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Neghittosi or voi che fate (from Ariodante) Handel

George Frideric (1685-1759)

German-born composer George Frideric Handel is celebrated for his Italian operas, composed largely for English audiences during the Baroque period (1600-1750). Handel’s Ariodante premiered in London in 1735 as a three-act opera seria. The librettist is unknown, but the story is based on Antonio Salvi’s adaptation of the epic poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. The plot takes place in medieval Scotland and centers on the eventful romance between Ginerva, daughter of the Scottish king, and Prince Ariodante. In the midst of their romance, Ginvera’s maid Dalinda harbors a secret love for Polinesso, a duke who resents Ginerva for rejecting his romantic advancements. Polinesso ultimately tricks Dalinda by seducing her as a romantic pawn in a revenge plot against Ginerva, and then ultimately attempts to murder her. In this aria, Dalinda rages to the gods about Polinesso’s deceitful nature, and expresses her own desires for revenge. The aria is in standard Baroque da capo form (ABA’), in which the initial musical section returns at the end to allow for ornamentation. Neghittosi or voi che fate?

Apathetic gods, what are you doing?

Ingrato Polinesso! E in che peccai, che con la morte ricompensi amore? Ah, sì, questo l’error troppo t’amai.

Ungrateful Polinesso! What was my sin that you repay my love with death? Ah yes, my mistake was to love you too much.

Neghittosi or voi che fate? Fulminate, cieli, omai sul capo all’empio!

Apathetic gods, what are you doing? Send down lightning, heavens, now upon the head of the wicked one!

Fate scempio dell’ingrato, del crudel che m’ha tradito, l’impunita empietà riderà nel veder poi fulminato qualche scoglio o qualche tempio.

Wreak havoc on the integrate, on the cruel man who has betrayed me; the wicked unpunished one shall laugh then to see struck down some rock or some temple.

(Translation © 2008 by Bard Suverkrop – IPA Source, LLC)


Sogno d’infanzia La farfalletta L’abbandono

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)

Vincenzo Bellini was an Italian composer of opera and song, perhaps best remembered for his long, arching melodic lines. Bellini was one of the most formative composers of the early 19th century bel canto (“beautiful singing”) era, characterized by especially expressive singing as well as long legato lines with frequent ornamentation, rubato, and portamenti. The three songs represented here all feature texts by anonymous poets and share a theme of longing for an object of desire that remains just out of reach. “Sogno d’infanzia” and “L’abbandono” were both likely composed in the 1820s; “La farfalletta” is notable because it was composed in 1813 when Bellini was only twelve years old. All three songs were not published until 1935 as part of the Composizioni da Camera, a set of fifteen Bellini songs for voice and piano compiled and published for the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death. Although published together, it is not believed that Bellini intended these works to be considered as a whole. Sogno d’infanzia

Dream of Childhood

Soave sogno de’ miei primi anni, di tue memorie m’inebbria il cor; solo in te spero nel mio dolor. Nulla bandirti può dalla mente, Ignoto oggetto de’ miei desiri; Qual m’eri allora, t’ho ancor presente col tuo sorriso, col tuo languor.

Sweet dream of my youth, my heart is elated with the memory of you; in my sorrow, I hope only in you. Nothing can banish you from my mind, unknown object of my desires; what you were to me then, I still have you with your smile and your languor.

Sì, sempre, o cara, voglio adorarti, e a’ tuoi bei sguardi sempre pensar, e a te miei giorni tutti sacrar. Quando dal cielo scesa io mirai la tua persona bella e pudica, giovine allora, ah, non pensai che tardi un giorno, ah! fora l’amar.

Yes, my dearest, I want to always adore you, and to think of your beautiful glances, and to devote to you all my days. When you descended from heaven, I gazed at your beautiful and chaste form, still so young, ah, I did not think, ah, that too late I would love you.

Rapido lampo tua debil vita seco travolse dove si muor, ed io ti chiamo ancor. Pera l’istante quand’io ti vidi pura qual giglio sulle prim’ore: tu ti slanciasti verso i tuoi lidi, e di te privo, ah! muore il mio cor.

