Recital Program

Laura Libby McCall, Soprano
Rachel Hidlay, Piano

Seufzer, thränen, kummer, noth                                Johann Sebastian Bach
from Cantata No. 21    (1713)                                                (1685-1750)
Ich hatte viel Bekummernis
(I had a great affliction)
BWV 21
C. 1714 (or before; the date of composition is uncertain)
text attributed to Salomo Franck (1659-1715), based on I Peter 5:6-11, and Luke 15:1-10 (the Luther German Bible)
Suefzer, Thränen, Kummer, Noth                            Sighs, tears, grief, distress,
angstlich Sehnen,                                                            nervously watching,
Furcht und Tod                                                                fear and death
nagen mein beklemmtes Herz,                                 gnaw at my anguished heart,
ich empfinde Jammer, Schmerz.                             I feel misery, pain.
Piangerò la sorte mia                                                     George Frideric Handel
from Giulio Cesare (1724)                                                   (1685-1759)
Act III, scene 3
setting: Egypt, 48 BCE; Cleopatra’s palace

E pur cosi un giorno                                                         Therefore in one day
perdo fasti e grandezze? Ahi, fato rio!                    I lose fame and greatness? Oh, treacherous fate!
Cesare, il mio bel nume, è forse estinto;                               Caesar, my protector, is perhaps no more;
Cornelia e Sesto inermi son, nè sanno                    Cornelia and Sesto are powerless,
darmi soccorso. Oh Dio!                                                They cannot assist me. O God!
Non resta alcuna speme al viver mio.                      No hope remains in my life.

Piangerò la sorte mia.                                                    I will lament my destiny,
Si crudele e tanto ria,                                                     so cruel and merciless,
finchè vita in petto avrò.                                               as long as there is life in my body.

Ma poi morta d’orni’intorno                                       But once dead, everywhere,
il tiranno e note e giorno                                              the tyrant, night and day,
fatta spettro agiterò.                                                      My spirit will torment.

Batti, batti, o bel Masetto                                             Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
from Don Giovanni (1787)                                                             (1756-1791)

                                                Soprano, Jayna Betancourt

From Act I, scene 4
setting: Seville, the 17th century; the garden of Don Giovanni’s palace; late afternoon
character: Zerlina

Zerlina and Masetto, a peasant couple, are about to be married. The festivities have begun when Giovanni happens on the scene and becomes enamored of the charming Zerlina. He tries to lead her to his castle but does not succeed. In this aria a contrite Zerlina teases her offended fiancé into good humor again.

Batti, o bel Masetto,                                                         Hit, oh handsome Masetto,
la tua povera Zerlina.                                                        your poor Zerlina.
Starò qui come agnellina                                                  like a little lamb
le tue botte ad aspettar.                                                  I’ll await your blows.
Lascerò straziarmi il crine,                                              I’ll let my hair be pulled out.
Lascerò cavarmi gli occhi,                                                                I’ll let my eyes be scratched out.
e le care tue manine lieta poi                                          and the, happy, I will be able to kiss
saprò baciar.                                                                       your dear beloved hands.
Ah, lo vedo, non hai core:                                 Ah, I see it: you don’t have courage!

Pace, o vita mia;                                                                 Peace, oh love of my life!
in contenti ed allegria                                                       In contentment and good cheer
notte e dì vogliam passar,                                               let’s enjoy passing the nights and days.
sì sì…                                                                                      yes, yes etc.

Caro nome                                                                       Giuseppe Verdi
                from Rigoletto (1851)                                              (1813-1901)

Act I, Scene II
Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
Character: Gilda, Rigoletto’s Daughter
Setting: Mantua, the 16th century; a deserted street outside Rigoletto’s house; night
Synopsis: The hunchback Rigoletto is a jester at court. His wife is dead, and he has always concealed his lovely daughter, Gilda, from the world. At mass she has met a handsome young man who makes his way into their walled garden and declares his love. She múses on his name, Gualtier Maldè, not suspecting that he is really the Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto’s employer, in search of adventure. (G. Schirmer Opera Anthology)
Gualtier Maldé!                                                                Gualtier Maldé!
nome di lui sì amato                                                      name of him so much loved.
ti scolpisci                                                                          you engrave yourself
nel core innamorato!                                                    In my enamored heart!
Caro nome che il mio cor                                            Dear name, which first made
festi primo palpitar,                                                       my heart throb.
le delizie dell’amor                                                         you must always recall to me
mi dei sempre rammentar!                                        The delights of love!
Col pensier il mio desir                                                 In my thoughts, my desire
a te sempre volerà,                                                         will always fly to you;
e fin l’ultimo sospir,                                                       and even my last breath,
caro nome, tuo sarà.                                                      Dear name, will be yours.
Il mio desir a te                                                                My desire will evermore
ognora volerà!                                                                  Fly to you!

