), and one that Darty remained associated with throughout her career. A statuesque blonde with an ample figure, Darty was a commanding performer who kept the most boisterous of the Saturday night audiences enthralled. Lyricist Henry Pacory’s rather explicit poem was watered down at Satie’s request before the song was published. La Diva de l’Empire (1904) poem by Charles Bessat, named Numa Blès (1871-1917) The “Diva de l’Empire,” 2 one of Satie’s café-concert songs, was another work written for and performed by Paulette Darty. It was composed for a Bonnaud-Blès music-hall revue called Dévidons la Bobine (Let’s Unwind the Bobbin) that toured several seaside resort towns. The British “diva” is a femme fatale performer who enchants all who see her. The song is a syncopated cakewalk describing her seductive beauty as she struts her stuff “showing the wiggling of her legs and some pretty frilly underwear.” Interspersed at points along the way with English words: Greenaway, baby, little girl, etc. The piano provides a jaunty ragtime rhythm throughout that melds perfectly with the suggestive text. NOTES: ”Le mot” has a double meaning. It was the title of a broadsheet published by Jean Cocteau between 1914-15 and is short for “le mot de Cambronne,” a polite way of saying “merde.” Cambronne was a famous French general who replied “Merde!” when asked to surrender. In Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 43. Empire refers to the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London. BACK TO TOP DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Déodat de Séverac, of aristocratic lineage, was born in the Languedoc region of southwest France in Saint-Félix-Caraman (now Saint-Félix Lauragais), near Toulouse. After studies in Paris with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, he returned home and remained there. He was a contemporary of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, but was considered a petit maître in their company, possibly because of his return to Languedoc at the completion of his musical studies. Séverac composed piano and orchestral music, operas and songs. The culture of his native Languedoc figured prominently in his music, which is highly descriptive. He often wrote parts for regional folk music in his scores. Many considered him provincial and unsophisticated, but his music displays his skill in integrating folk elements–and often, regional folk instruments–of his native Languedoc into his works. He often referred to himself as “the peasant musician.” Influences of Debussy, Mussorgsky, and Bizet may be found in his mélodies. Although his music is rather conservative in style, Séverac fused folk elements with the musical styles of the day in a unique and individual manner. Ma poupée chérie (1914) poem by the composer Composed in 1914 (and published in 1916) for his daughter Magali and dedicated to her, this little cradlesong is probably de Séverac’s best loved and most performed mélodie. Séverac’s fresh musical setting contains just the right combination of simplicity and delightful childlike honesty. Despite the subject matter, the composer’s heartfelt poem avoids an overly cloying atmosphere. BACK TO TOP OTHER SOURCES CONSULTED: Jane Bathori, On the Interpretation of the Mélodies of Claude Debussy, transl. and with an introduction by Linda Laurent (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1998). Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, transl. by Winifred Radford (New York: W.W. Norton, 1977). Pierre Bernac, The Interpretation of French Song, transl. by Winifred Radford(New York: W.W. Norton, 1978). Elaine Brody, Paris: The Musical Kaleidoscope 1870-1925 (New York: George Braziller, 1987). Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001) Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1992). James Harding, The Ox on the Roof: Scenes from musical life in Paris in the Twenties (New York: Da Capo Press, 1986). Peter Hill, ed., The Messiaen Companion (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995). Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2009) Graham Johnson and Richard Stokes, A French Song Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Carol Kimball, Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2005). Carol Kimball and Richard Walters, eds., The French Song Anthology (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2001). Timothy LeVan, Masters of the French Art Song (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991). Barbara Meister, Nineteenth-Century French Song (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1980). Wilfrid Mellers, Francis Poulenc (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975). Nancy Perloff, Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment in the Circle of Erik Satie(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) Caroline Potter, Henri Dutilleux: His Life and Works (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co., 1997). Francis Poulenc, Moi et mes amis: Confidences recueilles par Stéphane Audel (Paris: La Palatine, 1963). Francis Poulenc, Diary of my Songs [Journal de mes mélodies] transl. by Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1985) Marie-Claire Rohinsky, ed., The Singer’s Debussy (New York: Pelion Press, 1987) Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years (New York: Vintage Books, 1968). 20TH CENTURY FRENCH ART SONGS Mélodies française du XXe siècle Edited by Carol Kimball Published by Éditions Durand DF 16250/HL 50565798 High Voice edition DF 16251/HL 50565799 Medium/Low Voice edition Distributed in Europe and Asia by Hal Leonard MGB Distributed in North and South America by Hal Leonard Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Hal Leonard Australia Download & Print Introductory Notes Complete Online Introductory Notes, Unabridged copyright © 2015 Editions Durand An abridged version of editor Carol Kimball’s “Introduction” appears in the High Voice and Medium/Low Voice publications. Her complete length “Introduction” appears below. See the publications for the poetry texts in French and translations in English. GEORGES AURIC CLAUDE DEBUSSY HENRI DUTILLEUX GABRIEL FAURÉ REYNALDO HAHN ARTHUR HONEGGER JACQUES LEGUERNEY OLIVIER MESSIAEN DARIUS MILHAUD FRANCIS POULENC MAURICE RAVEL ALBERT ROUSSEL ERIK SATIE DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983) George Auric was something of a child prodigy, performing a piano recital at the Musicale Indépendante at the age of fourteen. The following year, the Société Nationale de Musique performed several songs he had composed. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire with Georges Caussade, and later with Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. Before he was twenty, Auric had orchestrated and written incidental music for several stage productions and ballets. He composed a significant amount of avant-garde music during the years between 1910-20. Around 1914, he widened his acquaintances to include members of Les Six, a group of composers informally associated with Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau, and became a part of their group. Auric and Francis Poulenc became fast friends and remained so for life. Music criticism was an important part of Auric’s career; his writing focused on promoting the ideals of Les Six and Cocteau. He was also especially known for his film scores, which are consistently imaginative. He forged a major career in the English movies of the 1940s and ’50s. Among his most well-known scores is the music for the film Moulin Rouge. Other popular film titles with scores by Auric include The Lavender Hill Mob, Roman Holiday, Beauty and the Beast, and Bonjour Tristesse. In 1962 he became the director of the Opéra National de Paris and later, chairman of SACEM, the French Performing Rights Society. Auric continued to write classical chamber music until his death. Le Jeune sanguine (1940) from Trois Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin poem by Louise de Vilmorin (1902-1969) This mélodie is the second song in Auric’s cycle titled Trois poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin. Vilmorin’s poetry reverberates with sensitivity to affairs of the heart. She was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets; he set her poetry when writing specifically for the female voice, such as in Fiançailles pour rire. A sort of veiled humor is at the heart of this text that describes a young hussy whose lover departs early with the dawn’s first light, leaving her weeping disconsolately. Auric provides a prelude and postlude for formal balance as the miserable young woman mourns her loss. He also inserts several unexpected and amusing measures of a tango as the young man arches his back and leaves the sound of her sobbing. For his three Vilmorin songs, Auric used the style of a chansonette, or more popular song. Printemps (1935) Poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Auric composed this lilting waltz song for a play by Edouard Bourdet titled La Reine Margot (1935). The celebrated musical theatre actress-singer Yvonne Printemps created the role of Queen Margot of Navarre at Théâtre de la Michodière. Auric and Francis Poulenc collaborated on the incidental music for this play; Poulenc