Swift lightning, swept away your fragile life with it to where it dies, and I call you still. May that moment fade when I first saw you in the morning, pure as a lily: you rushed to your ruin, and being deprived of you, ah, my heart dies.

La farfalletta

The Butterfly

Farfalletta, aspetta aspetta;

Little butterfly, wait, wait; 2

non volar con tanta fretta. Far del mal non ti vogl’io; ferma appaga il desir mio. Vo’ baciarti e il cibo darti, da’ perigli preservarti. Di cristallo stanza avrai e tranquilla ognor vivrai.

don’t fly away so quickly. I don’t want to hurt you; stop here and satisfy my wish. I want to kiss you and to feed you, and protect you from all danger. You shall have a crystal room and always live in peace.

L’ali aurate, screzïate, so che Aprile t’ha ingemmate, che sei vaga, vispa e snella, fra tue eguali la più bella. Ma crin d’oro ha il mio tesoro, il fanciullo ch’amo e adoro; e a te pari vispa e snella, fra i suo’ eguali egli è il più bello.

Your multi-colored, shining wings, I know that April has bejeweled, you are pretty, lively and graceful, and considered among the most beautiful. But the blond hair of my beloved, the boy whom I love and adore; and like you he is lively and graceful, and considered among the most handsome.

Vo’ carpirti, ad esso offrirti; più che rose, gigli e mirti ti fia caro il mio fanciullo, ed a lui sarai trastullo. Nell’aspetto e terso petto, rose e gigli ha il mio diletto. Vieni scampa da’ perigli, non cercar più rose e gigli.

I want to capture you and give you to him; dearer than roses, lilies, and myrtles to you will be my boy, and to him, you will be his plaything. In his looks and pure heart, roses and lilies has my beloved. Come, flee danger, search no more among the roses and lilies.


The abandoned one

Solitario zeffiretto, a che movi i tuoi sospiri? Il sospiro a me sol lice, ché, dolente ed infelice, chiamo Dafne che non ode l’insoffribil mio martir.

Lonely little breeze, Why are you sighing? I am the only one permitted to sigh, because, sad and unhappy, I call for Daphne who does not hear my unbearable agony.

Langue invan la mammoletta e la rosa e il gelsomino; lunge son da lui che adoro, non conosco alcun ristoro se non viene a consolarmi col bel guardo cilestrino. Ape industre, che vagando sempre vai di fior in fiore, ascolta, ascolta.

In vain pines away the little violet, the rose and the jasmine; I am far from him whom I adore, I know no comfort if he does not come to console me with his beautiful sky-blue eyes. Industrious bee, that roaming always flits from flower to flower, listen, listen.

Se lo scorgi ov’ei dimora, di’ che rieda a chi l’adora,

If you discover where he dwells, tell him he could return to the one 3

who adores him, just as you return to the bosom of the rose at the break of day.

Come riedi tun el seno delle rose al primo albor.

(Translations © 2008, 2020 by Bard Suverkrop – IPA Source, LLC)

From Lieder und Gesänge aus ‘Wilhelm Meister,’ op. 98a Schumann I. Mignon (Kennst du das Land) III. Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt V. Heiss’ mich nicht reden VII. Singet nicht in Trauertönen IX. So lasst mich scheinen, bis ich werde

Robert (1810-1856)

Robert Schumann’s Lieder und Gesänge aus ‘Wilhelm Meister’ is a cycle of nine songs, completed in 1849. As the title suggests, the texts are taken from Goethe’s coming-of-age novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship), published in 1795-96. The songs alternate between different characters’ perspectives, and it is the traditionally “female” songs that are represented here. Most of these songs are sung from the perspective of Mignon, an androgenous and mysterious child waif with a troubled past that Wilhelm rescues from her kidnappers along his travels. Throughout Goethe’s novel, Mignon seeks to make sense of her own past and desires before ultimately dying of a broken heart, after which the reader is made known of Mignon’s origins as a product of incest. In “Kennst du das Land,” Mignon remembers her Italian homeland and asks Wilhelm Meister to return there with her. Goethe originally wrote “Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt” as a duet between Mignon and the Harper (whose perspective is shared in the “male” songs of Schumann’s cycle), but is sung here by Mignon to comfort Wilhelm Meister during a period of illness. “Heiss mich nicht reden” reveals the depths of mystery and pain surrounding Mignon’s past. The last song, “So lasst mich scheinen,” foreshadows Mignon’s eventual death, as well as her desire to be cleansed from her perpetual sorrow and longing. The only exception to the Mignon songs is “Singet nicht in Trauertönen,” sung from the perspective of the seductive actress Philine as a celebration of the night and its romantic opportunities. Mignon (Kennst du das Land)

