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Disney's High School Musical 2 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 David Simpatico Songs by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil and David N. Lawrence and Faye Greenberg and Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn and Jamie Houston and Andy Dodd and Adam Watts Music Adapted, Arranged and Produced by Bryan Louiselle Based on the Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini Overview / Synopsis Disney Channel's smash hit musical comes to life on your stage! The gang's all here for an action-packed summer extravaganza as Troy, Gabriella and the rest of the Wildcats finish junior year and blast onto the summer scene. At the Lava Springs Country Club, Sharpay reigns supreme while the Wildcats get to work - literally! Keeping every ounce of the light-hearted fun that makes High School Musical a household name, this buoyant sequel takes on the questions of real kids facing the realities of the adult world. Friendships are tested, summer romances go haywire, and the meaning of success is redefined. Growing with the characters, HSM2 doesn't miss one fabulous beat as the kids from East High get a taste of what it means to grow up. Rockin' songs, action-packed dance numbers, and ample opportunities to highlight a strong ensemble make this an ideal show for young actors. Jump into pool with the Wildcats as you swim along with this crowd-pleasing, fun-filled charmer. Audio Sampler - HL08750665 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09971343 $600.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Libretto/Vocal Books Piano/Vocal Score Director's Script 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs Choreography DVD 30 Family Matters Booklets Production Handbook Cross-Curricular Book 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 09971344 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09971345 - Director's Script $50.00 09971346 - Libretto/Vocal Book $10.00 09971347 - Libretto/Vocal Book 10 Pak $75.00 09971348 - Performance/Accompaniment CD $75.00 09971349 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09971351 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 09971352 - Student Rehearsal CD 20 Pak $100.00 08750665 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Scene 1 What Time Is It [All] What Time Is It (Reprise) [All] Scene 2 Fabulous [Sharpay, Ryan, Sharpettes, Poolboys, All] What Time Is It (Wildcats Exit) [Chad, All] Scene 3 Transition: To Kitchen [Wildcats] Work This Out [Chad, Taylor, Jack, Scott, Kelsi, Martha, Zeke, Girls, Troy, Gabriella, All] Scene 5 You Are the Music in Me (Pt. 1 and 2) [Kelsi] You Are the Music in Me (Pt. 3) [Kelsi, Gabriella, Troy, Taylor, Chad, Kelsi, Jack, Zeke, Martha, All] Scene 7 Fabulous (Troy's Transformation) [Sharpay, Ryan, Ensemble] Scene 8 Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Pt. 1) [Kelsi, All] Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Pt. 2) [Guys, Girls, Sharpay, Ryan] Scene 9 You Are the Music in Me (Rock Version) [Sharpay, Sharpettes, Troy] You Are the Music in Me (Tag) [Troy, Sharpay, Sharpettes] Scene 11 I Don't Dance [Ryan, Chad, Wildcats] Scene 12 "Every Day" Rehearsal (Pt. 1, 2 and 3) [All] Scene 13 Fabulous (Sharpay's Triumph) [Sharpettes, Sharpay] Gotta Go My Own Way [Gabriella, Troy] Scene 14 Talent Show 4: Theresa Templeton Every Day [Troy,Chad] Scene 15 Every Day [All] All For One (Finale) [All] High School Musical 2 Megamix (Bows) [All] TROY BOLTON Troy Bolton is the most popular kid at East High, the star of the basketball team and Gabriella's boyfriend. Troy is in a tough place this summer - he needs to make as much money as possible in order to afford college. When a scholarship opportunity arises, he does everything he can to make it happen. Look for a solid young actor who can convey the full range of Troy's emotions and character traits: independent, driven, athletic, yet smitten with Gabriella. Troy should be one of your strongest male singers. CHAD DANFORTH Chad Danforth is a jock and Troy's best friend. He and Taylor share a special bond, but he is good friends with all the Wildcats. As Troy gets wrapped up in his scholarship world, Chad becomes concerned about the person Troy is becoming. Cast an actor/singer that partners naturally with Troy, is a leader of his own accord, and can handle Chad's large solo numbers as well as his acting challenges. JACK SCOTT Jack Scott is the school announcer who is confident and suave behind the microphone, but not so sure of himself when he isn't. He has a great friendship with Kelsi and they bring out the best in each other. Try casting a student who will enjoy making this quirky role his own, and can portray a "gift of gab" radio voice. Look for a character actor with superior diction, good comic timing, and a pleasant singing voice. RYAN EVANS Ryan Evans is Sharpay's barely younger twin and a true star. He loves singing and dancing, and is learning to be his own person outside of Sharpay's shadow. He wants what's best for his sister but is having a hard time dealing with her ego. Everything Ryan does is executed to the extreme and usually with enthusiasm. You want to find an actor who is a "triple threat" for this character: strong singer, dancer and actor. ZEKE BAYLOR Zeke Baylor is a basketball player and good friend of Troy and Chad. His love of baking is matched only by his crush on Sharpay. Find an actor who works well as part of a team, but is able stand out in his own, especially when revealing his feelings for baking and Sharpay. Zeke has a number of solos, so make sure your actor can sing as well as act. GABRIELLA MONTEZ Gabriella Montez is an intelligent, charming girl who is loved by everyone... except Sharpay. She is dating Troy and can't wait to spend the summer with him at Lava Springs. Gabriella is a strong, loyal character who sticks up for her beliefs. Cast a young woman who is a solid singer and actor and can portray intelligence and independence. If you have time, pair up your potential Troys and Gabriellas at your audition to see how each pair works together. TAYLOR MCKESSIE Taylor McKessie is Gabriella's best friend who has started hanging out with Chad more often. She is organized and intelligent and doesn't like to see people take advantage of her friends, namely Gabriella. Find a young woman who can sing and can portray Taylor's assertiveness and brains. SHARPAY EVANS Sharpay Evans is the egocentric daughter of the Lava Springs owner and barely older twin sister of Ryan. She does everything she can to get what she wants, particularly Troy Bolton. Find an actress who can portray different sides of being a diva so Sharpay doesn't come off as a one-note caricature. Make sure your Sharpay has solid acting, singing and dancing skills as she carries many scenes. MARTHA COX Martha Cox is the fun-loving, big-personality girl of the group. She loves to dance, specifically hip-hop. Cast an actress who understands comic timing and enjoys being overthe- top. The role does have solo singing lines, but the vocal quality is not as important as the character. KELSI NIELSEN Kelsi Nielsen is an up-and-coming theatre composer who struggles with how to further her career. Cast an actor who can blend into the background while having the intelligence and ability to shoot the "zingers" at Sharpay with timing and accuracy. You should also coach your actress to look like a pianist as she "accompanies" the songs onstage. Kelsi has solos throughout the show. BLOSSOM, VIOLET and PEACHES Blossom, Violet and Peaches are the Sharpettes, Sharpay's debutante gal pals. They are bubbly, excitable and will back Sharpay up in all her endeavors. The Sharpettes should be good singers and dancers who exude lots of focused energy onstage. Feel free to cast more than three Sharpettes. Use the following names for the additional girls: Jasmine, Lily, Ruby, Beneatha, Orchid, Susan, Lindsay, Colleen. FULTON Fulton is the efficient club manager of Lava Springs. When it comes to the Wildcats, he doesn't have difficulty being in charge, but Sharpay is a different story. He is overly concerned with pleasing the daughter of the country club's owner. It isn't until Sharpay pushes him too far that Fulton is able to stand up to her. Find an actor with excellent comic timing for this role. While he does sing with the ensemble in a few songs, his solo lines are to be spoken, so acting skills should be the priority. ENSEMBLE The Ensemble makes up the other characters who populate Lava Springs Country Club. Some have small featured roles: pool boys, hairdressers, tailors, dermatologists. Other members of the ensemble work primarily as specific groups: the Wildcats, Lava Springs employees, Waiters, etc. These roles vary in size and in vocal, acting and dance requirements, so cast performers with a wide range of abilities. The ensemble participates in several self-contained numbers, which provide great opportunities to use groups of students that can rehearse together. (For example, the sixth-grade chorus in one number, the seventh-grade classes in another, etc.) Look for students with enthusiasm and the ability to take direction, and students that let your ensemble look like a perfect representation of your school and community.
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).