took the second act, Auric the first. Poulenc composed the Suite française and the song “A sa guitare”; Auric’s contribution was “Printemps.” Yvonne Printemps sang both songs in the play. Both composers used texts by Pierre de Ronsard, and the musical style of each is reminiscent of the Renaissance. Ronsard’s original poem had twenty-three stanzas. Auric set only the first three. BACK TO TOP CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Claude Debussy wrote expertly for the voice and was acutely responsive to transforming poetic nuance into musical expression. Possibly no other French composer was as attuned to blending poetry and music. His literary taste was highly refined and he maintained a visible and active role in the literary and artistic circles of his time. He chose to set poetry of his contemporaries, notably Verlaine and Mallarmé. Verlaine’s verse with its inherent musical qualities, provided Debussy with poetry for numerous works. For Debussy, poetry as poetry was the paramount determinant of the musical texture. His ability to detect the essence of a poem and perfectly transform it into musical expression makes his mélodies unique in the history of French song. Le promenoir des deux amants (1904, 1910) poems by Tristan l’Hermite (c. 1601-1656) “Auprès de cette grotte sombre,” the first song, made its first appearance with the title “La Grotte,” song two of Trois chansons de France of 1904. In 1910, it was retitled and combined with two other poems by Tristan l’Hermite (“Crois mon conseil, chère Climène” and “Je tremble en voyant ton visage”) to form the miniature cycle Le Promenoir de deux amants, which has been called the finest of all Debussy’s works for voice and piano. It is also the least-often performed. Debussy chose the texts from Les Amours de Tristan, a collection by the seventeenth-century poet Tristan l’Hermite. The poems are set close to a grotto, secluded and silent. The transparent, barely stirring waters mingle with the silence of the cloistered spot, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Debussy establishes an intimate, tender mood immediately and maintains this fragile mix of sound and color throughout the three mélodies. The interplay of resonance and texture in voice and piano results in an exquisite blend of light and shade, perfectly complementing l’Hermite’s poetic images. Subtly inflected vocal phrases are key to recreating the infinite calm and Pelléas-like atmosphere of the poetry, a perfect fusion of stillness and sensuality. Fêtes galantes II (1904) poems by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) Debussy’s fascination with the work of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine resulted in his setting to music no fewer than seventeen of Verlaine’s texts. He composed two sets of three songs each, both titled Fêtes galantes, the first in 1892, and the second in 1904. Fêtes galantes II, Debussy’s last setting of Verlaine, closely following the composition of his opera Pélleas et Mélisande, is representative of the composer’s mature vocal works. It is marked by sparser textures, freer tonalities and a more concentrated compositional style than the first set; but like the first set, Fêtes galantes II presents three unrelated songs. None of the Watteau-like scenes are found here; rather, these three poems are filled with mystery, and are without sentimentality. The theme of time appears in each of the poems: the first, sentimental youthful remembrances; the second, inexorable fleeting time; and finally in the last song, time never to be reclaimed. “Les Ingénus” recalls the first awakenings of sexual attraction, and deals with the breathless awe with which a group of unsophisticated young men of the mid-nineteenth century view their similarly naïve female companions. The scene unfolds in a highly chromatic texture, skillfully balanced to preserve the delicate, poignant images in Verlaine’s verse. Debussy’s free-floating harmonies are carefully contrived to complement the uncertain emotions and repressed sensations of the youths in the poem. “Le Faune” begins with a prelude; time unravels in an inflexible dance featuring a rhythmic, hypnotic figure in the piano, imaging the traditional reed pipe and “tambourin,” a small drum played with a stick. The old terra-cotta statue in Verlaine’s poem is probably the woodland god Pan, playing a monotonous rhythm that is both sensual and slightly menacing, matching the mood of the two mélancolique pélerins. Mesmerized by the repetitive rhythms of drum and reed flute, the dejected travelers are caught in the whirlpool of passing time, which spins past as they watch helplessly. “Colloque sentimental.” Colloquial (colloque) refers to ordinary speech or conversation. This disturbing poem is the touchstone of one of Debussy’s great mélodies. It is the last poem in Verlaine’s collection titled Fêtes galantes, and provides a chilling climax. It blends themes of despair, death and disillusion. In this extraordinary song, the ghosts of two lovers meet in a wintry park. As they speak of their former love, their words match the setting: glacial and detached from feeling. Throughout the song their wintry words are enhanced by Debussy’s simple and subtle vocal treatment: one voice urgent and persistent, the other stonily indifferent. Debussy’s manipulation of musical texture between voice and piano is masterful. The sparse vocal lines are almost speech-like, and the piano figures mirror the frozen landscape in which this conversation–equally cold–takes place. The song’s kinship to Debussy’s opera Pélleas et Mélisande is unmistakable. The listener becomes one with the poem’s narrator, straining to see and hear the couple’s conversation in the icy cold of the deserted, frozen park. Debussy reaches back to “En sourdine” (the first mélodie of Fêtes galantes I), takes the wistful song of the nightingale, and inserts it into this song at various points. The nightingale’s melody (“voix de nôtre dessespoir, le rossignol chantera”) provides a touching and melancholy association, linking the two sets of Fêtes galantes together symbolically and musically, foreshadowing the disenchantment of love hinted at in “En sourdine” with the lovers’ conversation in “Colloque sentimental,” and unifying the two sets by a subtle musical component. This panel of three mélodies was Debussy’s last setting of the poetry of Paul Verlaine. Noël des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons (1915) poem by the composer This is Debussy’s last song, written to his own text, a Christmas carol for children made homeless by World War I. Its intensity comes from its simple sincerity. Debussy composed it on the eve of his first operation for the cancer that would end his life two years later. It was his personal protest against the invasion of northern France by the German armies. When asked for permission to orchestrate the song, Debussy refused, saying, “I want this piece to be sung with the most discreet accompaniment. Not a word of the text must be lost, inspired as it is by the rapacity of our enemies. It is the only way I have to fight the war.” Originally composed in 1915 for piano and voice, Debussy also created a version for children’s chorus, and in 1916, a version for piano and two sopranos. BACK TO TOP HENRI DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Henri Dutilleux studied at the Paris Conservatory with Maurice Emmanuel. He received the Prix de Rome in 1938 at age twenty-two, and went on to work at the Paris Opéra and the French Radio. France’s musical institutions defined his career: in 1961, he joined the faculty at the école Normale de Musique, teaching composition. In 1970, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. He destroyed many of his early works, considering them derivative of Ravel, the preeminent composer in France during his youth. His music that had been published avoided demolition. After World War II, Dutilleux concentrated almost exclusively on instrumental and orchestral music, much of which has been widely programmed and recorded. His songs are not well known. In the chronological catalogue of his compositions, beginning in 1929, the Quatre mélodies for mezzo soprano or baritone is only the eleventh entry. It also exists in an orchestral version. The collection is dedicated to the French baritone Charles Panzéra and his wife, pianist Magdeleine Panzéra-Baillot, prominent interpreters of French song in the interwar years. Gabriel Fauré dedicated his last cycle, L’horizon chimérique, to Panzéra. Quatre mélodies (1942) uses poems by four different poets and presents a delightful collection of moods, although it must be admitted that the level of the poetry is not uniformly high: “Féérie au clair de lune” (poem by Raymond Genty), a graceful scherzo of dancing fairies that evokes Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “Pour une amie perdue” (Edmond Borsent); “Regards sur l’infini” (Anna de Noailles); and “Fantasio” (André Bellessort). The last mélodie is the most successful of the set and is one of two songs from the set (the other being “Pour une amie perdue”) that Dutilleux acknowledged. He wanted to exclude the first and third songs because their poetry was relatively mediocre. Fantasio (1942) from Quatre Mélodies poem by