Mignon (Know you the land)

Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen blüh’n, im dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen glüh’n,

Know you the land where the lemon trees blossom, among the dark leaves the golden oranges glow, a gentle wind from the blue sky wafts, the myrtle stands silent, the laurel tall? Do you know it well? There! There would I go with you,

ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht, die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht? Kennst du es wohl? Dahin! dahin möcht’ ich mit dir,


O mein Geliebter, zieh’n.

oh my beloved.

Kennst du das Haus? Auf Säulen ruht sein Dach. Es glänzt der Saal, es shimmert das Gemach. Und Marmorbilder steh’n und seh’n mich an:

Know you the house? Its roof rests on pillars. The hall gleams, the room shimmers, and marble statues stand and look at me [saying]: “What have they done to you, poor child?” Do you know it well? There! There would I go with you, oh my protector.

Was hat man dir, du armes Kind, getan? Kennst du es wohl? Dahin! dahin möcht’ ich mit dir, O mein Beschützer, ziehn. Kennst du den Berg und seinen Wolkensteg? Das Maultier sucht im Nebel seinen Weg; in Höhlen wohnt der Drachen alte Brut; es stürzt der Fels und über ihn die Flut! Kennst du ihn wohl? Dahin! dahin geht unser Weg! O Vater, lass uns zieh’n!

Know you the mountain and its cloudy path? The mule seeks in the mist his way; in caves lives the dragons’ old brood; the cliff falls steeply away and over it the water flows! Do you know it well? There! There lies our way! Oh father, let us go!

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt

Only someone who knows longing

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt weiß, was ich leide! Allein und abgetrennt von aller Freude, seh ich ans Firmament nach jener Seite.

Only someone who knows longing knows what I suffer! Alone and cut off from all joy, I gaze at the firmament in that direction (to the south and home).

Ach! der mich liebt und kennt, ist in der Weite. Es scwindelt mir, es brennt mein Eingeweide. Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt weiß, was ich leide!

Ah, the one who loves and knows me is far away. I am reeling, there is a burning in the pit of my stomach. Only someone who knows longing knows what I suffer!

Heiß mich nicht reden

Bid me not to speak

Heiß mich nicht reden, heiß mich schweigen! Denn mein Geheimnis ist mir Pflicht; Ich möchte dir mein ganzes Innre zeigen, Allein das Schicksal will es nicht.

Bid me not to speak; bid me to be silent! For my duty is to keep my secret; I want to show you my inner self, only fate will not allow it.

Zur rechten Zeit vertreibt der Sonne Lauf

At the right time the sun’s course will drive 5

die finstre Nacht, und sie muss sich erhellen; Der harte Fels schließt seinen Busen auf, mißgönnt der Erde nicht die tief-verborgnen Quellen.

away the dark night, and the night will turn to day; the hard rock opens its bosom up, and not begrudge the earth its hidden springs.

Ein jeder sucht im Arm des Freundes Ruh, dort kann die Brust in Klagen sich ergießen; allein ein Schwur drükt mir die Lippen zu, und nur ein Gott vermag sie aufzuschliesen.

Everyone seeks peace in the arms of a friend, there the heart can pour out its lamentations; but a vow closed my lips and only God can unlock them.

Singet nicht in Trauertönen

Do not sing mournfully

Singet nicht in Trauertönen von der Einsamkeit der Nacht. Nein, sie ist, o holde Schönen, Zur Geselligkeit gemacht.

