Russian Liederabend to showcase Yale Opera singers

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, Yale Opera will present a Russian Liederabend (“evening of songs”) featuring a wide array of Russian vocal music, from solo songs and arias to ensemble pieces. The program will include works by such composers as Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glinka, Shebalin, Pakhmutova, and Rachmaninoff.

With Yale Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin slated for two performances in February, Russian was a natural choice for the language of this year’s Liederabend. Integral to both projects is Emily Olin, Lecturer in Voice and Opera at the School of Music, who organized the Liederabend and will perform as the evening’s collaborative pianist. Olin put together the concert program with current Yale Opera singers in mind, tailoring musical selections to students’ individual voices.

In addition to her musical guidance, Olin has taught weekly Russian language classes and diction coachings throughout the semester. Soprano Laura Nielsen ’20MM described Olin as “an incredible resource” for the singers in the opera program. “In addition to her warm and loving personality,” Nielsen said, “she has a wonderful way of communicating subtle differences in pronunciation and helping us non-native speakers improve our Russian.”

Singing in Russian presents challenges for many singers. For Nielsen, one of the most difficult aspects of learning Russian music has been becoming proficient in reading Cyrillic. “I have only just started to be able to absorb this new alphabet and the new sounds that it includes,” Nielsen said. “I have to do so much extra work in reading that it makes learning a piece much more challenging than learning a piece in English, Italian, or French.” In many undergraduate vocal programs, it is not unusual for students to focus on Italian, French, and German repertoire, and to skip Russian works entirely. “I am so grateful to have been exposed to so much more Russian music this year,” Nielsen said.

In addition to showing off their newly enhanced Russian language skills, Yale Opera singers look forward to sharing rarely heard repertoire. “I am singing a wonderful aria from a Russian adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew by Vissarion Shebalin, written in 1957,” Nielsen said. She hopes people will come to broaden their musical horizons and to hear “the best of what each of the singers has to offer.”

Yale Opera’s Russian Liederabend, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m., in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall, is free and open to the public.

Published November 29, 2018
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Up-and-coming baritone Edward Parks, on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, performs Schubert’s Winterreise Sep. 27

Recital by the 2008 alumnus of the Yale School of Music is a preview of his appearance on Carnegie Hall’s Great Singers series

Yale Opera and The Yale School of Music present baritone Edward Parks in a performance of Schubert’s beloved song cycle Winterreise on Monday, September 27 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. Parks is a 2008 graduate of the School of Music who is now on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, having made his debut with the Met last season. He will perform with pianist Ken Noda, musical assistant to James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. Parks and Noda will perform the same program on Carnegie Hall’s Great Singers series in February of 2011.

Admission to the Sep. 27 performance is free. MORE

Published September 3, 2010
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Yale Opera’s Liederabend offers an evening of French song

Rising opera stars perform art songs by Bizet, Poulenc, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, and more

The Yale School of Music presents the rising stars of Yale Opera in an evening of French song on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall. The performance continues Yale Opera’s tradition of Liederabend, evenings of art songs focusing on a single country or language. This France-inspired concert will include music by Bizet, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Duparc, and Debussy. Pianists Timothy Shaindlin and Kyle Swann will provide musical direction and accompaniment. Doris Yarick-Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera.

The Liederabend (German for “evening of song”) will take place in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free. For more information, visit the Yale School of Music’s website or call 203 432-4158. MORE

Published April 21, 2010
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An evening of Italian songs by Yale Opera

Morse Recital Hall

The Yale School of Music presents a spring Liederabend on Monday, April 27, at 8:00 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College St, New Haven). Students of Yale Opera will offer an evening of the finest Italian songs from across three centuries, including selections by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Mascagni, Pizzetti, and many others. Timothy Shaindlin is the musical director and accompanist of this concert. Doris Yarick-Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera. MORE

Published April 14, 2009
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