André Bellessort (1866-1942) “Fantasio” (the original title of Bellessort’s poem is “Les funérailles de Fantasio”) is a colorful poem that chronicles the funeral of the titled character, who has expired before the text begins. The poem, set in Venice during Carnival, is full of glittering and compelling imagery that changes quickly, following the pace of the Carnival. Musical textures are skillfully handled and exhibit some of Dutilleux’s developing style. “Pauvre Fantasio,” is heard several times during the text, acting as both a funereal chant that unifies the proceedings and perhaps as well, keeping the mourners’ footsteps marching together. BACK TO TOP GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924) Gabriel Fauré was one of the great composers of French song who, with Duparc and Debussy, perfected the mélodie as a true art song form. He composed about a hundred songs, all original in conception, constantly developing in style, and pointing the way to future works. His songs express a broad range of emotion and a great variety of musical textures, extending the musical parameters of the genre and inspiring new techniques of song compositions. His songs are often divided into three compositional periods for purposes of study and definition. Fauré has been characterized as a skillful watchmaker; with great precision his songs, which overflow with subtle nuances and delicate detail. His approach is in keeping with the French musical aesthetic: elegant and rational, dealing with sentiment rather than literal sensation. He was able to capture the entire poetic mood of each poem he set and to create an aura around it with his musical setting. Dans la fôret de septembre, Op. 85, No. 1 (1902) poem by Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) This touching poem symbolizes the onset of old age. Mendès was among the founders of a literary magazine, La Revue fantaisiste, which published many poems of the Parnassian poets. Fauré’s musical style perfectly suited this style of poetry: elegance of style, richness of rhyme, regularity and symmetry of rhythm. The Parnassians avoided the excessively romantic and aimed for “art-for-art’s sake.” Fauré was nearly sixty years old when he composed this mélodie, and his reaction to this poem is beautifully poignant. The words describe the poet’s reflective walk through a quiet, somber forest, capturing the chill of mortality and the overall mood of the turning point of life. The ancient forest, sensing a kindred spirit, provides the walker with a sign of friendship and understanding. Fauré set this contemplative poem in a rich harmonic musical texture with a vocal line that borders on quasi-recitative-like shapes. The solemn thoughts of old age call forth a melancholy, but it is a subtle melancholy. It is almost hymn-like in the fusion of words, emotions, and musical texture. This mélodie may be considered as marking the threshold to the final period of Fauré’s compositions. Accompagnement, Op. 85, No. 3 (1902) poem by Albert Victor Samain (1858-1900) This mélodie is a beautiful barcarolle–a nighttime scene, silvery and hazy, alluring but unreal. The image of the poet rowing on the lake is reflected in the musical texture. Fauré had a lifelong fascination with water imagery in music; this poem offers a little reel of unfolding pictures of a moonlight journey a dark lake. The words “dans le rêve” tell us that this is all a dream. This is a rarely sung Fauré mélodie that yields great rewards for the performer. Chanson, Op. 94 (1906) poem by Henri di Régnier (1864-1936) This poem has a gentle charm and a calm simplicity. It is the last of Fauré’s madrigals that include delicate love songs such as “Lydia,” and “Clair de lune.” It has a wonderful fluidity that is a perfect foil for the poetic images The text is a simple set of variations on one theme: nothing on earth has any meaning unless the beloved somehow touches it. Fauré’s reaction to the words called forth a musical setting of delicate transparency and limited range. It is not well known; like “Le Don silencieux,” “Chanson” was published as a single song and therefore not widely disseminated. It is an example of exquisitely planned musical economy, and definitely belongs in Fauré’s third period of musical compositions. Le Don silencieux, Op. 92 (1906) poem by Marie Closset (1875-1952), under the pseudonym Jean Dominique Here is another little known Fauré song, a rarity because it was published separately and was never included in any of the Fauré recueils. The poem has a gentle melancholy–the plea of a timid lover, a mixture of hope and imagined disappointment. The words are tender and flowing, but the overall mood is one of unrelieved sadness. This song marks the beginning of Fauré’s third compositional period, which includes the cycles La Chanson d’Eve, Le Jardin clos, Mirages, and L’Horizon chimérique. Writing of this mélodie in a letter to his wife, Fauré said, It does not in the least resemble any of my previous works, nor anything that I am aware of; I am very pleased about this...It translates the words gradually as they unfold themselves; it begins, opens out, and finishes, nothing more, nevertheless it is unified. 1 NOTES: Quoted in Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Guildhall School of Music and Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009), 291. Quotation from Jean-Michel Nectoux, Gabriel Fauré: A Musical Life, trans. Roger Nichols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 304. This is a translation of Fauré’s letter to his wife of 17 August 1906. BACK TO TOP REYNALDO HAHN (1875-1947) Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan by birth, came to Paris with his family at age four and made a brilliant career. In addition to his career as a composer and singer, he was director of the Paris Opéra, music critic for the newspaper Figaro, and conductor of the Salzburg Festival. He was enough of a scholar to edit some of the works of Rameau. He maintained close friendships throughout his life with actress Sarah Bernhardt and writer Marcel Proust. During the Belle époque, French mélodie was at the height of its development. Hahn was a habitué of the most fashionable salons, where he was in demand as a performer. On these occasions, he usually sang and played his own accompaniment, often with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The art of singing was one of his major passions, and he wrote three books on singing (Du chant, Thèmes varies, and L’oreille au guet), as well as a memoir of Sarah Bernhardt. Hahn’s songs are models of French restraint–devoid of overt display, with beautiful melodies in a modest vocal range. They reflect the style of his teacher, Jules Massenet. Hahn composed approximately ninety-five works for solo voice: eighty-four mélodies, five English songs to texts of Robert Louis Stevenson, and six Italian songs in the Venetian dialect. After 1912, Hahn composed in larger forms: opera, operetta, and film music. Perhaps his most famous work is his operetta Ciboulette (1923), which is still performed. À Chloris (1916) poem by Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) “À Chloris” is No. 14 in Deuxième volume de vingt mélodies, the last major publication of Hahn’s songs during his lifetime. In many of his later songs, he turned to a deliberately archaic style. “À Chloris” features an elegant vocal line above a piano texture that features Baroque musical characteristics; it is its own piece, with ornamented melody and chaconne-like bass. Vocal line and piano piece are woven into a musical tapestry that is both declarative and intimate. Poet Théophile de Viau was considered one of the most influential libertin poets during Louis XIII’s reign. The libertins’ verses had a unique charm that is instantly appealing, but somewhat artificial. Despite this, de Viau’s love poetry is not bland, but full of suggestive passion and elegant wit. BACK TO TOP ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955) Arthur Honegger composed over forty mélodies for voice and piano. Taken as a whole, they are diverse and imaginative. For his texts, he favored contemporary poets such as Jean Cocteau, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, and Paul Fort. He also chose to set unrelated poems by a single poet, such as his Poesies (Cocteau) and Alcools (Apollinaire). Poetry with strong imagery appealed to the dramatist in his personality. For Honegger, as for most successful mélodie composers, the word provides the starting place. He is quoted as saying: For me, the music a song is always dependent upon the poetic model. It must join so closely with the poetry, that they become inseparable and one can picture the poem in wholly musical terms. This is not to say that the music becomes subservient. It must be so crafted that it can stand on its own merits, playable without the text, logical and complete. 