Après un rêve                                                                    Gabriel Fauré
(After a dream- 1878)                                                          (1845-1924)

                                                Soprano, Jayna Betancourt

Das un sommeil que charmait ton image                    In a sleep charmed by your image
je rêvais le Bonheur, ardent mirage;                            I dream of happiness,
tes yeus étaient plus doux,                                              your eyes were soft,
ta voix pure et sonore,                                                      you were radiant as a sky lit by the dawn.
tu rayonnais comme un ciel éclair par l’aurore.         You were radiant as a sky lit by the dawn.

Tu m’appelais et je quittais la terre                              you called me, and I left the earth
Pour m’enfuir avec toi vers la lumière;                         to flee with you w=owards the light
les cieux pour nous, entr’ouvraient leurs nues,         the heavens parted their clouds for us
Splendeurs inconnues,                                                      Un known splendors,
lueurs divines entrevues…                                               glimpses of divine light…

Hélas, hélas, triste réveil des songes!                         Alas, alas, sad awakening from dreams!
je t’appelle, ô nuit, rends-moi tes mensonges;          I call to you, o night, give me back your illusions;
Reviens, Reviens, radieuse,                                            Return, return in radiance,
Reviens, ô nuit mystérieuse!                                          Return, o mysterious night!           

Je suis encore                                                                   Jules Massenet
from Manon (1882)                                               (1842-1912)

Je suis encore tout étourdie…                                        I am still very scatterbrained
Je suis encore tout engourdie!                                       I am still very numb
Ah! Mon cousin! Excusezmoi!                                        Ah! My cousin! Excuse me!
Excusez un moment d’émoi.                                           Excuse me on moment
Je suis encour tout étourdie!                                          I am still very scatterbrained
Pardonez à mon bavardage,                                           pardon my chattering
J’en suis à mon premier voyage!                                   this is my first journey!

Le coche s’éloignait à peine,                                           the coach had scarcely started to move
que j’admirais de tous mes yeux                                    when I opened my eyes wide watching
les hameaux, les grands bois, la plaine,                       the little villages, the forest, the plain,
les voyageurs jeunes et vieux.                                        The passengers, both young and old.
Ah! Mon cousin, excusezmoi!                                         Ah! My cousin, excuse me!
C’est mon premier voyage!                                             It’s my first time travelling!

Je regardais fuir, curieuse,                                              Attentively I saw the trees rush by,
les arbres frissonnant au vent!                                      Trembling in the wind!
Et j’oubliais, toute joyeuse,                                             and overwhelmed with delight
que je partais pour le couvent!                                       I was forgetting that I was leaving for the convent!

Devant tant de choses nouvelles,                                  Faced with so many new things,
ne riez pas, si je vous dis                                                  don’t laugh when I tell you
que je croyais avoir des ailes,                                         that I thought I had wings
et m’envoler en paradis!                                                  And was flying to paradise!

Oui, mon cousin!                                                                Yes, my cousin!
Puis, j’eus un moment de tristesse.                              Then, I felt a moment of sadness.
je pleurais, je ne sais pas quoi.                                       I cried, I don’t know what about.
L’instant d’après, je le confesse,                                   Then the very next minute, I confess
je riais, ah!                                                                           I was laughing, ha!
mais sans savoir pourquoi!                                              But withough knowing why!

Ah! Mon cousin, excusezmoi!                                         Ah! My cousin, excuse me!
pardon! Je susi encore tout étourdie…                        Pardon! I am still scatterbrained
Je suis encore tout engourdie!                                       I am still very numb
Pardonnez à mon bavardage.                                         Pardon my chattering.
J’en suis à mon premier voyage!                                   this is my first journey!

Apparition                                                                          Claude-Achille Debussy
(1884)                                                                                                           (1862-1918)