Hairspray 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 Hairspray Jr. is not available for licensing at this time. MTI and the authors are refurbishing the materials, please check back for updates. Credits Book by Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan Music by Marc Shaiman Lyrics by Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters Overview / Synopsis One Act, Book Musical, Rated G Broadway Junior Version You can't stop the beat in this big and bold musical about one girl's inspiring dream to dance. (60-MINUTE VERSION FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS) The 1950s are out and change is in the air! HAIRSPRAY JR. the family-friendly musical piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs is adapted from the Original Broadway Version which won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It's 1962, and spunky plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has one big dream -- to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When she finally gets her shot, she's transformed from social outcast to sudden star. In balancing her new-found power with her desire for justice, Tracy fights to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray, Amber von Tussle, and integrate a TV network in the process. With the help of her outsized mom, Edna, and guest DJ Motormouth Maybelle, the rhythm of Tracy's new beat just might prove unstoppable. HAIRSPRAY JR. is filled with a host of parts for a wide cross-section of students and an abundance of energetic production numbers. HAIRSPRAY JR. is a show that will celebrate your students' diversity and bring audiences to their feet with its positive message and uproarious sense of humor. - See more HERE. Early on a Monday morning in early June, 1962, Tracy Turnblad wakes up to face another day, full of hope and big dreams (Good Morning Baltimore). After school, Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton race home to watch "The Corny Collins Show," a local teenage music and dance show on TV (The Nicest Kids in Town). On the show, teen idol Link Larkin pledges his love to Amber Von Tussle by giving her his Council Member ring, and Corny Collins announces auditions for new Council Members. Seeing her chance at stardom, Tracy plans to cut school and audition for the show, but her mother Edna Turnblad does not approve. Elsewhere, Penny and Amber also argue with their mothers (Mama I'm a Big Girl Now). Tracy goes to the audition, but is ridiculed by the girls on the show and sent away by Amber's mother and show producer, Velma Von Tussle. Sitting in detention, a frustrated Tracy learns some new dance moves from Seaweed J Stubbs, a black student whose mother is Motormouth Maybelle - the DJ who hosts the monthly Negro Day on "The Corny Collins Show." The next evening there is a school dance and there, Tracy is able to impress Corny with the new moves she picked up in detention, earning her a spot on "The Corny Collins Show." During her debut, Link Larkin sings a song just for Tracy (It Takes Two). Now a local star, Tracy gets an offer to be the spokes-girl for Mr. Pinky's The Hefty Hideaway, a clothing store, gets her mother out of the house for the first time in years as the duo heads to the store to update their wardrobes (Welcome to the Sixties). At school, Tracy continues to be teased by Amber and becomes the target in a dodgeball game. After the game, Link, Penny, and Seaweed stay behind to help Tracy, and there Seaweed invites them to join him at his mother's record shop (Run and Tell That). The Von Tussles barge in and spoil the party with their bigotry, however, this gives Tracy the idea to integrate "The Corny Collins Show" by having Motormouth and her daughter, Little Inez, crash Mother/Daughter Day on the show. Fears of police and jail don't stop Tracy from moving forward with the plan. Unfortunately, the plan for integration lands all of the mothers and daughters in jail (The Big Dollhouse). Everyone gets out, except Tracy who is denied bail (Baltimore - Reprise). Link comes to the rescue and professes his love for Tracy, while elsewhere Seaweed and Penny reveal their feelings for each other too (Without Love). The kids hatch a plan to get Tracy on the nationwide Miss Teenage Hairspray broadcast, and bring the news to Motormouth, who expresses that she will never stop fighting for equality (I Know Where I've Been). Corny Collins begins his nationwide broadcast ((It's) Hairspray) and introduces Amber for her dance (Cooties). Just before Amber is crowned Miss Teenage Hairspray, Tracy and her friends storm in and take over the show (You Can't Stop the Beat - Part 1). Corny declares Tracy as the new Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962, and Tracy declares that "The Corny Collins Show" is officially integrated. Edna makes a grand entrance, and even the Von Tussles can't resist the celebration (You Can't Stop the Beat - Part 2). Audio Sampler - HL00123343 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09971731 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: 30 Actor's Books Choreography DVD Director's Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets Media Disk 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 09971732 - Director's Guide $100.00 09971733 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09971734 - Actor's Script $10.00 00123341 - Actor's Script 10-Pak $75.00 09971735 - Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD $75.00 09971737 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00123342 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-Pak $100.00 09971736 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09971738 - Media Disc $10.00 00123343 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hairspray Jr. is not available for licensing at this time. MTI and the authors are refurbishing the materials, please check back for updates. Hear A Sample Good Morning Baltimore The Nicest Kids In Town Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now The Nicest Kids (Reprise) It Takes Two Welcome To The Sixties Run and Tell That The Big Dollhouse Baltimore (Reprise) Without Love I Know Where I've Been (It's) Hairspray Cooties You Can't Stop The Beat (Part 1) You Can't Stop The Beat (Part 2) Hairspray Jr. is not available for licensing at this time. MTI and the authors are refurbishing the materials, please check back for updates. AMBER VONTUSSLE A prom queen nightmare! She is definitely "The Corny Collins Show" favorite, but she is competitive and has a bad attitude. Range: C4-E5 CORNY COLLINS The host of "The Corny Collins Show," and a Baltimore celebrity. Foremost, Corny is a charmer. Range: C3-G4 COUNCIL MEMBERS- BRAD, TAMMY, FENDER, SKETCH, SHELLEY, IQ, BRENDA and LOU ANN The famed teenage performers on "The Corney Collins Show." EDNA TURNBLAD Tracy's loving mother who doesn't spend much time outside the house. She works days and nights as a laundress in her home, and her lack of social interaction has made her a bundle of nerves. Range: Bb3-Eb5 LINK LARKIN Baltimore's biggest heartthrob, and Tracy's dream guy. Link is considered the best performer in town. Think of any teenage idol who is able to reduce girls to tears - there's your guy! Range: G2-A4 LITTLE INEZ STUBBS Seaweed's little sister and a great breakout role for a black actress. Range: Bb3-E5 MOTORMOUTH MAYBELLE MOTORMOUTH MAYBELLE is the face of the Civil Rights Movement and sings the beautiful anthem, "I Know Where I've Been." Range: F3-F5 MR. PINKY Owner of a ladies' clothing shop and is a salesperson inside and out - he is always the first to give a compliment. Range: C3-C4 PENNY PINGLETON Tracy's fun and sheltered sidekick. She is a young lady caught between her mother's very strict rules and her own wants and desires to be just another teenage girl. Range: C4-E5 PRUDY PINGLETON Penny's eccentric but loving mother, who wants the best for her daughter but is extreme in her means. SEAWEED J. STUBBS The object of Penny's affections, and together, they are determined to defy the segregation laws of the 1960s. Range: Gb2-Bb3 THE DUNAMITES (JUDINE, KAMILAH & SHAYNA) A dynamic musical trio, iconic of the Motown era and the 1960s. Think the Supremes. Range: E4-A5 TRACY TURNBLAD A young lady with big hair and an even bigger personality! She is the hero of our story and she is sweet but also strong in her convictions. She is bigger in size than the other girls, but she isn't shy about it - she can still dance with the best of them! Range: G3-C#5 VELMA VON TUSSLE A carbon copy of Amber - just twenty years older and meaner! She is most concerned with making sure her daughter wins Miss Teenage Baltimore. Range: C4-E5 WILBUR TURNBLAD Edna's loving husband and Tracy's supportive father who just wants the best for his girls.