1 Born of Swiss parents in Le Havre, France, Arthur Honegger initially studied for two years at the Zurich Conservatory, but enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire from 1911 to 1918, studying with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d’Indy. Some of his more familiar large vocal works include the dramatic psalm Le roi David (King David), composed in 1921 and still in the choral repertoire; and his dramatic oratorio of 1935, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the stake), with text by Paul Claudel, considered to be one of his finest works. Between the world wars, he composed nine ballets and three vocal stage works, among works in other genres. His total compositional catalog is an impressive list of music: orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, ballets, operas, operettas, and oratorios. Widely known as a train enthusiast, he was passionately interested in locomotives, to which he attributed almost human characteristics. His “mouvement symphonique,” Pacific 231, gained him early acclaim in 1923. Honegger’s musical style is a fascinating mixture of impressionistic effects peppered with penetrating dissonances. He had a fondness for mixing tonalities and using modality. His compositions for the voice display an eclectic focus of coloristic harmonies and architectural clarity. He was a member of Les Six, but unlike most of that group, did not share their overwhelming reaction against German romanticism. Honegger’s musical style is fuller and more serious than his colleagues. He and Darius Milhaud were close friends. Honegger’s generous body of song has proved of enduring interest to contemporary performers. His was a distinctive voice in the vocal music of the twentieth-century French mélodie. Trois Psaumes (1940-41) from the Huguenot Psalter Psaumes XXXIV and CXL translated by Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605) Psaume CXXXVIII translated by Clément Marot (1496-1544) The spirit of Bach shines in the first psaume, “Psalm 34,” in which a chant-like vocal line alternates with a gently moving episodic keyboard part. This call and response continues until the last three vocal phrases, when the vocal line merges with the instrumental texture in a psalm of praise. The second song is “Psalm 140,” “ô Dieu donne-moi la déliverance de cet homme pernicieux” (O God, deliver me from this evil man). Honegger’s biographer, Harry Halbreich, suggests that the “evil man” who was oppressing Europe in those last days of 1940 might be the reason for Honegger’s text choice. This piece was composed before the first and third songs. Its emotional mood peaks with the chorale tune “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” 2 The last song in the set, “Psalm 138,” has the Latin title “Confiteor tibi, Domine” (I thank thee, O Lord) and is a paraphrase by Clément Marot, one of the greatest of the French Renaissance poets. It contains a familiar chorale tune, which is used in canon between voice and piano. NOTES: Arthur Canter and Rachel Joselson, Liner notes, The Songs of Arthur Honegger and Jacques Leguerney. Rachel Joselson, Réne Lecuona , piano. Albany Records, TROY691, 2004. Harry Halbreich, trans. Roger Nichols, Arthur Honegger (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1999), 165. BACK TO TOP JACQUES LEGUERNEY (1906-1997) Most of Jacques Leguerney’s sixty-eight mélodies were composed and published from 1940 to 1964. Many were commissioned and premiered by French baritone Gérard Souzay, his sister, soprano Geneviève Touraine, and pianist Jacqueline Bonneau. Early songs are comparable in mood and style with Ravel or Roussel (who encouraged Leguerney’s composition); later songs have been compared to those of his contemporary, Poulenc. Leguerney writes virtuoso piano parts–often dramatic, and with such an individual sense of harmonic style and color that Pierre Bernac reportedly described them as “mélodies de pianist.” 1 When asked about Leguerney’s songs, Gérard Souzay wrote, “How does one describe this music which is, at the same time, classic and modern? It is pure, but colorfully nuanced; it speaks to the heart as well as the mind–at times calm at times witty–wise, yet sensual...” 2 Many of Leguerney’s songs deal with themes of love and nature, expressing a huge range of emotions from deeply felt meditation to wild, ribald humor. Leguerney stopped composing in 1964, and his songs became neglected. The quality of Leguerney’s text setting, lyrical beauty, and harmonic innovations all call for his songs to be better known and more widely performed. Jacques Leguerney was drawn to the work of Renaissance poets, notably Ronsard. There are eight collections titled Poèmes de la Pléaide, representing settings of sixteenth and seventeenth-century French poetry and totaling thirty-two songs. Additionally, there are cycles and other collections [for a complete listing of Leguerney’s songs, see Dibbern, Kimball, and Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney]. 3 They may be thought of as the last in the great mainstream of twentieth-century French song. La Caverne d’écho (1954) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 7 poem by Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant (1594-1661) Dedication: Josiane and Jean Cier. First performance: Bernard Kruysen, baritone; Jean-Charles Richard, pianist. 29 May 1965, Radio France Culture. Marc-Antoine Girard, sieur de Saint-Amant, wrote poetry of great descriptive power, and his use of language set him apart from the other seventeenth-century poets. He was also an adept musician and skillful lute player, writing verses that often describe musical sounds linked to visual images. The poem takes place in a dark cave, home of the nymph, Echo; it is a charmed place, absolutely still and peaceful. The poet’s lute resounds inside the cavern as he tries to soothe the inconsolable Echo, who mourns for her lover Narcissus. Leguerney creates the grotto’s mysterious resonance with bitonality. Piano figures illustrate the strumming of the lute. The text contains many sounds with the consonant “r.” The rolling quality of this speech sonority re-creates the cavern’s resonance. The closing measures of the mélodie produce a striking effect as the singer’s voice echoes eerily in the cavern, blending with the piano’s resonance and creating a remarkably realistic echo. À son page (1944) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 2 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Gérard Souzay. First performance: Gérard Souzay, baritone; Jacqueline Robin (Bonneau). 3 May 1945, Salle Gaveau, Paris. This is a lusty scene with four characters: a nobleman tipsy from drink, his page, and two women, Jeanne and Barbe. Carpe diem is the theme here. The singer philosophizes on this idea while enjoying his wine and the tender companionship of the two beautiful women. Leguerney evokes the crackling staccato of a stylized harpsichord with rhythmic accents in the piano. The text is brilliantly set with jagged vocal lines and driving rhythms that illustrate the singer’s intoxication. It ends with Leguerney’s repetition of the last poetic line and the addition of nonsense syllables which fit beautifully into the imagery and mood of Ronsard’s colorful characters. Je me lamente (1943) from Poèmes de la Pléiade, Volume 1 poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) Dedicated to Geneviève Touraine. First performance: Paul Derenne, tenor; Jeanne Blancard, pianist. 29 March 1944, Salle de l’Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris. This is one of Leguerney’s most beautiful songs, setting Pierre de Ronsard’s text from his collection of love poems for Marie Dupin, a country girl from a small village in southern France. She was half his age and probably represented the youth he constantly pursued. It has been suggested that the Marie in question was probably Marie de Clèves, passionately adored by Henri III. 4 Leguerney called this mélodie a constant crescendo from beginning to end. 5 Ronsard’s anguish is captured with a texture of stark chords, crowned by a regal and sustained vocal line. As the song progresses, the poet’s anguish is embodied in a more expansive texture, bidding Marie a happy resting place near God or in the Elysian fields. NOTES: Liner notes by Mary Dibbern. Mélodies sur poèmes de la Renaissance (Jacques Leguerney).Harmonia Mundi France. LP recording HMC 1171. Letter to the author. Quoted in Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun. Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001), 3. Ibid., 289-295. Ibid., 69. See note 20. Ibid., 70. BACK TO TOP OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Olivier Messiaen was born in 1908 in Avignon, France, into a literary family. He grew up around words and absorbed their shapes, colors and sounds naturally. His father, Pierre Messiaen, was a well-known translator of Shakespeare, and his mother, Cécile Sauvage, was a poet. As a youngster, before beginning to compose music, he had an especially perceptive ear attuned to the unique prosody of the French language. Early in his compositional career, he published a book titled Technique de mon langage musical (1944). About his musical setting of words, Jane Manning observes: ...the syllables themselves create a glittering mosaic of sonorities and subtle resonances, in addition to their actual meaning (many of the poems do not translate at all satisfactorily). The composer’s awareness of the minutiae of verbal enunciations and articulations is miraculous. Each vocal sound can be precisely placed as intended, all dynamics are scrupulously plotted, and the performer’s involvement and intimate connection to the music is enhanced by the sensual nature of words projection... 