posted October 12, 2009

One-Man Show to Highlight Composer Reynaldo Hahn

Hope College is sponsoring two appearances by guest artist Norman Spivey on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 21 and 22.

Spivey will present "Écoute: pieces of Reynaldo Hahn" on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Holland Area Arts Council.  He will lead a masterclass on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited to both events.  Admission is free.

"Écoute: pieces of Reynaldo Hahn" is an original one-man show on the life and music of French composer Reynaldo Hahn.  The show draws on his experiences and relationships--particularly those with his closest friends, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt and the exceptional writer Marcel Proust (who in many ways acted as his greatest muse)--and celebrates the inspirations of his music. The performance moves between text, music and poetry to evoke not only a singular composer, but also an era when cultures were defined by their artists.

Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) has been called the musician of the Belle Époque. When he was quite young the family moved from Venezuela to Paris, where his musical gifts blossomed. He entered the conservatoire at age 10, wrote many of his most enduring mélodies during his teen years, and became the darling of the salons, many of which were major centers of literature and music.

"Écoute: pieces of Reynaldo Hahn" began touring to theatres, music conservatories and universities around the country earlier this year, and has been invited to be part of an upcoming off-Broadway reading series in New York. The show will also be featured at the 2010 national meeting of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Spivey, a veteran of musicals, operetta and opera, earned degrees from Southeastern LouisianaUniversity, the University of North Texas, and the University of Michigan. A Fulbright grant to Paris, where he worked with renowned baritones Gabriel Bacquier and Gérard Souzay, led to concert and opera engagements throughout France, as well as a tour of France and Canada as Papageno in Mozart's "The Magic Flute." He has sung Schubert's song cycle "Winterreise" at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and performed the American premiere of Poulenc's rediscovered "Quatre Poèmes de Max Jacob."

Spivey has received fellowships from the Aspen Music Festival and the Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris; in 2003 he received the prestigious Van L. Lawrence Fellowship awarded jointly by The Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He has served as an officer on the local, regional and national level for NATS, and his writings on musical theatre singing have appeared in the NATS "Journal of Singing." Along with PennState musical theatre voice colleagues, he is on the faculty of Bel Canto/Can Belto: Learning to teach and sing for musical theatre.

The Holland Area Arts Council is located in downtown Holland at 150 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.  Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th St. between College and Columbia avenues.