La lune s’atristait.                                                               The moon grew-sad.
Des séraphins en pleurs                                                                  Some seraphim in tears.
Rêvant, l’archet aux doigts,                                           dreaming, bow in hand,
dans le calme des fleurs                Vaporeuses,                        in the calm of the misty flowers
tiraient de mourantes violes                                         drew from dying viols
De blancs sanglots glissant                                             some white sobs as their bows glided
sur l’azur des corolles.                                                     over the azure of the corollas.
C’était le jour béni de ton primier baiser.                 It was the day blessed of your first kiss.
Ma songerie aimant a me martyriser                         My dreaming, fond of tormenting me,
S’eniverait savamment du parfun de tristesse      became knowing drunk on the perfumed sadness
Que même sans regret et sans deboire laisse        that, without the regret or bitter aftertaste,
La cueillaison d’un Rêve au Coeur qui l’a cueilli.   The harvest of dreams leaves in the reaper’s heart.
J’errais donc, l’oeil rive sur le pave vieilli,                 So I wandered, my eyes fixed on the old paving stones.
Quand avec du soleil aux cheveux,                          When, with the sun on your hair,
dans la rue et dans le soir,                                            in the street, and in the evening
tu m’es en riant apparue,                                             you appeared laughing before me.
et j’ai cruvoir la fée                                                         and I thought I saw the fairy
Au chapeau de clarté                                                     with a hat of light
Qui jadis sur mes baux sommeils                              who had once passed across the beautiful slumber
d’enfant gâte passait,                                                    of my spoiled childhood who passed
laissant tougours de ses mains mal fermées        allowed from her half-closed hands
Neiger de blancs bouquets                                          snow white bouquets
d’étoiles parfumees.                                                      of perfumed starts.

Ständchen (Serenade)                                                     Richard Strauss
(1888)                                                                                             (1864-1949)

Mach ‘auf, mach ‘auf, doch leise, mein Kind            Open up, open up, but softly, my child,
Um Keinen vom schlummer zu wecken                     so as to awaken no one from sleep.
Kaum murmelt der Back, kaum zittert im Wind       the brook hardly murmurs, the wind hardly shakes
Ein Blatt an den Büschen und Hecken.                        A leaf on the bushes and hedges.
D’rum leise, mein Mädchen, dass nichts sich regt   Therefore softly, my maiden, that nothing stirs,
Nur leise die Hand auf die Klinke gelegt.                                    Simply lay your hand on the latch quietly.
Mit Tritten, wie Tritte der Elfen so sacht,                   With footsteps, like footsteps of the elves so light,
Um über die Blumen zu hupfen,                                                  so as to skip over the flowers,
Flieg’ leicht hinause in die Mondscheinnacht,        fly lightly out into the moon-lit night
Zu mir in den Garten zu schlupfen.                             To slip out to me in the garden.
Rings schlummern die Blüten                                        The flowers slumber around
am rieselnden Bach                                                           the rippling brook
Und duften im Schlaf, nur die Liebe ist wach.         so sweetly scented in their sleep, only love is awake.
Sitz’ nieder, heir dämmert’s geheimnisvoll              Sit down, here dusk gathers so mysteriously
Unter den Lindenbäumen,                                             under the linden trees.
Die Nachtigall uns zu Häupten soll                               the nightingale above out heads shall
Von uns’ren küssen traumen,                                       and the rose, when she awakens in the morning
Hoch glühn von den Wonneschauern der Nacht.   will glow sublimely form the delights of the night.

Winter                                                                                 Dominick Argento
from Six Elizabethan Songs (1958)           (1927-Present)

When icicles hang by the wall and Dick the shepherd blows his nail, and Tom bears logs into the hall, and milk comes frozen home in pail; When blood is nipt and ways be foul, then nightly sings the staring owl. Tuwhoo! Tuwhit! Tuwhoo! A merry note! While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow, and coughing drowns the parson’s saw, and birds sit brooding in the snow, and Marian’s nose looks red and raw. When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl then nightly sings the staring owl, Tuwhoo! Tuwhit! Tuwhoo! A merry note! When greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


Anne Boleyn                                                                      Libby Larsen
(2001)                                                                                   (1950-Present)                                                                 

Try Me, Good King: Last Words of the Wives of Henry VIII: Libby Larsen’s Royal Portraits of Song
Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII, 6 May 1536
Henry’s love letter to Anne Boleyn;
Anne Boleyn execution speck, 19 May 1536

Try me, good king. Let me have a lawful trial and let not my enemies sit as my accusers and judges.
Try me, good king. Let me receive an open trial for my truth shall fear no open shame.
Never a prince had a wife more loyal, more loyal in all duty,
never a prince had a wife more loyal, more loyal in all true affections,
never a prince had a wife more loyal than you have found in Anne Bulen.

You have chosen me from low estate to be your wife and companion.
Do you not remember the words of your own true hand?
“My own darling, I would you were in my arms for I think if long since I kissed you,
my mistress and my friend.”
Do you not remember the words of your own true hand?

Try me good king, Try me. If ever I have found favor in your sight,
if ever the name of Anne Bulen has been pleasing to your ears,
if ever I have found favor in your sight, if ever the name of Anne Bulen has been pleasing to your ears,
let me obtain this request and my innocence shall be known.

Let me obtain this request and my innocence shall be cleared.
Try me. Good Christian people, I come hither to die and by the law I am judged to die.
I pray God, I pray God save the King.
I hear the executioner’s good, and my neck is so little.

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