1 He often used stained glass to explain his music. When viewed from a distance, the myriad details blend into a single entity, whose purpose is to dazzle the listener. Understanding is not necessary, feeling is the prime requisite. The music of Olivier Messiaen is a skillfully designed and unique language, with meaning and form kept separate. Its meaning is unchangeable, harkening back to Gregorian chant, culminating in instruments that are able to prolong sound (organ, strings, or the ondes Martenot). Messiaen’s musical language is defined by its rhythms and tone colors. His uncanny instinct for associating sound with color produced works unique in their concept of the combination of sounds. He said that when he heard or read music, his mind’s eye saw colors that move with the music; he sensed these colors, and at times he precisely indicated their arrangements in his scores. His fascination with birdsong was lifelong; he referred to himself as an ornithologist and tracked birds and their songs all over the world. He considered their resonances as songs and not merely sounds. He notated these on manuscript paper and they found their way into his music. Trois mélodies (1930) poems by Olivier Messiaen, Cécile Sauvage (1883-1927) This little cycle of songs is Messiaen’s first recognized work for voice and piano. The songs are modest in length and not typical of Messiaen’s later style, but show influences of late Fauré and Duparc in the overall musical texture. There is only one song in his vocal compositions in which Messiaen set the poetry of another poet. It is found in this cycle, which uses the text of his mother, the poet Cécile Sauvage, who died three years before the composition of this work. The three movements form a warm and delicate little triptych. Two of Messiaen’s own poems stand on either side of the poem by Cécile Sauvage, throwing that charming little poem into high relief. “Pourquoi?” introduces a litany of the pleasures of nature: birdsong, the unfolding seasons, and water images. The poet becomes emotional, asking why all these bring him no joy. “La Sourire,” the shortest song of the set, is a beautiful microcosm of intimate and spiritual understanding between two people. It is a delicate example of musical economy and word setting in a quasi-recitative style. The last song, “La fiancée perdue,” offers fleeting hints of Messiaen’s cycle to come, Poèmes pour Mi–most specifically, the final song. Here, the poet prays for divine blessing on the soul of the “fiancée” in the title. The fervent incantation illuminates and affirms man’s connection to a higher authority. Examining the poetic content of the three texts, we are struck by the images that underlie the words: the emotional outburst “pourquoi,” (why?), perhaps questioning the death of Cécile, followed by Cécile’s tender affirmation of love, and finally, the prayer asking for Divine grace and the blessing of the soul of the departed. NOTES: Jane Manning, “The Songs and Song Cycles,” in The Messiaen Companion, ed. Peter Hill (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995), 107. BACK TO TOP DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974) Darius Milhaud was probably the most prolific composer of the group known as Les Six (Francis Poulenc, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Milhaud). The group was unified by friendship rather than a single musical style. Championed by influential writer Jean Cocteau and composer Erik Satie, Les Six often presented their works at the same concerts and met with great regularity–often at Milhaud’s house–to make music and exchange ideas. Louis Durey observed that it was the wide diversity in their personalities and musical styles that gave the group its rich depth and permitted its development. Embodied in the credo of their musical thought was relative sparseness of texture and clarity. Turn-of-the-century France offered popular entertainments that drew the French to an environment of merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, outdoor concerts, circuses, and a jumble of excitement. Milhaud was fascinated by Parisian street life, and could hear the sounds of the Montmartre fair from his apartment. Often on their group outings, Les Six went together to the Cirque de Médrano to see the Fratellinis, a famous family of clowns of that day. Milhaud observed that their acts were worthy of the Commedia dell’arte. 1 Trois Poèmes de Jean Cocteau, Op. 59 (1920) poems by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) Trois poèmes de Jean Cocteau is like lyric fragments. The small-range vocal lines have a sparse lyricism–one of emotional mood rather than overt melody. The little mélodies are skillful studies in brevity. These match Cocteau’s rather enigmatic poems that exemplify the style termed dépouillé (stripped to the essentials), his aesthetic creed. Milhaud dedicated the songs to Satie. The three miniatures are a colorful kaleidoscope of the circus and the outdoor fairs that entranced the French during this period. “Fumée” describes the equestrienne of the Cirque Médrano atop a horse, jumping through hoops, captured in Toulouse-Lautrec’s familiar painting titled “L’écuyère au Cirque Fernando (1888); “Fête de Bordeaux” is a description of the merry-go-round at the Bordeaux fair; and “Fête de Montmartre” evokes the nighttime boats and sailors, possibly having to do with a game involving camouflaged ships found at the Montmartre fair. Milhaud infuses stylistic and melodic elements of folk songs and children’s tunes into the tiny pieces, tying the innate excitement of these popular destinations to simple, childlike reactions. NOTES: Laurence Davies, The Gallic Muse (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1967), 164. BACK TO TOP FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963) Francis Poulenc’s 150 mélodies form the largest body of songs to be added to French vocal literature in the twentieth century. Poulenc’s flair for the dramatic, combined with his superb skill in mixing poetry and music, produced songs that singers find immensely gratifying, not only for their musical value, but for their heightened sense of drama. Poulenc’s mélodies reflect concern and feeling for declamation, inflection, breathing, and above all, show extraordinary warmth of feeling for the human voice. He was fond of saying, “J’aime la voix humaine!” The sophistication of Poulenc’s songs spring from their poetic inspirations. Poulenc was quite knowledgeable about poetry, and chose his texts carefully. His gift of divining the inner life of the texts he set produced songs that do more than merely illustrate the poems. His gift for melody is at the very heart of all his songs and seems to assert itself naturally in shaping the color, weight, and meaning of the texts he set. Ce doux petit visage (1938) poem by Paul éluard (1895-1952) Paul Eluard was one of Poulenc’s three main poets. This is a beautiful introduction to Eluard’s poetry, lyrical and passionately intense. The simplicity of Poulenc’s setting allows the poem to shine. It is one of Poulenc’s tiny gems, and he admitted his partiality to the short song. Eluard’s skill at evoking nostalgia and melancholy are seen here, linked to lost youth. The mélodie is dedicated to the memory of Raymonde Linossier, Poulenc’s most intimate childhood friend, who influenced his literary taste and musical tendencies. He said: “I have a great liking for this short song. Raymonde Linossier was my best advisor for the music of my youth. How many times, during the years since her death, I would have liked to have had her opinion on this or the other of my works.” 1 La Grenouillère (1938) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) “La Grenouillère” is an outstanding example of Poulenc’s romantic lyricism. This is a text by Guillaume Apollinaire describing the Ile de Croissy, an island in the Seine on the outskirts of Paris, frequented by artists and their models, and celebrated in paintings by Monet, Manet, and Renoir. “The Froggery” was a restaurant on the island. The overall images of happy days that cannot be relived can be seen in Pierre Auguste Renoir’s paintings Les Déjeuner des canotiers (The Boatman’s Luncheon), or La Grenouillère. In this lament for boating parties on the Seine, vocal phrases are sustained and languid, floating over a slowly rocking piano accompaniment. The lazy piano figures mirror the empty tethered boats rocking on the water, bumping against each other, and give expression to the sweet melancholy of the poet’s words. Montparnasse (1945) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Apollinaire’s poem is dated 1912. Poulenc writes in his journal of songs that it took him four years to complete “Montparnasse,” almost phrase by phrase, and that he had no regrets about the length of time it took because “it is one of my best songs.” 2 It is a sentimental and heartfelt tribute to Paris. Both Apollinaire and Poulenc loved the city and it played a continuing role in their work. “Montparnasse” is about the idyllic artistic existence lived at the edge of Paris. Poulenc wrote in his diary: “Let us imagine this Montparnasse all at once discovered by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Apollinaire.” 