University of Calgary

An evening in Weimar

December 17, 2010

An evening in Weimar with Pauline Viardot

By Erin Bacon

A gifted musician and formidable intellect, Pauline Viardot (1821 - 1910) became one of the most celebrated singers of the mid-19th century, performing both works composed specially for her by composers such as Berlioz, Meyerbeer and Gounod as well as reviving forgotten composers such as Gluck. Her fame rested both on her vocal technique and her dramatic talents in both comedic and tragic roles.

This centenary celebration of music and readings is devoted to introducing this multi-talented woman to Calgary audiences through the performance of pieces that she herself composed or performed as well as music associated with those who admired her talents. It will be complemented by readings from letters, diaries and memoirs that bring both her and her milieu to life. Her association with the German city of Weimar spanned almost 50 years and was associated in great part with Franz Liszt, who at one time had been her piano teacher.

Our featured guest soloist will be the Scottish mezzo-soprano, Karen Cargill, who in a few short years has become a much-in-demand singer with major orchestras and conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle and James Levine. She will shortly be making both her Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden débuts. Also featured will be well-known Calgary pianists Charles Foreman and Kathleen van Mourik. Rounding out the evening will be students from the drama and music departments.

An evening in Weimar with Pauline Viardot takes place Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rosza Centre. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and are available at the Campus Ticket Centre 403.220.7207 or at the door.

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