Benjamin Britten Article Distributed by Britten Home YouTube Festival Biography Choral Publications Article: Explore the Choral Music of Benjamin Britten by Paul Spicer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a unique force in British music. Of the fine composers among his contemporaries, none wrote such a wide variety of music across such a broad spectrum of genres and for such a range of ages and abilities. In many ways, though he might have been surprised by the comparison, he was the natural successor to Vaughan Williams, whose instincts for community and the nurture of amateur musicians brought him an almost cult-like status in Britain. Britten did not devote himself so wholeheartedly to these things, but a sizeable proportion of his choral music is easily within the reach of a good ordinary choir, another part is well within the grasp of a reasonable church choir, and there is, of course, all the music he wrote specifically for children. Among the 60 or so non-operatic choral works there are also works which are exceptionally demanding and perhaps best left to professionals and outstanding amateurs. The range of this output and the frequency of performance of the better-known works underline Britten's ubiquity in the world of choral singing, not just in the English-speaking community but far beyond. As with many composers who have devoted themselves to writing a large corpus of music for one particular genre, Britten has suffered from being too well-known for a few familiar pieces. Rejoice in the Lamb, A Ceremony of Carols, Hymn to the Virgin, Hymn to St Cecilia, Jubilate Deo in C and others have tended to obscure the fuller picture of Britten's choral output and, if nothing else, I hope that choral directors will look beyond their favourites and explore the rich variety of music which is still almost undiscovered. Schools, or choirs of upper or lower voices, will find music here of wonderful quality which rarely sees the light of day. Similarly, there is a genuine mix of sacred and secular and some useful blurring of the edges where words can be equally appropriate in either context. I hope that the corresponding online guide will also be of real practical help to those who aim to build programmes which may be structured in specific ways - thematically, by voice type, by religious or non-religious setting, or by the balancing of a well-known piece by a less-familiar or almost unknown work. It is a spirit of discovery and adventure which should fire the imagination, and it is a love of all this music which has inspired the commentary writing. Britten was a practical composer. He knew that the music he wrote was performable because he himself was an accomplished professional musician. This is, again, where the Vaughan Williams analogy holds true. To be there, in among those doing the singing, directing the performance, advising other conductors and acquiring great expertise and experience over a creative lifetime, gave him an unusual insight into what choirs enjoy singing. He discovered what levels were attainable by different types of group, and did much to encourage that sense of ambition which has led to a genuine rise in the quality of amateur choral music-making. Britten was also a practical composer because he gave his performers all the information they need to deliver a convincing and 'authentic' performance - his scores have clear and unambiguous performance directions throughout. He is known to have remarked that, if musicians follow his instructions to the letter (and can play or sing the notes in an accurate and musical fashion), they will give a performance of which the composer would approve. So the principal instruction to choral directors is to prepare the score thoroughly prior to embarking on rehearsals. Read the words in order to understand Britten's setting of them, and mark, learn and inwardly digest Britten's clear instructions about speed, dynamics, phrasing, and, often most importantly, articulation. The mood of a piece so often comes from the composer's approach to the text. Britten tended to choose texts which were not widely set by other composers. But to compare, for instance, his two connected settings of Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur" in A.M.D.G. and "The World of the Spirit" with Kenneth Leighton's version is to clearly demonstrate the point. No two responses could be more different and yet each excitingly shows the composer's individual reaction to the poem. To examine Britten's popular Jubilate Deo in C alongside Howells' Collegium Regale setting of the same words written some fifteen years earlier is, again, to emphasize how their idiomatic interpretations of the text helped shape each piece. Britten's style grew out of the English choral tradition he knew so well. He had not been a cathedral chorister but had boarded at Gresham's School from the age of 14. There he was exposed to the standard repertoire of the Anglican Church and his earliest well-known piece, "A Hymn to the Virgin," was written when he was only 16 and still a schoolboy. It unequivocally shows his feeling for the beauty and potential of choral sound, so it is no wonder that such precocious talent should develop to the extent it did. While there are pieces from his output which are more stylistically searching, this early gem sets the scene for a choral output that is essentially approachable, tonal, lyrical, and pleasing to both performer and listener. It is a remarkable legacy.
Fiddler On The Roof 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 Jerry Bock Book by Joseph Stein Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick Based on Sholem Aleichem's stories by special permission of Arnold Perl Overview / Synopsis Fiddler On The Roof Junior is a special adaptation of the classic Broadway musical, which tackles the universal theme of tradition in ways that reach across barriers of race, class, nationality, and religion. Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with tradition in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. The show features a star turn in Tevye, among the most memorable roles in the musical theatre canon. Its celebrated score, by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, features songs loved the world over, including "Tradition," "If I Were A Rich Man," and "Sunrise, Sunset." Fiddler On The Roof Junior is a great introduction to the world of musical theatre. Young performers will love its humor, warmth, and honesty. Directors will love the opportunity to direct a large cast with a good balance of male and female roles. Audio Sampler - HL00147642 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00147640 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: Production Guide Director's Guide P/V Vocal Score 30 Actor's Scripts 2 Rehearsal CDs 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreographic DVD Cross-curricular Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00147631 - Director's Guide $100.00 00147632 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00147633 - Actor's Script $10.00 00147634 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00147635 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00147636 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00147637 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 00147638 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00147639 - Media Disc $10.00 00147642 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Prologue Tradition [Tevye, Golde,Villagers] SCENE 1 Matchmaker [Hodel, Chava, Tzeitel] SCENE 2 If I Were a Rich Man [Tevye] SCENE 3 Sabbath Prayer [Tevye, Golde, Villagers] SCENE 4 To Life [Tevye, Lazar Wolf, Men] SCENE 8 Sunrise, Sunset [Tevye, Golde, Perchik, Hodel, Villagers] Wedding Dance [Villagers] SCENE 10 Do You Love Me? [Tevye, Golde] SCENE 11 Far from the Home I Love [Hodel] SCENE 13 Chava Sequence [Villagers] SCENE 14 Anatevka [Golde, Yente, Lazar Wolf, Mendel, Avram, Tevye] Tevye Tevye is the heart and conscience of Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is generally cast as a larger young man, but his stature really comes from his integrity and zest for life. Tevye's emotional range runs from strong patriarch to gentle father. He should be robust. He understands his role as leader of the family, but knows his place as his wife's husband. Your Tevye should be able to show the wide range of conflict, joy and pain that his character feels throughout the story. The actor playing Tevye needs to be comfortable speaking directly to the audience, and being the spiritual leader of your production. He does not necessarily need to have a great singing voice, but he must have a strong, easily projected voice that can fill your performance space. Tevye must develop an easy-going, comfortable rapport with the audience. Vocal Range: Ab3 - D Golde Golde is the backbone of the family. She has a rather gruff exterior, but in her heart is sheer dedication to her family. When casting Golde, remember that she must be able to frighten Tevye. She runs the household and keeps Tevye's more emotional side in check. Conversely, she should be able to show a softer side when dealing with Chava and Tevye's rift. Golde lives that her daughters will be married. She, like Tevye, need not be the greatest singer in the world, but she should have a commanding voice. Vocal Range: G3 - Db5 Tzeitel Tzeitel is the oldest daughter of Tevye and Golde. She is the first to be matched by Yente and sets the plot of Fiddler into action by pleading with her father to let her marry Motel the Tailor, to whom she has pledged her love. When casting Tzeitel, keep in mind that she is the oldest daughter. She is determined to marry Motel and knows how to manipulate her father. Vocal Range: Bb3 - Cb5 Hodel Hodel is a strong, independent middle child of the three older daughters. She is outspoken, but respectful. She has her eye on the Rabbi's son at the outset of the story, but she is taken with the revolutionary Perchik from the moment she meets him. Hodel proves that her dedication to and love for Perchik is real as she follows him to Siberia after his arrest. Hodel's melancholy lament, "Far From the Home I Love," demands a good singer/actor. Vocal Range: Bb3 - Db5 Chava Chava is the third youngest daughter. She is an introspective, rather shy young woman who seems to favor books over other pursuits. Her love for the young Russian, Fyedka, tests her father's love to the limit and provides the largest conflict in the story. The actor playing Chava must be able to display a wide emotional range. Vocal Range: Bb3 - Cb5 Motel Motel is the young tailor enamored of Tzeitel. He is an endearing sort of Woody Allen type. He needn't be a great singer, but should be able to dance at his wedding. A young man with good comic timing and a vulnerable quality is ideal. Perchik Perchik is a young student who leans toward a revolutionary, or as Tevye calls him, "A radical." Your Perchik should be able to hold his own with Tevye. Being a strong character, he clashes with Tevye idealistically, but is likable, charming, and ultimately, a member of the family. Vocal Range: Bb3 - Bb5 Lazar Wolf Lazar Wolf is, by trade, a butcher. Lazar should probably be a large boy, but, frequently, opposites are funny. A kid of any size can pull off this part, but must be a little bit repugnant. Tzeitel is frightened to marry Lazar Wolf and she should have reason to be so. Lazar Wolf has featured singing in, "To Life" and must be able to sell the song. Vocal Range: A3 - C5 Constable The Constable is the local sheriff representing the anti-Semitic Russian government. Take care to cast an actor who can provide a sense of threat, foreboding, and conflict. The Constable is a complex character who is conflicted over his relative goodwill toward individuals in the Jewish community and his duty to harass them. This is a non-singing role that requires a good, strong actor. Fyedka Fyedka is a young Russian soldier who falls in love with Chava. Look for a young man who might look distinctly Russian, trying to contrast his look as a Gentile who enters the Jewish world as an outsider. He should be a strong actor, but needn't be a singer. Shprintze and Bielke Shprintze and Bielke are the youngest daughters of Tevye and Golde. They are considerably younger than the three "matchmaker" daughters. They have only a few lines, but are featured in quite a few scenes. They need to be able to carry a tune in the group songs. The Fiddler The Fiddler must be a young person who can hold the attention of an entire audience with movement, facial expression, and dance. As the title character, the Fiddler must be the physical embodiment of the theme of the show. Freedom of movement and expression are the keys to casting your Fiddler. The Fiddler is a silent, lead role. Yente Yente is your matchmaker. Try to cast a young woman who can capture the quintessential feel of the Jewish matchmaker, without necessarily making her a stereotype. She should be able to play older. She's not elderly, but mature. The Villagers The Villagers group can be as large as your stage can safely accommodate. They are the faces of Anatevka. This character group insures that you can cast any young person who auditions, regardless of their talent level or experience. The Russians The Russians are soldiers under the command of the Constable. This is a good group to case your least experienced auditioners. One, Sasha, has two lines. They needn't be singers, but can sing in a group numbers from offstage if they are able.
