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Antonin Dvořák’s opera Rusalka is a Czech opera based on a fairytale by a woman named Božena Němcová. It was first performed in Prague in 1901. Rusalka is a water nymph who falls in love with a prince. The name Rusalka means water. She asks the moon to find the man she loves, “Help him remember his dreams of me, tell him I’m waiting for him, make him remember me when he awakes.” She asks an evil witch to transform her into a human so she can be with him. The prince immediately falls in love with her but is seduced by another princess. He returns to Rusalka in the end, but they are both destroyed by the witch’s spell as they finally kiss. In this scene from the beginning of the opera, Rusalka is begging her friend the moon to tell the prince about her love:

Moon high above in the summer sky,
he too is watching your shining.
Speak to his heart from up on high
tell him I’m lonely and long for him.
Moon high above him shining
speak to him, tell him how I love him.
If by chance he dreams of me,
if the thought of me awakens him,
moonlight forsake me not,
moonlight, stay with me, stay with me.

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Willow Song

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When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
………………..
by Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

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V’adoro, pupille, Cleopatra’s aria from Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar)

V’adoro, pupille,
saette d’amore,
le vostre faville
son grate nel sen.
Pietose vi brama
il mesto mio core,
ch’ogn’ora vi chiama
l’amato suo ben.
V’adoro, pupille.

I adore you, eyes,
lightning bolts of love,
your sparks
are welcome in my breast.
My sad heart
desires you (to be) compassionate,
(my heart) which at every hour calls you
its dearest beloved.
I adore you, eyes.
……………………………
by George Frideric Handel (1785-1759)
Translation by Rebecca Burstein

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This is one of the pieces I will be singing in Vermont in December.

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Pie Jesu

Driving around in my car tonight, I was singing Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Pie Jesu. It’s music I’ve had the opportunity to sing in churches several times. I sing it often just to check my position on the high A note. If the placement is right, it feels like everything else in my voice training must be going okay. It’s nice to have singing, one area in my life I can gauge by a single note.

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