No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Michael Barrett

from NYFOS’s own Michael Barrett: We have just had our first 2016 NYFOS Next concert at Opera America. The next two are Feb. 11 and Feb. 18. On Feb. 4, David T. Little curated a wonderful program that, along with excerpts from his brand new opera JFK (premiering Ft. Worth Opera this April), featured works by […]




 |  Michael Barrett

from Michael Barrett: For my final choice of this week’s survey of the Negro Spiritual, I have a selection of six from the amazing Shirley Verrett in live concert from the 1960s. Ms. Verrett was a vocal force and a major Met opera star. I had the good fortune to work with her in the […]




 |  Michael Barrett

from Michael Barrett: Today’s song is “Let Us Break Bread Together” sung by Jessye Norman, with beautifully orchestrated accompaniment. Antonin Dvorak was an early champion of the negro spiritual during his stay in New York (and Iowa) in the early 20th century. He encouraged his black students to draw upon this music, extolling it for its […]




 |  Michael Barrett

from Michael Barrett: In our brief survey of the Negro Spiritual this week, we’ve heard from Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson. Let’s hear now from Robert McFerrin Sr. from 1957. Yes, this is Bobby McFerrin’s Dad. Two years before this recording Mr. McFerrin became the first black man to sing at the Met. Listening to […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Today’s Song of the Day features Mahalia Jackson and Nat King Cole in Steal Away. The lyrics are “Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus. Steal away, steal away home. I ain’t got long to stay here.” Again, it is code for an escape to freedom. This recording from 1957 is a good reminder of how […]




 |  Michael Barrett

This week’s Song of the Day selections come from NYFOS co-founder Michael Barrett: I have just been baptized in the Colorado River. It wasn’t intentional. I was swept into the rapids of Cataract Canyon about 100 miles south of Moab, Utah. I had several mouthfuls of the the holy water, and somehow survived. Two nights before I […]




 |  Michael Barrett

(from Michael Barrett) This week’s “Song of the Day” tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson concludes with two selections from Four Hindu Poems by Maurice Delage (1879-1961). It is from a live performance in 1997 at the Moab Music Festival. The songs are “Un Sapin isole” (text by Heine), and “Si vous pensez” (Bhartrihari).  One of the most harmonically […]




 |  Michael Barrett

(from Michael Barrett) The fourth installment of our week-long celebration of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s artistry continues with the Mahler Rueckert Lieder. Here is “Liebst du um Schoenheit”. It is the chestnut of the cycle; short, rich, soaring and perfect. Mahler really sets the same phrase four times. The text poses a supposition, followed by a […]




 |  Michael Barrett

(from Michael Barrett) Lorraine Hunt Lieberson was at the Moab Music Festival in 1997 for an auspicious event. The Grand County High School had just opened their brand new campus. Fortunately, their forward-thinking County Superintendent, Richard Averitt, had consulted with me about the “cafeteria/multi-purpose room they were intending to build. I was able to convince […]




 |  Michael Barrett

(from Michael Barrett) Lorraine Hunt first came to the Moab Music Festival in 1997. She was fresh off her triumph at the Santa Fe Opera where she had premiered Peter Lieberson’s “Ashoka’s Dream”. She had also, she confided to me, fallen in love with the composer. This was an exciting time for Lorraine. Her career was path was on a […]