Shrek 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 Jeanine Tesori Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig Overview / Synopsis One Act, Book Musical, Rated G Everyone's favorite ogre is back in the hilarious stage spectacle based on the Oscar-winning smash hit film. (60-MINUTE VERSION FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS) It's a "big bright beautiful world" for everyone's favorite ogre in Shrek The Musical JR., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film. Adapted for young performers and featuring a host of over-the-top roles for an expandable cast, there's a part for everyone in this dazzling adventure story. In a faraway kingdom, the green ogre Shrek finds his swamp invaded by banished fairytale misfits, runaways who've been cast off by Lord Farquaad, a tiny terror with big ambitions. When Shrek sets off with a wise-cracking donkey to confront Farquaad, he's handed a task - if he rescues feisty Princess Fiona from the Dragon-guarded tower, his swamp will be returned to him. But, a fairy tale wouldn't be complete without unexpected twists and turns along the way. Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, Shrek JR. is an irreverently fun show for the whole family. With abundant opportunities for imaginative sets and costumes and familiar characters that prove that beauty is in the eye of the ogre, Shrek JR. is a great choice for young performers. The curtain opens on a trio of Storytellers sharing the tale of a little ogre named Shrek. Papa and Mama Ogre sit Shrek down and have a coming-of-age talk with their son, telling him that since he is now seven years old, it is time for him to make his own place in the world, and he must leave home ("Big Bright Beautiful World"). As the years pass, Shrek transforms into an adult and finds contentment living alone in a swamp on the edge of the kingdom of Duloc. Suddenly, the Captain of the Guards appears, leading a large group of Fairy Tale Creatures into the swamp, including Pinocchio, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, the Wicked Witch, Peter Pan, the Ugly Duckling, and the Three Bears. The characters have been exiled from the kingdom of Duloc and banished to live in the swamp ("Story Of My Life"). Shrek returns home to find his once private swamp now teeming with the new inhabitants and angrily sets off to confront the leader of Duloc about the injustice. As Shrek makes his way through a dense forest, he encounters a screaming Donkey under pursuit by more Guards from Duloc. Shrek scares off the guards, and, having lost his way, reluctantly agrees to let Donkey be his guide, despite his better judgment. Meanwhile, in Duloc, the Guards sing of the "gentrification" of the kingdom ("What's Up, Duloc? - Part 1"). Lord Farquadd appears, questioning the captive Gingy as to the whereabouts of an available princess that Farquaad could marry in order to become king and justly gain control of all of Duloc. Threatened with torture, Gingy relinquishes the information - there is a princess in a tower guarded by a dragon and surrounded by boiling-hot lava. Just as Farquaad and the residents of Duloc begin to celebrate their future queen ("What's Up, Duloc? - Part 2"), Shrek and Donkey arrive. Shrek demands the swamp be rightfully returned to him, and seizing an opportunity, Farquaad agrees to find a new home for the Fairy Tale Creatures if Shrek retrieves the princess for him. High in her tower, Young Fiona dreams of being rescued by a handsome prince and living the idyllic fairy tale dream ("I Know It's Today"). The years pass, and Fiona grows more anxious day after day, nervous that the stories she's read have misled her. Despite her frustrations, she remains hopeful. Meanwhile, Donkey passes time on the long journey by singing ("Travel Song"). Shrek and Donkey arrive at the castle, and, donning a knight's helmet he finds in the castle for protection, Shrek tells Donkey to wait while he rescues the princess. Shrek climbs Fiona's tower while she excitedly prepares for the arrival of her prince. The meeting doesn't go quite as Fiona had planned, and she mistakes Shrek for a brave knight due to his helmet. Shrek doesn't have time to correct this oversight, as Donkey is now being pursued by the Dragon. Cornered in the dungeon, four imprisoned Knights warn Donkey that he may wind up like them. The Dragon, frustrated that no one ever pursues her, sings of her loneliness ("Forever"). Falling madly in love with Donkey, the Dragon spares his life, but attacks Shrek when she sees he's freed Fiona. The two battle, and Fiona finally gets her storybook adventure ("This Is How A Dream Comes True"). Having escaped the dragon, the group sets off for Duloc. Shrek reveals to Fiona that he is actually an ogre and has rescued her for Lord Farquaad. As the sun sets, Fiona demands to set up camp and disappears into a cave for the duration of the night. The Storytellers reveal that Fiona has been placed under a curse causing her to live "by day one way, by night another." The next morning, Fiona is chipper and highly caffeinated ("Morning Person"). She greets the woodland creatures, including the Pied Piper and his disorderly Rats, with cheerful optimism. The group continues their journey and Shrek and Fiona bond over their horrible lives thus far ("I Think I Got You Beat"). The song ends in a gassy display of bravado, and the two become friends. Donkey is convinced that their relationship is actually a budding romance ("Make A Move"). Having reached Duloc, Fiona postpones meeting Lord Farquaad for one more night, and retires to a nearby barn to sleep as the sun sets. That night, Donkey stumbles into the barn and discovers Fiona's secret - she has transformed into an ogress. Fiona explains that she has been cursed to live by day as a human and by night as an ogre, and sees Lord Farquaad as her only chance for happiness because no one could ever love an ugly ogre. Shrek, who has worked up the courage to tell Fiona how he feels about her, overhears only the last part of Fiona's conversation with Donkey from outside the barn, and thinks she is talking about him. The next morning, Shrek admits to Fiona the he heard everything she said. Fiona now thinks that he knows her secret and is unable to love her because of it. Just then, Lord Farquaad arrives to claim Fiona. He hands over the deed to Shrek's swamp, and makes plans to marry Fiona that night. Hurt, Fiona accepts and leaves with him. The Fairy Tale Creatures drudge on, having been evicted from the swamp. Donkey pleads with Shrek to try to win back Fiona, and the Fairy Tale Creatures agree that he must be proud of who he is rather than ashamed by it ("Freak Flag"). With a sense of empowerment and a plan of action, the group decides to return to Duloc. Just as the Bishop is about to marry Fiona and Lord Farquaad, Shrek and the Fairy Tale Creatures burst in. Shrek professes his love for Fiona ("Big Bright Beautiful World - Reprise"), and the Fairy Tale Creatures reveal Lord Farquaad's father - a grumpy Dwarf. The discovery that Farquaad is actually a "freak" like the Fairy Tale Creatures he condemned shocks and surprises everyone. During this, the sun has gone down and Fiona has transformed into an ogress. Disgusted, Lord Farquaad claims that the marriage is binding - he is now king and shall lock Fiona back in the tower forever and rule Duloc himself. Just then, the Dragon crashes through the castle wall and heaves a fiery breath at Farquaad. Afterward, all that's left of him is his scorched crown. Shrek and Fiona finally share "true love's kiss," and although the spell is broken, Fiona doesn't turn back into a human. Shrek convinces her that she is beautiful just as she is, and everyone celebrates their individuality ("Finale"). Audio Sampler - HL00127656 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00127646 $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 00127647 - Director's Guide $100.00 00127648 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00127649 - Actor's Script $10.00 00127650 - Actor's Script 10-Pak $75.00 00127651 - Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD $75.00 00127652 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00127653 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-Pak $100.00 00127654 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00127655 - Media Disc $10.00 00127656 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Big Bright Beautiful World Story of My Life What's Up, Duloc (Part 1) What's Up, Duloc (Part 2) What's Up, Duloc (Reprise) I Know It's Today Travel Song Dragon Roar Forever This Is How A Dream Comes True Morning Person (Reprise) Freak Flag Big Bright Beautiful World (Reprise) Finale I'm A Believer Cast Size Large (over 20), Flexible Cast Type Ensemble Cast - Many featured roles, Star Vehicle - Female, Star Vehicle - Male, Strong/Large Chorus Dance Requirement Standard (Musical Staging/Some Dance/Optional) DONKEY A talking donkey who joins Shrek on the run from Farquaad's guards. Quite the chatterbox, he is not deterred by Shrek's looks and practically forces himself into his good graces. Easily frightened and pushy, but also an optimistic with heart. DRAGON A dragon that has been charged with guarding Princess Fiona in her isolated castle. She eventually falls in love with Donkey and attempts to keep him there forever. Imposing and flirtatious, but tired of her job as the glorified baby-sitter. ENSEMBLE Fairytale Creatures(Big Bad Wolf, Three Little Pigs, White Rabbit, Fairy Godmother, Peter Pan, Wicked Witch, Ugly Duckling, Three Bears, Mad Hatter, Humpty Dumpty, Elf, Dwarf, Three Blind Mice); Angry Mob; Happy People; Guards; Knights; Rats FIONA The beautiful princess of Far Far Away, she transforms into an ogre every night when the sun sets. Rescued by Shrek and eventually falls in love with him. Quirky, blunt, and multitalented, she is not an ordinary princess. GINGY A gingerbread man initially kidnapped by Lord Farquaad. His wit and resolution help him both avoid trouble and inspire the rest of the fairytale creatures. Puppet. Can be operated by actress appearing as Sugar Plum Fairy. LORD FARQUAAD The comically short, ruthless ruler of Duloc. He is in search of a princes to marry so that he can become king. Has an intensely unfair bias against fairytale creatures that stems from a resentment of his father. Self-absorbed, lonely, and cruel. PINOCCHIO The leader of the fairytale creatures. He is an animated puppet whose nose grows every time he lies. Plenty of sass with a penchant for lying. SHREK Our story's title character. A big, green, terrifying ogre who lives alone on a swamp. He embarks on a journey to rid his land of fairytale creatures and, along the way, falls in love with Fiona. Begins as a grumpy hermit, but reveals his layers and eventually becomes the hero.
