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2021 Celebrate Summer Concert

Recorded on June 26, 2021

Dilara Unsal - soprano; Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano; Paolo Buffagni, Lindell Carter - tenors; James Pierce - baritone; Peiwen Chen - pianist

Francine Garber-Cohen - Concert Producer

Recondita armonia - Tosca - Puccini
Paolo Buffagni - tenor

Mario Cavaradossi is painting a Madonna in the Attavanti chapel. He reflects on the harmonies of different types of beauty: His lover, Floria Tosca, is a brunette, but the Madonna is a blonde, like the unknown lady he has seen praying in the chapel. And the Madonna’s eyes are blue, but Tosca’s are black – and Tosca is his only thought.

Vieni! T’affretta! - Macbeth - Verdi
Dilara Unsal - soprano

Lady Macbeth has just read a letter from Macbeth saying that he has been appointed Thane of Cawdor and that, just before this, the witches had prophesied that he would be both Thane and King. Lady Macbeth is thrilled that her husband will soon be King. “Macbeth, you are ambitious and want to be great, but will you be wicked? The path to power is filled with misdeeds, and woe to him who takes a doubtful step upon it and recoils. Come, hurry! I will set alight your timid heart! I will give you the courage to carry out this bold enterprise! They promised you Scotland, they prophesied the throne... What are you waiting for? Accept the gift! Ascend it and reign!”

Vesti la giubba - I Pagliacci - Leoncavallo
Paolo Buffagni - tenor

Canio the clown, who has just discovered his wife’s infidelity, prepares for a performance, bitterly reflecting on how the audience will laugh at his character’s pain, and exhorting himself to laugh at his own heartbreak.

Re dell’abisso - Un Ballo in Maschera - Verdi
Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano

The fortune-teller Ulrica calls upon Satan: “King of the Abyss, hurry, plunge through the air, enter my house without releasing the thunderbolt! By now, three times has the hoopoe screeched from on high; three times has the fire-eating salamander hissed; three times has the moaning from the graves spoken to me! It is he! In the throbbing of my heart I now feel the blazing ecstasy of his terrible embrace! He holds the torch of the future in his left hand. He smiled upon my spell, he makes it dazzle! Nothing can be hidden from my gaze!”

Eri tu - Un Ballo in Maschera - Verdi
James Pierce - baritone

Renato realizes that his wife Amelia should not be the one to pay for her adultery, but rather his treacherous best friend Riccardo. He is tormented by the loss of his paradise.

O figli ... Ah, la paterna mano - Macbeth - Verdi
Lindell O. Carter - tenor

Macbeth has had Macduff’s wife and children murdered. When Macduff hears the terrible news, he blames himself for not being able to save his family. He asks God to help him face Macbeth so he can avenge their deaths.

Where’er you walk - Semele - Handel
James Pierce - baritone

Semele, a mortal princess, is in love with the god Jupiter, who is concerned that she aspires to immortality. To distract her, he magically transports her sister to her palace to keep her company. He promises Semele that the gardens will flourish wherever she walks.

Voi lo sapete, o mamma - Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni
Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano

Santuzza tells her tragic story to Turiddu’s mother: Turiddu had been in love with Lola. While he was away in the army, Lola married Alfio. When Turiddu returned, he took up with Santuzza on the rebound, and Santuzza fell deeply in love with him. But Lola was jealous and seduced Turiddu away from her, leaving Santuzza without love and without honor.

Pur ti riveggo - Aida - Verdi
Dilara Unsal - soprano, Lindell O. Carter - tenor

The Egyptian warrior Radames assures the Ethiopian slave Aida of his love. He promises that, once Egypt’s invasion of Ethiopia is over, he will be able to marry her.

O ma lyre immortelle - Sapho - Gounod
Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano

The ancient Greek poetess Sappho, rejected by her lover Phaon, sings to her lyre: “O my immortal lyre, who always consoled my sorrows! In vain your sweet sounds try to help me, but you cannot heal my latest injury, a wounded heart - only death can end my pain. Farewell, I will go under the waves into eternal rest. You, Phaon, will see the dawn, but without thinking of me. I will sleep forever in the sea.”

Do not go, my love - Hageman
James Pierce - baritone

O mio Fernando - La Favorita - Donizetti
Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano

Leonora de Guzman, mistress of Alfonso XI, King of Castile, loves and is loved by Fernando, a monastic novice turned soldier. He seeks her hand from the King, not knowing her status, and the monarch finds it convenient to grant it. Leonora will sacrifice anything for Fernando’s happiness, and determines to send him a letter telling him the truth.

Do not sing to me, my beauty - Rachmaninoff
Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano

Do not sing to me, my beauty, your sad songs of Georgia. They remind me of that other life and remote shore, your cruel songs, the steppe that night, and under the moonlight the features of a poor, forgotten girl. I forget that sweet, fatal apparition when I see you. But you sing and I see her before me again.

Che! Non m’inganno - Il Trovatore - Verdi
Dilara Unsal - soprano; Galina Ivannikova - mezzo-soprano; Lindell O. Carter - tenor

Count DiLuna has condemned the troubador Manrico and Manrico’s mother, Azucena, to death. Manrico’s lover, Leonora, arrives with the news that he has been saved. She urges him to flee, but she cannot come with him. Manrico refuses to leave without her, then accuses her of having sold herself to the Count.