This page contains additional program notes for select LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts events. These notes may include biographies, information about the works performed, or thematic context about a performance.
To view the programs themselves, please use this link.
November 11 - 13, 2022 // Shaver Theater, Music & Dramatic Arts Building
In a storybook kingdom, Pandolfe, a country gentleman, has married Madame de la Haltière, an imperious countess. She and her daughters, Noémie and Dorothée, bully Pandolfe’s daughter from his first marriage, Lucette—known as Cendrillon.
The household prepares for a ball to be given at the Court that evening. Pandolfe bemoans his lot: married to a nagging wife who ill-treats his daughter. Madame de la Haltière instructs her daughters on how to behave at the ball. She refuses to let Cendrillon attend the festivities or to let her father say goodbye to her. After her family has left, Cendrillon sits by the fire and dreams of the ball. Cendrillon’s Fairy Godmother appears and conjures her a coach, horses, a beautiful gown, and glass slippers. She tells Cendrillon that she can go to the ball but must leave before midnight, and that the glass slippers will prevent Cendrillon’s family from recognizing her.
The royal ballroom is full of guests enjoying themselves, but Prince Charming is in a melancholy mood. The King orders his son to find a wife, and several princesses dance for the Prince. An unknown beauty, Cendrillon in all her finery, enters the room to general surprise. The whole court—except Madame de la Haltière and her daughters—are charmed by the stranger, and the Prince immediately falls in love with her. Left alone with Cendrillon, he tells her of his feelings. Cendrillon is equally taken with the Prince, but at the first stroke of midnight she hurries away, remembering the Fairy Godmother’s words.
Cendrillon has returned home, crestfallen at having had to leave the Prince behind.
She remembers her frightening journey from the royal palace and how she lost one of
her glass slippers as she left the ball. Madame de la Haltière and her daughters enter,
abusing Pandolfe. Madame de la Haltière then describes to Cendrillon the “unknown
stranger” who appeared at the King’s ball, telling her that the Prince spoke contemptuously
of the girl, and that the Court regarded her with disdain. When Pandolfe tells his
wife to be quiet, she turns on him again. Pandolfe has finally had enough and sends
Madame de la Haltière, Noémie, and Dorothée out of the room. He suggests to Cendrillon
that they leave town and return together to his country estate. Cendrillon agrees,
and Pandolfe goes to prepare for their journey. Alone, Cendrillon decides that she
is too sad to continue living. She bids farewell to her home and leaves, determined
to go off and die in the forest.
Spirits are dancing in the forest. Prince Charming and Cendrillon enter, looking for each other. They pray to the Fairy Godmother to ease their pain. Hearing each other’s voices, they reaffirm their love, and Cendrillon tells the Prince her true name, Lucette. The Fairy Godmother allows the pair to see each other. They embrace and fall into an enchanted sleep.
Pandolfe has found Cendrillon in the forest and has been caring for her at home. He
tells her that she had been talking during her illness of her adventures at the ball
and of Prince Charming. Cendrillon begins to believe that the whole episode was a
dream. Trying to be brave, she greets the spring with her father. Madame de la Haltière,
Noémie, and Dorothée enter excitedly. They tell Cendrillon and Pandolfe that the King
has summoned maidens from all over the land in the hope that one of them is the unknown
beauty whom the Prince met at the ball. Madame de la Haltière is sure that the Prince
must mean one of her daughters and is determined to go to the palace. A herald announces
that the Prince is insisting that each woman who appears at court must try on the
glass slipper left behind by the unknown beauty, for it will only fit perfectly upon
her foot. Cendrillon resolves to go to the palace as well.
The Prince is desperately searching for his beloved among the young women summoned to the palace. Having not found her, he despairs, until Cendrillon and the Fairy Godmother arrive. The Prince immediately recognizes Cendrillon, and the pair declare their love to the court. Pandolfe and the rest of Cendrillon’s family enter. Everyone rejoices and hails Cendrillon as their future queen.