3 The mélodie has a carefree nonchalance about it; it is not sad, but thoughtful– a beautiful blend of poetic and musical lyricism. Poulenc’s vocal and harmonic textures are full of surprising harmonic details that bind this song–which he composed in fragments–together into a touching and expressive picture of Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. Bleuet (1939) poem by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire was one of Poulenc’s preferred poets. This is a wartime poem that Apollinaire penned in 1917 in Paris in convalescence after a head injury; both Apollinaire and Poulenc served in World War II. There are several word plays at work here. “Bleuet” was the nickname for French soldiers in World War I, because their uniforms were blue, like the color of a little cornflower, which is a “bleuet.” Also, “Un bleu” was the term used for a raw recruit. “Bleuet” is one of Poulenc’s most moving songs– agonizing in its emotional content yet noble in its message. It is a quiet and private moment in which a twenty-year-old boy who does not yet know all that life can be, is characterized–and addressed–by the poet in a sweetly serious speech. Poulenc wrote that for him, the key to the poem were the words, “It is five o’clock and you would know how to die.” 4 This song is simple, intimate, and poignant. Les Chemins de l’amour (1940) poem by Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) Poulenc composed this valse chantée as incidental music for Léocadia, a play by Jean Anouilh. Within the play, the song was described as a pseudo Viennese waltz, and functioned as a leitmotiv in the plot. Sung by Yvonne Printemps, one of France’s most celebrated musical theatre stars, “Les Chemins de l’amour” became a popular success. It embodies the relaxed elegance of a self-styled Viennese waltz style, encased in one of Poulenc’s haunting melodies. Banalités (1940) poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) Banalités is not a cycle, but a group of five songs. The poems have no connection with each other; however, their order provides a well-constructed recital group. They may be performed separately. The work is one of Poulenc’s most popular vocal works, and deservedly so. Poulenc chose contrasting poems, placing them so that the collection begins briskly and ends with lyrical gravity. “Chanson d’Orkenise” is Poulenc’s title for the poem contained in the strange mixture of prose and poetry that Apollinaire called Onirocritique. Orkenise is a road in Autun leading to the Roman gate of the same name. The musical setting has the feeling of a popular folk song. The narrator sings of a tramp leaving the city and a carter who is entering it - one leaving his heart there, one bringing his heart to be married. There is a word in the poem with a double meaning: “grise” can be translated as “gray” or “tipsy.” The merry quality of the song opens the set with gaiety, but both Apollinaire and Poulenc offer a little food for thought. “Hôtel” is a poem that immediately represented for Poulenc a hotel room in Montparnassse, where the idle poet wants only to bask in the sun’s warmth and smoke. Pierre Bernac referred to it as “the laziest song ever written.” 5 The piano figures are fashioned of Poulenc’s luxuriant chromatic harmonies, stacked as if to cushion the lethargy of the singer. “Fagnes de Wallonie” is set in the gloomy, desolate uplands of the Ardennes with a terrain of vast heaths, twisted trees, and peat bogs, swept by winds of considerable force. Its gloomy setting complements the melancholy mood of the poet. Poulenc’s spiky musical setting is a whirlwind that sweeps from beginning to end in a turbulent texture that demands precise articulation from singer and pianist. Sandwiched between Songs 3 and 5 is a tiny bonbon, “Voyage à Paris.” It resembles a little commercial jingle about Paris–“which one day love must have created”–an invitation to the pleasures of that beautiful city, away from “the dreary countryside.” Poulenc sprinkles his quicksilver setting–a valse-musette–with indications of “amiable” and “avec charme.” The composer referred to it as having “deliciously stupid lines...Anything that concerns Paris I approach with tears in my eyes and my head full of music.” 6 The cycle concludes with “Sanglots”, one of Apollinaire’s finest poems about the universality of lost love, a theme that Poulenc matches with exquisite modulations in a setting that embodies the essence of the words. The vocal lines are eloquently lyrical. The poem is difficult to understand because of the juxtaposition of the main narrative and the interior “asides,” that in effect form a poem within a poem. 7 The song has an elegant serenity that culminates in a stunning climactic point at the words: “Est mort d’amour ou c’est tout comme/ Est mort d’amour et le voici.” The ending lines of the song sustain the profoundly calm mood, bringing Banalités to its close. La Courte Paille (1960) poems by Maurice Carême (1899-1978) The last song cycle Poulenc composed was La Courte paille, on seven poems of Belgian poet Maurice Carême. Poulenc composed the songs for soprano Denise Duval, creator of leading roles in his three operas, hoping that she would sing them to her young son. Poulenc considered the mélodies very poetic and whimsical; unfortunately, Duval disliked the music and never did sing the cycle. Poulenc asked Carême to provide an overall title for the work and requested permission to change the titles of several selected poems: the original title of “Quelle aventure!” is “Une puce et l’éléphant”; “Le Reine de cœur” is “Vitres de lune”; “Le carafon” is “La carafe et le carafon.” For the cycle’s title, Carême chose La Courte Paille (The Short Straw), referring to drawing lots by the method of a short straw. Poulenc was delighted, saying the title symbolized his little musical game exactly. He also wrote in his diary, “They must be sung tenderly; that is the surest way to touch the heart of a child.” 8 The cycle is full of child-like innocence, whimsy and imagination, with a few shadowy undertones. The first song, “Le Sommeil,” is a beautiful lullaby to a restless child who cannot go to sleep, tossing and turning in his small bed. He seems ill, crying and perspiring, but hopefully will finally surrender to slumber. In “Quelle aventure!” the child describes an absurd happening: he saw a flea driving a carriage with a small elephant in it. The story grows more bizarre but the rhythmic pace never wavers, careening to the end of the song when the child wonders how on earth he’ll ever be able to persuade “Mama” that it really happened. The verses are witty, yet the shrieks of “Mon Dieu!” are laced with a feeling of childish terror. “La Reine du cœur” is a beautiful, languid melody that paints a picture of the mysterious Queen of Hearts, beckoning to visitors from her frosty castle, where she reigns over a court of lovers, including the young dead. In “Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu...,” the child is chided “on all sides” about studying. The title of the song presents the French vowels, and the text contains words that make their plural with an “x” (“pou, chou, genou, hibou”). The formidable cat of the poem’s opening lines is none other than that tricky feline Puss-in-Boots! The entire song is a little tongue-twister, an exercise in diction and accuracy. “Les anges musiciens” are none other than the school children staying home on Thursday, the half-day school holiday in France in Poulenc’s time, practicing Mozart on their harps, just like good little angel musicians should do. “Le carafon” is a crazy little story of a carafe that longs for a baby carafe (carafon) just like the giraffe at the zoo, who has a girafon. This is a ridiculous rhyming game like those that children love to play. The text is full of whimsical characters: the carafe, a giraffe, a sorcerer astride a phonograph, Merlin, and finally, a carafon. “Lune d’Avril” is another lullaby, very slow and otherworldly, which serves as an epilogue. Bound together in a musical texture that features a syncopated pedal point, it is filled with enchanted images the child wishes to dream about: a land of joy, light, and flowers where all guns are silent. The ending leaves the listener suspended in a mood of unfinished magic. La Courte Paille is the last vocal music Poulenc composed. NOTES: Quoted in Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1977), 125. Francis Poulenc, Journal de mes mélodies, trans. Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, 1985), 75. Ibid., 75. Ibid., 57. Bernac, 72. Poulenc, 67. The English translation of “Sanglots” has parentheses that delineate the “asides” so that both “poems” may be seen. These may be found in Pierre Bernac’s books Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, page 75, or The Interpretation of French Song, pages 284-85 Poulenc, 109. BACK TO TOP MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) The songs of Maurice Ravel represent a transition between the mature mélodies of Debussy and the vocal literature that followed, notably the songs of Les Six. Debussy dominated the French musical scene from the turn of the century until his death in 1918. It was Ravel who was regarded as the leading musical spokesman for France following World War I. He was a skillful craftsman and his songs have a sense of evenness of rhythmic structure and flow that call for scrupulous execution. The fusion of music and text into a logical whole was of utmost importance to him. He composed elegant and subtle mélodies, using classical phrase structure. His melodic phrases often tend toward modality. His songs range from those with a folk-like style to more to those that are more speech-like, and those that encompass a melodic romanticism. He was precise in his thought and his scoring, and scrupulous in his musical execution. His music encompassed some of the fascinating influences of the post-Wagnerian era. Ravel’s musical contributions were of utmost importance to this exciting and new era in French cultural history. He made notable contributions to musical literature for the piano, the French art song, opera, chamber music, orchestral literature, and the ballet. Sur l’herbe (1907) poem by Paul Verlaine (1833-1896) This mélodie is Ravel’s only setting of Verlaine. It has often been suggested that this poem was probably inspired by Watteau’s painting L’île enchantée. There is also a reference to a famous eighteenth-century dancer, Marie-Anne Cuppi, known as (La) Camargo, who was immortalized on canvas by the painter Nicolas Lancret. The scene is an outside gathering, elegant and artificial. A number of people are there, chief among them, a licentious abbé, slightly tipsy from a bit too much Cyprian wine. He exchanges a few disconnected gallantries with the ladies–innocent conversations on the surface, but sensuous in undertone. The conversation is disconnected; we do not know exactly who is speaking. Ravel shapes very flexible vocal phrases, in keeping with the abbé’s intoxicated state, underscored with graceful piano figures that evoke an eighteenth-century dance. In a letter to Jean-Aubrey, Ravel commented on “Sur l’herbe”: “In this piece, as in the Histoires naturelles, the impression must be given that one is almost not singing. A bit of preciosity is found there which is indicated moreover by the text and the music.” 1 Noël des jouets (1905) poem by the composer This is the only solo song for which Ravel wrote the text. It describes a Christmas manger scene, replete with the Virgin and Christ-child, animals, and angels. It embodies Ravel’s delight with tiny mechanical toys and figures, and his fascination with the unspoiled world of child-like experience. His genius for text painting is displayed in the delightful mélodie. The mechanical toys come to life in the piano figures. Ravel’s charming text creates the images around and over the crèche, with not a word wasted. Ravel commented that the music is “clear and plain, like the mechanical toys of the poem.” 2 This little song foreshadows other Ravel settings of make-believe, beginning with the song cycle Histoires naturelles and culminating with his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges. The music of menacing dog Belzébuth foreshadows the music of the Beast in the Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère lOye). Rêves (1927) poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) The poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue has been described as reflecting the union of dream and memory. This mélodie has a tender lyricism within a sparse musical texture. The text is fashioned of a series of miniature images that pass by rather quickly, unrelated, like the images found in dreams. For all their differences, they have a simplicity about them that seems timeless, existing together, as the poet says, “in a vague countryside.” When the dreamer finally awakens, the little fleeting pictures “die quietly.” The piano postlude perpetuates the dream state, creating an ethereal little microcosm that continues to draw the dreamer to it. Ronsard à son âme (1924) poem by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) In his Abrégé de l’art poétique français (1565) Pierre de Ronsard advocated the union of poetry and music, and Renaissance composers frequently set his poems. 3 In this strikingly simple mélodie, Ronsard speaks to his soul, calling it by a series of diminutives: little soul, dainty little one, sweet little one. Ravel uses a series of parallel fifths in the piano figures to invoke a Renaissance mood. This is Ronsard’s last poem, and Ravel’s last adaptation of Renaissance poetry. Ravel’s setting recalls the elegance of his early mélodie, “D’Anne qui me jecta de la neige,” to a poem of Clément Marot. Manteau de fleurs (1903) poem by Paul Barthélemy Jeulin (1863-1936) The poem notes everything in the garden that is pink–all the flowers that will become a beautiful cloak to complement the beauty of the lady of the poem. Ravel usually had very sophisticated taste in choosing texts; this particular poem is an unusual choice. It is a simple text, somewhat banal, but Ravel’s shimmering musical texture imparts a dramatic character for each flower in the poem. The overall piano texture suggests orchestral colors. The last section of the mélodie changes course slightly, with the piano harmonies creating a slightly wistful mood. Clearly, Ravel lavished a beautiful musical setting on a rather ordinary set of words. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée (1932-33) [Medium/Low Voice edition only] poems by Paul Morand (1888-1976) This miniature cycle was Ravel’s last vocal work. His musical portrait of the noble Spanish knight, Don Quixote, is embodied in three mélodies, all based on characteristic Spanish or Basque dance rhythms: (1) the guajira, alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meter; (2) the zorzica, a Basque dance in quintuple meter; and (3) the jota, a lively triple-metered Spanish dance. “Chanson Romanesque” presents the chivalrous idealist Don Quixote, confidently promising to rearrange everything in nature to his lady Dulcinea’s liking in order to win her favor. Dulcinea is in reality a poor farm girl, but the Don’s illusion will not be shaken. He remains authoritative and focused in his quest for her love. “Chanson épique” is Quixote’s reverent prayer to Saint Michael and Saint George, beseeching them to bless his sword and his Lady. Ravel creates a beautifully sustained and prayerful vocal line over a simple accompaniment. “Chanson à boire” is a exuberant drinking song. Although the Don’s tippling has made him overly boisterous, he never oversteps the bounds of his noble bearing. His robust laughter is heard in the piano figures and even a hiccup intrudes between “lorsque j’ai” and “lorsque j’ai bu.” NOTES: Maurice Ravel, in a letter to Jean-Aubrey written in September, 1907. Quoted in Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 165-66. Quoted in Orenstein, 161. Orenstein, 192. BACK TO TOP ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937) In 1894 Albert Roussel left a highly successful career as a naval officer to pursue music. After completing his studies, he became professor of counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Satie and Varèse were among his students. Roussel was one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. He composed almost forty mélodies as well as chamber music, ballets, and operas. His style is eclectic but highly individual. Early works show the influence of Vincent d’Indy, works dating from 1910 to 1920 exhibit influences of Debussy and Ravel, but he turned to neoclassicism in his later compositions. His love for the sea was almost a spiritual attraction and continued to influence his music throughout his career. He had a fascination for distant places; his extended tour of Southeast Asia in 1909 had a tremendous influence on his composition. “Sarabande” and “Cœur en peril” are mélodies to texts of René Chalupt, a close friend. They are found in op. 20 and 50, respectively. Roussel’s overall musical catalogue is not extensive, but its quality is of an extremely high level, and his vocal writing in particular contains some mélodies of great delicacy and style, squarely in the French tradition. For Roussel, the word held primacy in his mélodies, being both transformed by its musical setting and merging with it to create a perfect union. Commenting on the quality of Roussel’s songs, composer Charles Koechlin is quoted as saying: “The sense of austerity pervading them, stemming simply from the composer’s natural reserve, heightens their expressiveness and further embellishes them; in language and content they are absolutely personal. This collection of songs is one which will last because its essence is undying sensitivity.” 