Madagascar - A Musical Adventure 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 Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture Book by Kevin Del Aguila Music and Lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan Overview / Synopsis Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto your stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR. follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin' friends as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar. Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends - Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo - have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape - with the help of some prodigious penguins - to explore the world. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, Madagascar JR. will leave audiences with no choice but to "Move It, Move It!" Audio Sampler - HL00190213 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00183412 $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 00183215 - Director's Guide $100.00 00183219 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00183221 - Student Book $10.00 00183240 - Student Book 10-pak $75.00 00183241 - Performance/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00183304 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00183305 - Student Rehearsal CDs 20-Pak $100.00 00183306 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00190206 - Media Disc $10.00 00190213 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample It's Showtime [Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman, Zoo Guests, Zookeepers, Penguins, Lionesses] Wild and Free [Marty, Zookeepers, Zoo Guests] Best Friends [Marty, Alex, Mason] Relax, Be Cool, Chill Out [Marty, Skipper, Penguins, Police Officers, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Old Lady, Subway Announcer, Animal Control Officers] Grand Central [Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Mason, Penguins] Penguins' Sea Shanty [Penguins] I Like to Move It [King Julien, Lynn, Lars, Lee, Lew, Lemurs, Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman] Steak [Alex, Lead Servers, Servers] Penguins' Sea Shanty (Reprise) [Penguins] Living in Paradise [Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman, King Julien, Lemurs] Foosa Hungry [Foosa] Best Friends (Reprise) [Marty, Alex, Foosa] The King of Madagascar [Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Foosa, Penguins, Lemurs, King Julien] Together Forever [Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Penguins] I Like to Move It (Reprise) [Company] Alex Alex, the lion, is the main attraction at the Central Park Zoo and undoubtedly "The King of New York City." He's a fun-loving fella whose devotion to steak is matched only by his devotion to his friends. Cast a great singer and actor but most importantly, someone who has that magnetic quality of a showman. Gender: Male Vocal range: A3-Eb5 Marty Marty is a zebra with dreams of exploring beyond the confines of the Central Park Zoo and into the wild. Cast a young man who is a solid singer and actor who also possesses a sweet disposition. You want your audience to root for Marty. He should be a perfect complement to Alex. Gender: Male Vocal range: A3-D5 Gloria Gloria, the hippopotamus, is a bold young lady with a maternal streak that shines when she's with her three closest friends: Alex, Marty and Melman. This a great part for a performer who can act, sing and who can serve as the caretaker of the group. Gender: Female Vocal range: Eb4-E5 Melman Melman is a kind-hearted giraffe who is a bit of a hypochondriac. He's always just a little bit nervous, but when it comes down to it, he'll rise to the situation. Pick a performer who can sing well but more notably, can carve out this comedic part with strong acting choices. Gender: Male Vocal range: E3-Db5 The Penguins The Penguins are a group of birds on a mission: bust out of the zoo and return home to Antarctica. Skipper serves as the captain of the group, giving orders with ease and command. Kowalski is Skipper's second-in-command and a dutiful one at that. Rico is the brute of the group and can karate chop anything in sight. Private's primary job in the group is to maintain the cute and fuzzy disguise. Cast these four primary roles with performers who work well together. This is a fun opportunity to cast your youngest performers. Gender: Both The Zookeepers The Zookeepers introduce the crowds to all the sights and attractions of the Central Park Zoo. Zookeeper Zelda, Zookeeper Zeke and Zookeeper Zoe are perfect parts for proficient musicians and actors who can express a real excitement and passion for the animals. Zelda has a large solo in the opening, so cast your best singer amongst the Zookeepers in that role. Gender: Male Vocal range: B3-G4 Mason Mason is a chimpanzee with a bone to pick: though highly intelligent, his species seems to get a bad reputation for being simpleminded, and he takes that quite personally. This is a great acting role for a performer who can make bold choices from the get-go. Gender: Male The Lemurs The Lemurs are a wild band of creatures native to Madagascar trying desperately to avoid being eaten by the cat-like creatures called the Fossa. King Julien is their leader and the perfect part for the comedian of your company who can sing, dance, act and has intuitive comedic timing. Maurice is King Julien's assistant who is not so welcoming to Madagascar's new inhabitants. This part is perfect for an actor who can convey distrust and disinterest while still being a powerful second-in-command to King Julien. Mort is the littlest of the Lemurs, who can barely speak. Find a young, small, sweet performer who possesses a sense of comedy. Lynn, Lew, Lee and Lars are fun smaller roles for young actors with bold personalities. Gender: Both Vocal range: A3-B4 The Foosa The Fossa are cat-like predators with an appetite for Lemurs! The Fossa Leader is the biggest and baddest of the Fossa and is feared by most of the creatures in Madagascar. Cast an actor who has a great imagination for creating a larger-than-life creature who can strike fear with one look. For the rest of Fossa, choose an ensemble that can create a dominating pack of predators. Gender: Both Servers Servers #1, #2 and #3 are imagined servers in Alex's dream when he starts to desire meat desperately! Cast three performers who can both dance and sing well and work as a unit well together. Gender: Both Vocal range: D4-D5 The Lionesses The Lionesses are a group of lady lions and Alex's background singers and dancers. These are great featured roles for dancers. Gender: Female Cameraman, Candy Hammernose, Passerby, Old Lady, Police Officer #1 and #2, Animal Control Officers, Newspaper Man and Ship's Captain Cameraman, Candy Hammernose, Passerby, Old Lady, Police Officer #1 and #2, Animal Control Officers, Newspaper Man and Ship's Captain are all great cameo roles with speaking lines. Remember: No role is too small, and each one serves to create the larger picture of the world of Madagascar JR., so cast a colorful group of characters in these fun roles. Gender: Both New Yorkers and Animals The New Yorkers and Animals are two separate ensemble groups that are essential for setting up the world of the Central Park Zoo. Remind these groups to be bold, specific and full of energy to kick off the show with a bang! Gender: Both