Do not sing mournfully of the loneliness of the night. No, it is, oh lovely ladies, made for companionship.

Könnt ihr euch des Tages freuen, Der nur Freuden unterbricht? Er ist gut, sich zu zerstreuen; zu was anderm taugt er nicht.

Can you enjoy the daytime, which only interrupts our enjoyment? It is good, as a distraction, but it is of no other use.

Aber wenn in nächt’ger Stunde Süsser Lampe Dämmrung fließt, und vom Mund zum nahen Munde

But when, in the nocturnal hour, the twilight’s sweet lamplight flows about you, and from one mouth to another mouth very close by joking and love pour;

Scherz und Liebe sich ergießt; Wenn der rasche, lose Knabe, der sonst wild und feurig eilt, oft bei einer kleinen Gabe unter leichten Spielen weilt;

When the quick, cheeky boy (Cupid) who otherwise wild and fiery hurries on his way, often, by the offer of a small gift will tarry for light play.

Wenn die Nachtigall Verliebten liebevoll ein Liedchen singt, das Gefangnen und Betrübten nur wie Ach und Wehe klingt;

When the nightingale filled with love, a little song sings to lovers, which to the imprisoned and troubled sounds only like sighs and moans;

Mit wie leichtem Herzensregen horchet ihr der Glocke nicht, die mit zwölf bedächt’gen Schlägen Ruh und Sicherheit verspricht.

With a light stirring of the heart do you not hear the bell, that with twelve deliberate stokes, peace and security promises?

Darum an dem langen Tage, merke dir es, liebe Brust;

Therefore, during the long day, mark well, dear heart; 6

jeder Tag hat seine Plage, und die Nacht hat ihre Lust. So lasst mich scheinen, bis ich werde

every day has its trouble, and every night its pleasure. So let me appear so, until I have become that

So lasst mich scheinen, bis ich werde zieht mir das weiße Kleid nicht aus! Ich eile von des schönen Erde hinap in jenes feste Haus.

So let me appear so, until I have become that, do not force me to take off the white dress! I hurry from the beautiful earth down to that solid house.

Dort ruh’ ich eine kleine Stille, dann öffnet sich der frische Blick; ich lasse dann die reine Hülle, Den Gürtel und den Kranz zurück.

There I will rest for a brief moment, then my gaze will open up refreshed; I will then remove my pure garment, leaving behind belt and wedding wreath.

Und jene himmlischen Gestalten sie fragen nicht nach Mann und Weib, und keine Kleider, keine Falten umgeben den verklärent Leib.

And those heavenly beings, they do not ask if one is a man or a woman, and no clothes, no robes surround the transfigured body.

Zwar lebt’ ich ohne Sorg’ und Mühe,

It is true that I have lived without care and toil, yet I have felt deep pain enough. I grew too early old from sorrow; make me forever young again!

doch fühlt’ ich tiefen Schmerz genug. Vor Kummer altert’ ich zu frühe; macht mich auf ewig wieder jung!

(Translations © 2008, 2009 by Bard Suverkrop – IPA Source, LLC)

Cinq poèmes de Max Jacob, FP 59 I. II. III. IV. V.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Chanson bretonne Cimetière La petite servante Berceuse Souric et Mouric

Francis Poulenc and poet Max Jacob (1876-1944) became acquainted with one another in Paris, where they operated in overlapping artistic and social circles. Poulenc was a member of “Les Six,” a group of six 20thcentury avant-garde composers who lived in Paris and composed their music as a stylistic departure from both German Romanticism and earlier French Impressionism. Poulenc’s style is often typified by jazzinfluenced harmonies, irreverent humor, and religious thematic overtones. Meanwhile, Max Jacob became immersed in the Parisian avant-garde art scene after sharing a flat with Pablo Picasso upon moving to Paris from his hometown of Quimper, Brittany. Although Jacob’s poetry was not well-recognized until after


World War I, his free-verse style functions as an important link between Symbolism and Surrealism, and also occasionally explores Cubist themes. Poulenc and Jacob were introduced to one another’s work through attending events at the bohemian Salle Huyghens studio in Montmarte, and formed a mutual friendship soon thereafter. Their collaboration exemplifies the sort of interdisciplinary inspiration shared between Parisian modernist artists of various mediums in the early 20th century. Chanson bretonne

Song of Brittany

J’ai perdu ma poulette et j’ai perdu mon chat. Je cours à la poudrette si Dieu me les rendra.