1 Sarabande (1919) from Deux mélodies, Op. 20, No. 2 poem by René Chalupt This is surely one of Roussel’s most delicate and magical creations. His writing for the piano is particularly outstanding, placing Chalupt’s poem in an overall texture of elegance and veiled sensuality. There is an Oriental delicacy in Roussel’s musical evocation of the fluttering doves, feathers drifting into a pool, and the gentle drift of chestnut blossoms onto bare flesh. Cœur en péril (1933-34) from Deux mélodies, Op. 50, No. 1 poem by René Chalupt This mélodie is much different in mood–witty and flirtatious. It is the narrative of a young man eager to convince his ladylove of his fidelity. Vocal phrases are tuneful, with a spirited piano texture of Iberian flavor. NOTES: Liner notes, Dom Angelico Surchamp, trans. Elisabeth Carroll, Roussel Mélodies, Colette Alliot-Lugaz, Mady Mesplé, Kurt Ollmann, José Van Dam; Dalton Baldwin, Patrick Gallois. EMI Digital. CDS 7492712, 1987 BACK TO TOP ERIK SATIE (1866-1925) Erik Satie wrote very few songs and most of them date from late in his life. The eccentric father figure of the French avant-garde of the twentieth century had a wildly independent spirit that found its way into his musical compositions. Throughout his life, he kept a great deal of childlike inquisitiveness and innocence. He was a curious personality of unconventional habits whose sense of the absurd and whimsy permeated both his life and his music. Quintessential Satie compositions are laconic and witty. It was Satie who named Les Nouveaux Jeunes, soon known as Les Six, and influenced the early development of the group. La Statue de bronze (1916) from Trois Mélodies poem by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) This is Satie’s first setting of the poetry of Léon-Paul Fargue, the “Bohemian poet of Paris.” Satie used Fargue’s witty verses again for Ludions. The scene is a garden game–the jeu de tonneau. A bronze frog, perched atop a cabinet with numbered chambers, grows impatient of being the target of the game where metal disks are tossed into her mouth. She dreams of being freed from her pedestal and being able to use her wide-open mouth to utter “LE MOT.” 1 She wants to be free to join the other frogs gathered near the rust-colored washhouse “blowing musical bubbles from the soapy moonlight.” But the game continues, the disks rattle through her mouth into numbered compartments and at night, insects sleep in her mouth. This mélodie can be linked musically to “La Grenouille américaine,” found in Ludions. Both songs share piano figures derived from the café-concert chanson. Ludions (1923) poems by Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) Ludions is the last of Satie’s purely vocal works, composed two years before his death, and is perhaps his finest set of songs. It epitomizes his lifelong quest for musical simplicity and his irreverence for the intricate compositional techniques and overactive emotions of the Impressionists. Ludions is translated as “bottle imps” (a ludion is a little figure suspended in a hollow ball, which descends or rises in a vase filled with water when one presses down on the elastic membrane covering the mouth of the vase). The cycle is a kaleidoscopic set of musical miniatures, riddled with puns and illogical phrases. Fargue’s nonsensical verse complements Satie’s musical aesthetic, and the two friends’ personalities closely matched one another. All the mélodies in Ludions are short, like tiny cameos. They are colorful, saucy, fantastic, and defy translation. “Air du rat,” “La Grenouille américaine,” and “Chanson du chat” are right out of the music hall, and Satie uses with a mock-serious “tongue-in-cheek” treatment for “Spleen” and “Air du poète.” Je te veux (1902) poem by Henry Pacory (1873-?) The valse chantée, or sung waltz was a favorite of the café concerts, for which Satie composed a number of works. Café concerts were a form of Parisian popular entertainment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The all-musical programs were held outside; French popular singers presented repertoire that catered to lower and middle-class audiences who came to talk, eat, drink, and observe the long informal programs, for which there was no admission charge. “Je te veux” was composed for Paulette Darty, dubbed “the Queen of the slow waltz.” It was one of her signature musical presentations for the caf’conc (café concerts), and one that Darty remained associated with throughout her career. A statuesque blonde with an ample figure, Darty was a commanding performer who kept the most boisterous of the Saturday night audiences enthralled. Lyricist Henry Pacory’s rather explicit poem was watered down at Satie’s request before the song was published. La Diva de l’Empire (1904) poem by Charles Bessat, named Numa Blès (1871-1917) The “Diva de l’Empire,” 2 one of Satie’s café-concert songs, was another work written for and performed by Paulette Darty. It was composed for a Bonnaud-Blès music-hall revue called Dévidons la Bobine (Let’s Unwind the Bobbin) that toured several seaside resort towns. The British “diva” is a femme fatale performer who enchants all who see her. The song is a syncopated cakewalk describing her seductive beauty as she struts her stuff “showing the wiggling of her legs and some pretty frilly underwear.” Interspersed at points along the way with English words: Greenaway, baby, little girl, etc. The piano provides a jaunty ragtime rhythm throughout that melds perfectly with the suggestive text. NOTES: ”Le mot” has a double meaning. It was the title of a broadsheet published by Jean Cocteau between 1914-15 and is short for “le mot de Cambronne,” a polite way of saying “merde.” Cambronne was a famous French general who replied “Merde!” when asked to surrender. In Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 43. Empire refers to the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London. BACK TO TOP DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Déodat de Séverac, of aristocratic lineage, was born in the Languedoc region of southwest France in Saint-Félix-Caraman (now Saint-Félix Lauragais), near Toulouse. After studies in Paris with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, he returned home and remained there. He was a contemporary of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, but was considered a petit maître in their company, possibly because of his return to Languedoc at the completion of his musical studies. Séverac composed piano and orchestral music, operas and songs. The culture of his native Languedoc figured prominently in his music, which is highly descriptive. He often wrote parts for regional folk music in his scores. Many considered him provincial and unsophisticated, but his music displays his skill in integrating folk elements–and often, regional folk instruments–of his native Languedoc into his works. He often referred to himself as “the peasant musician.” Influences of Debussy, Mussorgsky, and Bizet may be found in his mélodies. Although his music is rather conservative in style, Séverac fused folk elements with the musical styles of the day in a unique and individual manner. Ma poupée chérie (1914) poem by the composer Composed in 1914 (and published in 1916) for his daughter Magali and dedicated to her, this little cradlesong is probably de Séverac’s best loved and most performed mélodie. Séverac’s fresh musical setting contains just the right combination of simplicity and delightful childlike honesty. Despite the subject matter, the composer’s heartfelt poem avoids an overly cloying atmosphere. BACK TO TOP OTHER SOURCES CONSULTED: Jane Bathori, On the Interpretation of the Mélodies of Claude Debussy, transl. and with an introduction by Linda Laurent (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1998). Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc: The Man and his Songs, transl. by Winifred Radford (New York: W.W. Norton, 1977). Pierre Bernac, The Interpretation of French Song, transl. by Winifred Radford(New York: W.W. Norton, 1978). Elaine Brody, Paris: The Musical Kaleidoscope 1870-1925 (New York: George Braziller, 1987). Mary Dibbern, Carol Kimball, and Patrick Choukroun, Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2001) Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1992). James Harding, The Ox on the Roof: Scenes from musical life in Paris in the Twenties (New York: Da Capo Press, 1986). Peter Hill, ed., The Messiaen Companion (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1995). Graham Johnson, Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (London: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2009) Graham Johnson and Richard Stokes, A French Song Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Carol Kimball, Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2005). Carol Kimball and Richard Walters, eds., The French Song Anthology (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2001). Timothy LeVan, Masters of the French Art Song (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1991). Barbara Meister, Nineteenth-Century French Song (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1980). Wilfrid Mellers, Francis Poulenc (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975). Nancy Perloff, Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment in the Circle of Erik Satie(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) Caroline Potter, Henri Dutilleux: His Life and Works (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co., 1997). Francis Poulenc, Moi et mes amis: Confidences recueilles par Stéphane Audel (Paris: La Palatine, 1963). Francis Poulenc, Diary of my Songs [Journal de mes mélodies] transl. by Winifred Radford (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1985) Marie-Claire Rohinsky, ed., The Singer’s Debussy (New York: Pelion Press, 1987) Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years (New York: Vintage Books, 1968).