Music Man 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 Meredith Willson Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson Based on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey. Overview / Synopsis Based on Meredith Willson's six-time-Tony-Award-winning musical comedy, The Music Man KIDS features some of musical theatre's most iconic songs and a story filled with wit, warmth and good old-fashioned romance. The Music Man KIDS is family entertainment at its best � a bold, brassy show that will have the whole town atwitter! Master showman Harold Hill is in town and he's got "seventy-six trombones" in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? The story follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize. The catch? He doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, whose belief in Harold's power just might help him succeed in the end in spite of himself. The Music Man KIDS is the perfect vehicle for your young cast, a toe-tapping crowd-pleaser, featuring a soaring soprano ing�nue part and a leading role for a charismatic actor, as well as plenty of roles for kids of every level. Audio Sampler - HL00118347 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00118337 $545.00 This ShowKit includes: 1 - Accompaniment and Guide Vocal CD 1 - Choreography DVD 1 - Director's Guide 1 - Media Disk 1 - Piano Vocal Score 1 - Student Book 30-Minute KIDS Request Individual Components 00118338 - Director's Guide $100.00 00118339 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00118340 - Actor's Script $10.00 00118341 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00118342 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00118343 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00118344 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 00118345 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00118346 - Media Disc $10.00 Hear A Sample Rock Island [Salesmen, Charlie] Iowa Stubborn [Townspeople] Ya Got Trouble (Part 1) [Harold, Townspeople] Ya Got Trouble (Part 2) [Harold, Townspeople] Piano Lesson [Marian, Mrs. Paroo, Amaryllis] Goodnight, My Someone [Marian, Mrs. Paroo, Amaryllis] Seventy-Six Trombones [Harold, Townspeople] Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little [Alma, Ethel, Maud, Mrs. Squires, Eulalie] The Wells Fargo Wagon [Townspeople, Winthrop] Shipoopi [Marcellus, Kids] Gary, Indiana [Winthrop, Mrs. Paroo, Marian] Bows [Cast] Harold Hill Harold Hill is a huge role and the essence of The Music Man KIDS. Cast an actor who has charisma and charm and is not afraid to take a positive risk onstage. He should be a good singer and mover and also have excellent acting chops. It is ideal if he has an excellent sense of rhythm. Your harold should pair up well with Marian, and the two together should exude a spark of excitement. Gender: Male Vocal Range: B3-G5 Marian Paroo Marian Paroo begins as an uptight librarian and transforms into a beautiful, trusting young woman. Marian should be a strong singer and actor, and also be able to move well. She must have an air of cofidence that draws Harold to her. Take some time during auditions to try different pairs of Harolds and Marians together until you reach the perfect combination. Gender: Female Vocal Range: G3-G5 Charlie Cowell Charlie Cowell is a Traveling Salesman, and is one of the premium acting-only roles in The Music Man KIDS. If you decide to have the actor playing Charlie also perform in the ensemble, take note to make sure he is not playing Charlie in those scenes. Cast a strong actor with a loud voice. Charlie should have a sense of confidence and love being onstage! Gender: Male Mayor Shinn Mayor Shinn should be able to perform his role as proud politician very seriously, yet have a sense of comic timing. This actor does not have to sung or dance, but is responsible for a great deal of pacing and line pick-ups in the show. Don't be afraid to cast a physically small acotr in this role, provided he can authoritative - it can bring down the house! Gender: Male Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn is a great role for a comic actress! If Eulalie takes herself seriously your audience will find her hysterical. She does have some singing and some moving, but creating a "larger than life" character that works with your Mayor Shinn is essential. Consider contrasting your physically small Mayor Shinn with a tall Eulalie for even more comic brilliance. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D4-D5 Marcellus Washburn Marcellus Washburn is the classic sidekick to Harold. His big number is "Shipoopi," so he should be a good singer, a great actor and be able to dance. Cast a kid who is natually funny and you will have a terrific Marcellus. Gender: Male Vocal Range: E4-D#5 Mrs. Paroo Mrs. Paroo is a good mother, stands up for what she beieves and gently pushes Marian to think of her future. The role requires an actress who can sing and act. However, she deosnt need to have a polished voice - the more character the better! Take into consideration your actress's ability to look maternal with Winthrop and Marian. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Ab3-Eb5 Winthrop Paroo Winthrop Paroo is Marian's shy younger brother who hardly talks because of his pronounced lisp. This is a great role for a young performer who is a good actor. Winthrop transforms from shy to outspoken, and not only sings but dances! Gender: Male Vocal Range: C4-Eb5 Amaryllis Amaryllis is Marian's slightly bratty, young piano student who has a crush on Winthrop. This is a great place to feature a young actor who is not quite ready for a large part, or who doesn't have a strong singing voice. Cast a girl who is a good actor and similar in size to Winthrop and Gracie. Gender: Female Tommy Djilas Tommy Djilas is the teen heartthrob in the show and a non-singing role. Cast a boy that can dance and create a strong character. Tommy's love interest is Zaneeta, so make sure the two characters have chemistry between them. Gender: Male Zaneeta Shinn Zaneeta Shinn is the oldest and slightly daffy daughter of the Mayor and Eulalie. Cast a girl who is a strong dancer. Although this is a non-singing role, a well-ast Zaneeta will gain mileage out of her classic "Ye gads!" line. Gender: Female Gracie Shinn Gracie Shinn is Zaneeta's little sister and the youngest daughter of the Mayor and Eulalie. The actor has few lines of dialogue, and if she is a good singer, she would be a fine choice to sing the first solo in "The Wells Fargo Wagon." Gender: Female Vocal Range: B3-Eb5 Ethel Toffelmier Ethel Toffelmier is Marcellus's girlfriend. She's described by Marcellus as "a nice comfortable girl and the bosses' niece." Ethel has some acting, some singing, and some dancing. Ethel is also one of the solo Pick-a-Little ladies. Make sure she and Marcellus look good together, think Ethel and Fred from I Love Lucy! Gender: Female Vocal Range: D4-D5 Pick-a-little Ladies Pick-a-little Ladies Alma Hix, Maud Dunlop and Mrs. Squires are the gossip queens of River City. These characters need to act, sing and move well. Cast girls with strong voices and a good sense of cominc timing. The supplemental Pick-A-Little ladies are ideal parts for your abundance of girls. Gender: Female Conductor The Conductor has the first line in The Music Man KIDS. This is a non-singing role and perfect for an actor that can be loud and energetic but is not quite ready for a larger part. Gender: Both Constable Locke Constable Locke is River City's chief law enforcement officer. He is a quiet, wise man who sees through Harold, yet doesn't seem to take Harold's antics too seriously. No singing or dancing is required for this role. Gender: Both Townspeople The River City Townspeople are the heart and soul of The Music Man KIDS. The story is about a community of people so assigning your cast into family units is key. Ask each grouping to create a family history, including details of their lives. This will create an ensemble that is engaged and energized. Plan on separating your cast into three groups: aduts, teens and kids. You will immediately recognize that some actors clearly "read" as adults onstage. Try to separate your groups into categories to create a realistic town. Gender: Both Traveling Salesmen The Traveling Salesmen are non-singing roles suited for performers that have a strong rhythmic sense. "Rock Island" is te rap of its time! If you find you need to cast girls as Traveling Salesmen, make sure they play the roles as men. These actors can ouble as ault members of the River City Townspeople. You will need a minimum of five salesmen in addition to Charlie. Gender: Both Wan Tan Ye Girls The Wan Tan Ye Girls are featured during Eulalie's "Spectacle" in Scene 4 prior to "76 Trombones." Cast students who aren't afraid of acting silly. Gender: Female Boys' Band All of your little boys can be in the Boys' Band if you have enough uniforms. If you need to fill out this Boys' Band ensemble with girls, be sure they appear as boys in uniform. Gender: Both
Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach 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 Timothy Allen McDonald Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Based on the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Overview / Synopsis Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach is now a musical for the whole family to enjoy! Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dogfight and A Christmas Story The Musical) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures Of Flat Stanley), critics rave James And The Giant Peach JR. is a "masterpeach!" When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach - and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities, but after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean, the group faces hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements. Thanks to James' quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. The dangerous voyage is a success, but the adventure takes a whole new twist once they land on the Empire State Building. A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, the creative possibilities with James And The Giant Peach JR. are endless. Young actors will love playing the outlandish characters and the expanded cast allows for as many performers as you can fit on your stage. Audio Sampler - 00147932 $10.00 ShowKit - HL00147933 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: Production Guide Director's Guide P/V Vocal Score 30 Actor Scripts 2 Rehearsal CDs 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreographic DVD Cross-curricular Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 00147923 - Director's Guide $100.00 00147924 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 00147925 - Actor's Script $10.00 00147926 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 00147927 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 00147928 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 00147929 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 00147930 - Choreography DVD $50.00 00147931 - Media Disc $10.00 00147932 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample Prologue Right Before Your Eyes [Ladahlord, James, Spiker, Sponge, Insects, Company] Scene 1 On Your Way Home [James] Scene 2 Right Before Your Eyes (Reprise #1) [Ladahlord] Property of Spiker and Sponge [Spiker, Sponge, Billy Bobby-Cop, Bobby Bobby-Cop, Vagrants, Matron Nurse] Scene 3 Right Before Your Eyes (Reprise #2) [Ladahlord] Shake It Up [Ladahlord, James, Garden Chorus, Insects] Shake It Up (Reprise) [Ladahlord, James, Garden Chorus, Insects] Scene 4 There's Money on That Tree [Reporters, Spiker, Sponge, Ladies' Garden Guild, James, Hollywood Agents] Scene 5 On Your Way Home (Reprise) [James] Scene 6 Our Adventure Begins! [Landahlord, Spiker, Sponge, Oompa-Loompas, Willy Wonka, Insects, James] Floatin' Along [Insects, James] Floatin' Along (Reprise) [Insects, James] Scene 7 A Getaway for Spiker and Sponge [Spiker, Sponge, Angry Crowd] Scene 8 Everywhere That You Are [Ladybug, Grasshopper, Spider, Earthworm] Scene 9 Right Before Your Eyes (Reprise #3) [Landahlord] I Got You [Sponge, Spiker, Cruise Ensemble] Scene 10 Plump and Juicy [James, Insects, Seagulls] Right Before Your Eyes (Reprise #4) [Landahlord] Scene 11 Empire State / The Attack [Landahlord, Spiker, Sponge, New Yorkers, James] Welcome Home [James, Insects] Curtain Call [All] Ladahlord Ladahlord is a mysterious character who seems to have a hand in the magical things that are happening. Though he may seem a bit off, he carefully watches over James, making sure James moves towards to a better life. Ladahlord also serves as a guiding narrator throughout the story. This is a perfect role for a charismatic young actor who can sing and dance well. Vocal Range: G3 - Gb5 James James is the hero of our story, on an epic quest to find a family of his own and gain confidence in himself. Cast a young boy with an unchanged voice and someone who has great acting instincts. Make sure he can win over an audience and is comfortable being onstage. Vocal Range: G#3 - E5 Ladybug Ladybug immediately takes on a doting, maternal role in James' life. This is a fantastic role for a performer with a great singing voice and a regal demeanor. Vocal Range: A3 - D5 Grasshopper Grasshopper, the leader of the Insects, is ever the optimist and assumes a paternal role in James' life. Cast a performer who can sing and act well, but foremost has a warm, inviting presence. Vocal Range: A3 - F#5 Spider Spider is a clever creature who becomes a fun-loving older sister to James. A young woman with a spunky personality and a great voice is a perfect choice for the role. Vocal Range: B3 - C5 Earthworm Earthworm is a gentle spirit, although he can be a bit of a coward. Luckily, he gains enough courage to save the day by baiting some gullible seagulls. Earthworm looks at James as a brother figure. Cast a performer who can sing well, and more importantly, someone who isn't afraid of being a little outlandish. Vocal Range: B3 - A5 Centipede Centipede may be a bit of grouch, but he is ever-loyal to the pack, and by the end of the story, he's won over by James. James sees Centipede as that cranky uncle with a heart of gold. Centipede should have a good singing voice, and be able to make strong, specific acting choices. Vocal Range: B3 - F#5 Spiker and Sponge Spiker and Sponge are the sort of aunts (or monsters) that you fear ever being stuck with. They take James into their home but only so that he can be their own personal servant. Spiker is the brains of the operation, and Sponge is more concerned with finding something to eat. These are great character roles for two young performers who are fantastic singers and actors. To play into the humor, cast a duo that contrasts completely in physical appearance. Vocal Range - Spiker: F3 - E5 Vocal Range - Sponge: F#3 - E5 Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Trotter, Karl Kreatour and the Zoo Crowd Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Trotter, Karl Kreatour and the Zoo Crowd are all part of the James' nightmare. These are small, featured roles, so feel free to cast from your ensemble. The Matron Nurse The Matron Nurse runs the Painswick Orphanage, and you definitely get a sense she hasn't had a vacation in years. This is a great acting role for a young woman who can command a room. Vocal Range: Speaking Role Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop are a perfectly unified pair of cops working for Scotland Yard. This is fun cameo role for two performers who work well together. Vocal Range: Speaking Role The Vagrants The Vagrants, including Doreen Driggles, Ridgley Rapscallion, Violet Funkschmeller and Chris Cryermouth are an ensemble of have-nots to support Spiker and Sponge's treacherous plans. These ensemble roles are important for making up the world of the musical. The Passing Man, MAN (with wallet) and Passing Woman all have featured moments where they fall victim to Spiker and Sponge. Vocal Range - Doreen: F#3 - E4 Vocal Range - Ridgley: E4 - A4 Vocal Range - Violet: F3 - E4 The Reporters The Reporters, including Ida Walters, are on the scene just as the peach is becoming larger than life. Cast a group of energetic performers. Bitsy Botana and The Ladies' Garden Guild Bitsy Botana and the rest of the Ladies' Garden Guild are in flowery frocks and hats, intent on having Spiker and Sponge give the keynote speech at their conference. A few young performers with good voices will do the trick. Hollywood Agents Hollywood Agents led by Buzz jump in on the success of the growing peach with movie and Broadway deals for Spiker and Sponge. Like the Reporters, this is a fun group to cast with some lively performers. Vocal Range: F#3 - B4 Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas are all in harm's way as the peach outgrows its stem and rolls towards the ocean. These are very fun cameo roles for performers with personality. The Angry Crowd The Angry Crowd is in search of the amazing giant peach, but they quickly turn into an angry mob when the peach is nowhere to be found. These ensemble parts are easy to cast from any of your company. The Cruise Ensemble The Cruise Ensemble are various vacationers en route to New York with Spiker and Sponge. Use anyone from your ensemble to fill out the scene! Sharks and Seagulls The Sharks and Seagulls are featured in "Plump and Juicy." Cast strong movers and dancers in these roles. New Yorkers, Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein, Bunny Mackenzie the Third, Jake and Joe New Yorkers, Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein, Bunny Mackenzie the Third, Jake and Joe all witness the peach land directly on the Empire State Building and are sent into a panic! Cast a handful of characters for these cameo roles.