I have lost my little hen, and I have lost my cat. I’ll throw myself in the manure pile if God will return them to me.

Je vais chez Jean le Coz et chez Marie Maria. Va-t’en voir chez Hérode peut-être il le saura.

I will go to Jean le Coz and to see Marie Maria. Go and see Herod, perhaps he will know.

Passant devant la salle, toute la ville était là à voir danser ma poule avec mon petit chat.

Passing by the hall, all the town was there to see my hen dance with my little cat.

Tous les oiseaux champêtres sur les murs et sur les toits jouaient de la trompette pour la banquet du roi.

All the birds of the countryside on the walls and on the rooftops were playing on the trumpet for the banquet of the king.



Si mon marin vous le chassez, au cimetière vous me mettrez, rose blanche, rose blanche et rose rouge. Ma tombe, elle est comme un jardin, comme un jardin, rouge et blanche,

If you drive my sailor away, you will put me in the cemetery, white rose, white rose and red rose. My tomb, it is like a garden, like a garden, red and white.

Le dimanche vous irez, rose blanche, vous irez vous promener, rose blanche et blanc meguet, Tante Yvonne à la Toussaint une couronne en fer peint elle apporte de son jardin en fer peint avec des perles de satin, rose blanche et blanc muguet.

On Sundays you will go, rose white, you will go to take a walk, rose white and white lily-of-the-valley, Aunt Yvonne on All Saint’s Day a wreath of painted iron she will bring from her garden of painted iron with some pearls of satin, rose white and white lily-of-the-valley.


Si Dieu veut me ressusciter au Paradis je monterai, rose blanche avec un nimbe dorè, rose blanche et blanc muguet.

If God resurrects me, I will ascend to paradise, white rose, with a golden halo, rose white and white lily-of-the-valley.

Si mon marin revenait, rose rouge et rose blanche, sur ma tombe il vient auprès, rose blanche et blanc muguet.

If my sailor should return, red rose and rose white, he will come near to my grave, rose white and white lily-of-the-valley.

Souviens-toi de notre enfance, rose blanche. quand nous jouions sur le quai, rose blanche et blanc muguet.

Do you remember our childhood, white rose, when we played on the wharf, rose white and white lily-of-the-valley.

La petite servante

The little servant

Préservez-nous du feu et du tonnerre, le tonnerre court comme un oiseau, si c’est le Seigneur qui le conduit bénis soient les dégats. Si c’est le diable qui le conduit faites-le partir au trot d’ici.

Protect us from fire and from thunder, the thunder runs like a bird, if it is the Lord who sends it, blessed be the loud noise. If it is the devil who sends it, drive it away on the double.

Préservez-nous des dartres et des boutons, de la peste et de la lèpre. Si c’est pour ma penitence que vous l’envoyez, Seigneur, laissez-la moi, merci. Si c’est le diable qui le conduit faites-le partir au trot d’ici.

Protect us from flaky skin and from pimples, from the plague and from leprosy. If it is for my penance that you have sent them, Lord, leave them with me, thank you. If it is the devil who sends it, drive it away on the double.

Goître, goître, sors de ton sac, sors de mon cou et de ma tête! Feu Saint Elme, danse de Saint Guy, si c’est le diable qui le conduit mon Dieu, faites-le sortir d’ici.

Goiter, goiter, get out of your sack, get out of my neck and my head! Fire of Saint Elmo, dance of Saint Vitus, if it is the devil who sends it, dear God, drive it out of here.

Faites que je grandisse vite et donnez-moi un bon mari qui ne soit pas trop ivrogne et qui ne me batte pas tous le soirs.

Make that I grow up fast and give me a good husband who is not too much of a drunkard and who will not beat me every evening.