Music by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Henri Cain
Directed by Dugg McDonough
Conducted by Michael Borowitz
- Karli Forte
- Anna Safko
- Orlando Montalvo
- Scott Purcell
- Dennis Jesse
Assistant Production Manager
- David R Baker II
- David Gordon
- Michael Burton
Wig & Make-up Designer
- Laurin Hart
- Glen Breed
- Chandler Price
Technical Advisor & Sound Engineer
- Lewis Rhodes, Piper Productions
- Eric Morgan
- New Orleans Opera Scenic Shop
- Pocket Publications
In order of vocal appearance
- Nathaniel Malkow
- Shengjie Cheng (cover)
Madame de la haltière
- Berenice Carrera
- Madison Kavanaugh (cover)
- Karli Forte
- Charissa Fonbah (cover)
- Maura Schaefer
- Sydney Sorbet (cover)
- Chuyan Luo
- Eunchong Kang (cover)
- Natalie Pendás
- Yuiba Shin (cover)
- Kay Gucciardo
- Rosemary Joyce
- Smarlensly Alténor
- Sierra Shoemaker
- Abigail Roques
- Anna Safko
Le Doyen de la Faculté
- Sean Whitson
Le Surintendant des plaisirs
- Andrew Aceves
- Jesse Kneisler (cover)
Le Premier Ministre
- Jamison Deffner
Le Prince Charmant
- Olivia Newcomb
- Miranda Albarez (cover)
- David R Baker II
Lily Hodges, Jozifein Woods, Sean Whitson, Amber Caroglanian, Annie Kate Lee, Caleb Russell, Spencer LeFebvre
Membres de la cour
(Members of the court)
Lily Hodges, Kaylee Mancuso, Reagan Nattinger, Elise Strain, Trisha Thatai, Jozifein Woods, Amber Caroglanian, Natalie Creel, Annie Kate Lee, Lily Scalisi, Isabella Siddon, Jesse Kneisler, Spencer LeFebvre
Kaylee Mancuso, Elise Strain, Lily Hodges, Reagan Nattinger, Trisha Thatai, Amber Caroglanian, Natalie Creel, Annie Kate Lee, Lily Scalisi, Isabella Siddon, Jozifein Woods
- *Rafael Galvan Herrera, Concertmaster
- Alicia Alonso, Assistant Concertmaster
- Mariana Blanco
- *Sinella Aghasi
- Hannah Urdea
- Natalia Canon Guidry
- Angelina Freeman
- *Nuria Honrubia
- Catherine Chen
- Kristine Venstrom
- *Susannah Knoll
- Jaime Compton-Galvan
- *Josue Ramirez
- Ivan Smetankin
Flute and Piccolo
- *Melody Wan
- Erika Richardson
Oboe and English Horn
- *Brennan Guidry
- Phillip Larroque
- *Aubrey Shirts
- Cari Sands
- *Adrian Fonseca Tellez
- Annalea Milligan
- *Catherine Rochelle-Wallace
- Arisia Gilmore
- *Nicholas Whitchurch
- Hannah Weber
- *Brandon Domingue
- *Chase Gillett
LSU Symphonic Winds - Variations on America
November 17, 2022 // 7:30 pm // Union Theater
Brett Dietz - Muditā (2022)
Muditā was written for Dr. Simon Holoweiko and the Louisiana State University Symphonic Winds. I wanted to write a short and uplifting fanfare for wind ensemble and my working title was the Biblical quote, “Make A Joyful Noise.” Muditā is the Sanskrit word for joy, or the Buddhist practice of sympathetic joy which comes from being happy for others. It has taken me a long time to learn how to be happy for others, especially in the field of music which can be very self-serving. Having a loving wife and two wonderful children has been extremely helpful in this process and, of course, it is easy to be happy for them. But, being truly happy for others' success, I have found, really brings me closer to my creator and reason for living. The more I do it, the more at peace I become.
Program Note by composer
Florence Price (tr. Cheldon Williams) - Adoration (1951/2022)
Florence Price (1887-1953) was a prolific American composer whose race and gender made it difficult for her contributions to join the widely accepted musical canon in the decades following her life. A trailblazer, Price is considered the first Black woman recognized as a symphonic composer and was the first to have her music performed by a major American orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of her Symphony No. 1 in 1933.