The Music Man 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 Meredith Willson Music & Lyrics by Meredith Willson Based on a story by Meredith Willson and Fraklin Lacey Overview / Synopsis Based on Meredith Wilson's six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy, The Music Man JR. features some of musical theatre's most iconic songs and a story filled with wit, warmth, and good old-fashioned romance. The Music Man JR. is family entertainment at its best - a bold, brassy show that will have the whole town atwitter! Master showman Harold Hill is in town, and he's got "seventy-six trombones" in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? The story follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize. The catch? He doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, whose belief in Harold's power just might help him succeed in the end in spite of himself. The Music Man JR. is the perfect vehicle for your young cast, a toe-tapping crowd-pleaser featuring a soaring soprano ing�nue part and a leading role for a charismatic actor, as well as plenty of roles for kids of every level. Audio Sampler - HL00151879 $10.00 ShowKit - HL09971792 $695.00 This ShowKit includes: Production Guide Director's Guide P/V Vocal Score 30 Actor Scripts 2 Rehearsal CDs 2 Accompaniment CDs Media Disc Choreographic DVD Cross-curricular Guide 30 Family Matters Booklets 60-Minute JR. Request Individual Components 09971793 - Director's Guide $100.00 09971794 - Piano/Vocal Score $40.00 09971795 - Actor's Script $10.00 09971796 - Actor's Script 10-pak $75.00 09971797 - Perf/Accomp CD pack $75.00 09971798 - Student Rehearsal CD $10.00 09971799 - Student Rehearsal CD 20-pak $100.00 09971800 - Choreography DVD $50.00 09971801 - Media Disc $10.00 00151879 - Audio Sampler $10.00 Hear A Sample SCENE 1 Rock Island [Salesmen, Newspaper Readers, Charlie] SCENE 2 Iowa Stubborn [Townspeople, Farmer, Farmer's Wife] Ya Got Trouble [Harold, Townspeople] SCENE 4 Piano Lesson / If You Don't Mind My Saying So [Marian, Mrs. Paroo] Goodnight, My Someone [Marian] SCENE 5 Columbia, Gem of the Ocean [Townspeople] Seventy-Six Trombones [Harold, Townspeople] Ice Cream/Sincere [Harold, Olin, Oliver, Jacey, Ewart] SCENE 6 Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little (Part 1) [Alma, Ethel, Maud, Eulalie, Ladies, Harold] Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little (Part 2) [Alma, Eulalie, Maud,d Ethel, Mrs. Squires, Ladies, Harold] SCENE 8 The Wells Fargo Wagon [Townspeople, Winthrop] Shipoopi [Marcellus, Boys, Girls] Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little (Reprise) [Ladies, Ethel, Alma, Maud, Ethel, Mrs. Squires, Eulalie] SCENE 9 Gary, Indiana [Winthrop, Mrs. Paroo, Marian] SCENE 10 Till There Was You [Marian, Harold] Bows [Cast] Harold Hill Harold Hill is a great role for a young person to play. Select a boy with charisma and charm, who is comfortable on stage. He should be a great actor, an average singer, and an average mover. You'll also want to cast a boy with a changed voice. For your sanity, make sure you cast someone who memorizes lines easily and has a good sense of musical rhythm. Your Harold should look good with your Marian and the two together should exude a spark of excitement. Gender: Male Vocal Range: G5 - B3 Marian Paroo The role of Marian is a different twist on the traditional leading lady. The character progresses greatly during the show, starting as an uptight librarian and transforming into a beautiful and trusting young woman. Your Marian must have an amazing voice, be an excellent actor, and be able to move well. She must also have an air of confidence that draws Harold and your audience to her. She will also need to be comfortable kissing two boys-Harold and Charlie Cowell, which requires a certain amount of emotional maturity. Finally, take some time during auditions to try different pairs of Harolds and Marians until you reach the perfect match. Vocal Range: G5 - G3 Charlie Cowell Charlie Cowell is one of the premium acting-only roles. Consider having the actor playing Charlie perform in the ensemble or as a teen dancer or townsperson-just make sure it's clear he's NOT playing Charlie Cowell in those scenes. Cast a strong actor with a good loud voice who is a bit of a ham and likes being on the stage. He has to be comfortable kissing Marian, and should have a good sense of comic timing. Charlie is a good choice for an understudy to Harold Hill. Gender: Male Mayor Shinn You may be tempted to cast an "over-the-top" actor as Mayor Shinn, but resist and heed the warning of Meredith Willson. The actor playing Mayor Shinn certainly needs a good sense of comic timing, but should be able to perform the role very seriously. This is elemental in creating the humor of The Music Man JR., which is based in reality. Mayor Shinn does not have to sing or dance, but he is responsible for a great deal of the pacing and line pick up in the show. Make sure your actor can memorize long monologues. Gender: Male Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn Everybody wants to play Eulalie. It's a great role for a great comic actress. Again heed Mr. Willson's warning and avoid casting an actress who is over the top. If Eulalie takes herself seriously your audience will find her hysterical. Eulalie does have some singing and some dancing, or at least posing. Make sure your Eulalie works with your Mayor Shinn. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - D4 Marcellus Washburn This classic sidekick to Harold has been immortalized by comedic greats like Buddy Hacket. Marcellus' big number is "Shipoopi" so the character has to act well, sing reasonably well (although a character voice is best) and be able to dance. Cast the kid who is just funny all the time and you'll have a great Marcellus. Gender: Male Vocal Range: D#5 - E4 Ethel Toffelmier Ethel is Marcellus's girlfriend. She's described by Marcellus as "a nice comfortable girl and the bosses' niece." Ethel has some acting, some singing, and some dancing. Ethel is also one of the solo Pick-a-Little ladies. Make sure she and Marcellus look good together, think Ethel and Fred from I Love Lucy! Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - D4 Mrs. Paroo Mrs. Paroo is the conscience of River City. She is a great mother, stands up for what she believes in, and gently pushes Marian to think of her future. The role requires an actress who can do a good Irish Brogue, and who can sing and act. She should also look right with Marian and Winthrop. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Eb5 - Ab3 Winthrop Paroo Winthrop should appear to be young, his voice must be unchanged and he should be a good actor. Winthrop also needs to be able to affect a believable lisp. Winthrop has to transform from a shy child to an outspoken child who not only sings but dances! Gender: Male Vocal Range: Eb5 - C4 Amaryllis Amaryllis is the slightly bratty girl who studies piano with Marian. Amaryllis should be a good actor, and roughly the same size as Winthrop and Gracie. Just who are Amaryllis' parents is one of the great mysteries of The Music Man JR. and something for you to decide. Gender: Female Ewart Dunlop Ewart is one of the four quartet members with the second highest voice or tenor. He is married to Maud Dunlop. Cast singers who can hold their own vocal parts strongly and worry about the acting later. Gender: Male Vocal Range: F#5 - E4 Oliver Hix Oliver is one of the four quartet members with the second lowest voice or baritone. He is married to Alma Hix. Cast singers who can hold their own vocal parts strongly and worry about the acting later. Gender: Male Vocal Range: F#5 - E4 Jacey Squires Jacey is one of the four quartet members with the highest voice or tenor. He is married to Mrs. Squires. Cast singers who can hold their own vocal parts strongly and worry about the acting later. Gender: Male Vocal Range: A5 - B3 Olin Britt Olin is one of the four quartet members with the lowest voice or bass. Cast singers who can hold their own vocal parts strongly and worry about the acting later. Gender: Male Vocal Range: D5 - A3 Tommy Djilas Tommy is the teen heartthrob in the show. Cast the best looking kid you have; with any luck he'll also be able to act and dance. Tommy's love interest is Zaneeta so make sure the two characters have chemistry between them. Gender: Male Zaneeta Shinn Zaneeta should be your best female dancer. The role is often given dance features in both "76 trombones" and "Shipoopi". Zaneeta also should look like she belongs in the Shinn Family, although this is not necessary. Zaneeta gets to deliver the classic "Ye gads" line! Gender: Female Gracie Shinn Gracie is Zaneeta's little sister. This role has one or two lines of dialogue and traditionally is the first soloist in "Wells Fargo Wagon." Gracie can also understudy Amaryllis in case of an emergency. Gender: Female Vocal Range: Eb5 - B3 Alma Hix One of the core members of the Pick-a-little ladies, requiring girls with strong voices and a good sense of comedy. Alma is married to Oliver. You can also add additional Pick-a-little ladies. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - D4 Maud Dunlop One of the core members of the Pick-a-little ladies, requiring girls with strong voices and a good sense of comedy. Maud is married to Ewart. You can also add additional Pick-a-little ladies. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - D4 Mrs. Squires One of the core members of the Pick-a-little ladies, requiring girls with strong voices and a good sense of comedy. Mrs. Squires is married to Jacey. You can also add additional Pick-a-little ladies. Gender: Female Vocal Range: D5 - D4 Conductor The conductor has the first line in the show, so cast an actor that is loud and energetic! Gender: Male Constable Locke The Constable is a quietly wise man who sees through Harold, but doesn't seem to mind. It's a nice feature for any young character actor. Gender: Male Ensemble The Ensemble is comprised of Adult-types, teens and kids to play townspeople, traveling salesmen, teen dancers, Wa Tan Ye girls and the boys' band. Can accommodate additional Pick-a-little ladies Gender: both Adults For some reason, some kids just read on stage as adults. You'll recognize this quality by comparing kids. Since THE MUSIC MAN JR. is about a town, you'll want to assign your cast into family units. Try to create a realistic town with married folks, single folks, etc. If you have an abundance of girls, cast a few as widows. Ask each family to create a family history, including details of their lives. By doing this you will create an ensemble that is engaged and energized and this will greatly add to the quality of your production! The adults have a few lines (which you can distribute while blocking the scenes.) They also have some solo vocal lines. You'll also want to select the Farmer and His Wife from this group. Gender: both Traveling Salesmen You'll want to cast several good actors to play traveling salesmen, especially salesmen number five, number three, and number one. If you find it necessary to cast girls as traveling salesmen make sure they play the roles as men. Gender: both Teen Dancers Create a group of teen dancers by selecting your best dancers. The Teen Dancers will be responsible for "Shipoopi," and have features in "76 Trombones." Make sure each Teen Dancer is assigned to a family to create the illusion of a real town. Gender: both Wa Tan Ye Girls All of your little girls can play Wa Tan Ye Girls. They are featured during Eulalie's "Spectacle" just prior to "76 Trombones." Again assign them to families. Gender: Female Boys' Band All of your little boys can be in the Boys' Band provided you have enough uniforms. The Boys' Band has two main features: "76 Trombones" and the finale of the show. Make sure the boys are a part of a family. Gender: both