Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Love Song to Ice Cream and Other Vocal Treats with Elisabeth Harrington and Friends

Soprano Elisabeth Harrington and six North Coast friends will sing a love song to ice cream, among other delicious vocal selections on Sunday afternoon, February 26 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The six friends are locally renowned singers Craig Benson, Ana Cruz, Robert Keiber, Steve Nobles, Jenny Quigley and Kevin Sharkey. In various combinations with Harrington, they will perform operatic selections before all combining on Kurt Weil’s “The Ice Cream Sextet” from his opera Street Scene.  “It’s a love song to ice cream,” Harrington said, “as told by Italians in New York in the 1940s. The music is intricate but with all of us singing together, the sound is pretty powerful.”

The concert begins with Harrington’s solo rendition of Claude Debussy’s “Forgotten Songs” (Ariettes Oubliees,) a setting of six poems by Paul Verlaine. She will also perform “Song to the Moon” by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, from his opera Rusalka, which is based on three fairy tales, including Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid. “It’s an aria I’ve wanted to do forever,” Harrington said.

Harrington then performs with various friends on duets by Henry Purcell, and selections from operas by Mozart, Offenbach and French composer Leo Delibes. “These are some of opera’s ‘greatest hits,’ Harrington said. But in addition to an aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni (one of the pieces, Harrington says, that “tend to catch people’s ear and inspire them to think, ‘isn’t opera fabulous!’”), they perform a less familiar quartet from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. 

The singers will introduce each of the opera scenes, and translations will be provided. But Kurt Weil’s love song to ice cream is apt to be instantly understood.

Harrington has worked with each of her guest singers at various times, including the recent production of Sweeney Todd at Ferndale Repertory Theatre. HSU piano faculty member Robin Miller is the accompanist.

Elisabeth Harrington and Friends perform on Sunday February 26 at 2 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $8/$3 students and seniors from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Proceeds to HSU Music scholarship fund. Produced by the HSU Department of Music.

Media: Tri-City Weekly, Humboldt Now, Arcata Eye, Lumberjack.

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