Price's catalog of works boasts an impressive array of symphonies, concertos, chamber music, various symphonic works, choral works, piano music, and music for the organ. Adoration in its original form is one of Price's compositions for organ and fits within the genre of her semi-secular output. My goal in transcribing this piece is to grant performers exposure to Price's story and the gift of performing her music outside of its intended medium.
Program Note by Cheldon Williams
Charles Ives - Variations on America (1891/1968)
Variations on "America" was originally a composition for organ. Composed in 1891 when Ives was seventeen, it is an arrangement of a traditional tune, known as My Country, 'Tis of Thee, and was at the time the de facto anthem of the United States. The tune is also widely recognized in Thomas Arne's orchestration as the British National Anthem, God Save the Queen, and in the former anthems of Russia, Switzerland, and Germany, as well as being the current national anthem of Liechtenstein and royal anthem of Norway.
The variations are a witty, irreverent piece for organ, probably typical of a “silly” teenage phenom like Ives. According to his biographers, the piece was played by Ives in organ recitals in Danbury and Brewster, New York, during the same year. At the Brewster concert, his father would not let him play the pages which included canons in two or three keys at once, because they were “unsuitable for church performance – They upset the elderly ladies and made the little boys laugh and get noisy!”
This work was transcribed for orchestra in 1964 by William Schuman and for band in 1968 by William Rhodes.
Program Note by composer
John Williams (arr. Lavender) - March from "1941" (2004)
In Steven Spielberg’s 1979 comedic film 1941, residents of Los Angeles, California, mistakenly believe they are under attack from the Japanese in the aftermath of the assault on Pearl Harbor. The late John Belushi plays “Wild” Bill Kelso, a somewhat unstable yet affable Air Force pilot at the center of the action. According to John Williams, Kelso’s antics “seemed to require a musical accompaniment that had humor and rhythmic vitality. As a result, I set myself the task of writing a zanily patriotic march, that upon hearing, we might be moved to tap our feet to an imaginary parade going by, and have fun doing it.”
The March from "1941" is indeed a fun-filled romp from beginning to end and is most certainly among Williams’ best efforts in the genre of martial music. The première performance of this concert band transcription was given by the Marine Band in 2003, conducted by the composer.
Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 17 August 2016
Donald Grantham - Spangled Heavens (2010)
Spangled Heavens is another in a series of the composer's works based on shape note music. In three movements, the first movement is based on Holy Manna, and features three contrasting presentations of the tune. The first appearance is in F major, the second in A-flat major, and the third is a bi-tonal presentation combining the two keys, with F prevailing at the end. The second movement is based on Restoration. It begins with a freely composed melody that soon yields to the shape note tune. The movement concludes with the freely composed melody - in its original and a transposed version - used as a passacaglia accompaniment for the shape note melody. Movement three employs two contrasting but complementary songs: Sweet Canaan and Saints Bound for Heaven. The two tunes alternate throughout the movement, with a modulation upward at each new occurrence. The work ends with a combination of the two melodies.
Spangled Heavens was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Symphonic Band, Austin, Texas; Cheryl Floyd and Chuck Fischer, directors.
Program Note by composer
Leonard Bernstein - Slava! (1977)
When Mstislav Rostropovich (“Slava” to his friends) invited Leonard Bernstein to help him launch his inaugural concert as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, he also asked him to write a rousing new opening piece for the festivities. This overture is the result, and the world premiere took place on October 11, 1977, with Rostropovich conducting his orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
The first theme of Slava! is a vaudevillian razz-ma-tazz tune filled with side-slipping modulations and sliding trombones. Theme two, which prominently features the electric guitar, is a canonic tune in 7/8 time. A very brief kind of development section follows, after which the two themes recur in reverse order. Near the end they are combined with a quotation (proclaimed by the ubiquitous trombones) from the “Coronation Scene” of Mussorgsky’s Boris Goudonov, where the chorus sings the Russian word “Slava!”, meaning “glory!” In this way, of course, the composer is paying an extra four-bar homage to his friend Slava Rostropovich, to whom this overture is fondly dedicated.
Program Note by Jack Gottlieb