Ton père est à la messe,

Your father is at the Mass, 9

ta mère au cabaret, Tu auras sur les fesses si tu vas encore crier.

your mother at the cabaret. You will have your bottom spanked if you continue to cry.

Ma mère était pauvresse sur la lande à Auray, et moi je fais des crêpes en te berçant du pied.

My mother was a poor woman, on the moor of Auray and I, I make some pancakes while I rock you with my foot.

Si tu mourais du croup coliques ou diarrhée, si tu mourais des croûtes que tu as sur le nez.

If you should die of the croup colic or diarrhea, if you should die of the scabs that you have on your nose.

Je pêcherais des crevettes à l’heure de la marée, pour faire la soupe aux têtes y a pas besoin de crochets.

I would fish for shrimp at the hour of the low tide, to make the soup of fish heads; one has no need of hooks.

Souric et Mouric

Souric and Mouric

Souric et Mouric, rat blanc, souris noire, venus dans l’armoire pour apprendre à l’araignée à tisser sur le métier un beau drap de toile.

Souric and Mouric, white rat, black mouse, have come to the cupboard to teach the spider to weave on the loom a beautiful sheet of linen.

Expédiez-le à Paris, à Quimper, à Nantes, c’est de bonne vente! Mettez les sous de côté, vous achèterez un pré, des pommiers pour la saison et trois belles vaches, un bœuf pour faire étalon.

Send it to Paris, to Quimper, to Nantes, it will sell well! Put your pennies aside, you will buy a meadow, some apple trees for the season and three fine cows, a bull for stud.

Chantez, les rainettes, car voici la nuit qui vient, la nuit on les entend bien, crapauds et grenouilles,

Sing, tree frogs, for night is falling; at night one hears them well, toads and frogs.

Écoutez, mon merle et ma pie qui parle, Écoutez, toute la journée, vous apprendrez à chanter.

Listen, my blackbird and my magpie who speaks. Listen, all the day; you will learn to sing.


(Translations © 2008 by Bard Suverkrop – IPA Source, LLC)

The Years

I. II. III. IV. V.

Lori Laitman (b. 1955)

Jewels To-Night Barter Faults The Years

A graduate of the Yale School of Music, Lori Laitman first began her career as a pianist and flutist with a passion for composing chamber works and film music. However, she now specializes entirely in composing for voice, and has a sizeable repertory of art song, opera, and choral works. The Years is Laitman’s third setting of poems by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933). Teasdale was an American poet from St. Louis, Missouri, whose works frequently depict evolving female-centric perspectives of love and beauty in a conversational, simplistic style. Laitman composed The Years in honor of her in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary and selected the cycle’s last four poems to reflect various perspectives on marriage. By contrast, Laitman includes the first song (“Jewels”) as a reflection of an alternate reality for her in-laws’ love and courtship. Within the score, she includes this note at the end of the song: “A word about this text: this poem represents what could have been. When my in-laws married in 1951, the Jewish/non-Jewish marriage was more of a rarity than it is today. Thankfully, my in-laws followed their hearts.”

How Glory Goes (from Floyd Collins)

Adam Guettal (b. 1964)

Adam Guettal is an awarded composer and lyricist of both musical theater and opera. The grandson of Richard Rodgers, Guettal has won two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards for his music and orchestrations, perhaps most recognizably for his musical The Light in the Piazza. Floyd Collins opened OffBroadway in 1996 and closed after only 25 performances. The musical is inspired by the life and death of cave explorer Floyd Collins (1887-1925), who perished in Cave City, Kentucky, after a rock collapse left him trapped in a narrow cave passageway for more than two weeks without food or water. Rescue efforts to save Collins became a national media event as listeners kept up with events over broadcast radio. A rescue shaft was eventually able to reach Collins’ location, although tragically three days after his death. “How Glory Goes” is the final song of Floyd Collins, in which Collins contemplates his life and possibilities of the afterlife while trapped within the cave. Despite the musical’s limited initial run, “How Glory Goes” is now often excerpted as a stand-alone song and has been recorded by the likes of Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kelli O’Hara.



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