Department of Music

UToledo Opera Workshop

A Celebration of American Opera & Musical Theatre

Dr. Alexandria Hanhold, director
Prof. Heidi Claussius, coach & accompanist
Ms. Charlie Johnson, graduate assistant
November 18 at 8pm

Center for Performing Arts - Recital Hall

Migratory V from Myths and Hymns
by Adam Guettel (b. 1964)
                Charlie Johnson  

We are Women from Candide
by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
                Cunegonde, Hua Yu 
                Old Lady, Sammi Tayek 

Joey, Joey, Joey from The Most Happy Fella
by Frank Loesser (1910-1969)
                  Joe, Andrew Yim
                Tony, Shane Rolland 

Dearest Mama from The Ballad of Baby Doe
by Douglas Moore (1893-1969)
                Elizabeth “Baby” Doe, Hua Yu 

Learn to Do It from Anastasia
by Lynn Ahrens (b. 1948) and Stephen Flaherty (b. 1960) 
                Vlad, Andrew Yim
              Dmitry, Shane Rolland 
                Anastasia, Charlie Johnson 

There is a Garden from Trouble in Tahiti
by Leonard Bernstein  
                Dinah, Sammi Tayek 

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ from Oklahoma!
by Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) 
                Curly, Taylor Diehl  

No more, pale moon from Tartuffe
by Kirke Mechem (b. 1925)  
                Mariane, Charlie Johnson 
                Dorine, Hua Yu 

Lily’s Eyes from The Secret Garden
by Lucy Simon (1940-2022)
                Archibald Craven, Taylor Diehl 
                Dr. Neville Craven, Shane Rolland 

Sunday from Sunday in the Park with George
by Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) 

Special Thanks  
Professor Heidi Clausius 
Daniel Tobias & the UToledo Department  of Theatre and Film

Program Notes

The song “Migratory V” comes from the song cycle Myths and Hymns, composed in 1998 by Adam Guettel, the American composer-lyricist of the Tony Award winning musical The Light in the Piazza. Myths and Hymns is arranged as a revue with no through plot and is performed in concert format.  The songs, ranging from electronic jazz and piano ballad to gospel and musical theater, highlight the relationship of humans to gods both past and present. The fifth song in the set, “Migratory V”, talks of faith and yearning in relation to ideology and spirituality. It depicts a sense of wonder, embodying a wish that humans could sail above it all with the geese to see what God sees.  

The comedic operetta Candide, with music by the notable composer Leonard Bernstein, is based on the 1759 novella of the same name by the French writer, Voltaire. After premiering in 1956, Bernstein’s Candide received multiple revisions to its plot and songs. Eventually, in 1989, the final revised version premiered. The operetta follows the story of Candide, Cunegonde, Paquette, Maximilian, Dr. Pangloss, and the Old Lady. Throughout the narrative the cast of characters must face multiple disasters across several countries.  

“We are Women” is part of the final 1989 version of the operetta and takes place in Montevideo, Uruguay at the beginning of the second act. The song is a duet between Cunegonde and the Old Lady. While in Montevideo, the governor of the city falls in love with Cunegonde and proposes to her. The Old Lady convinces Cunegonde that the marriage would be good for her financially. In the whimsical “We are Women”, the two sing about the many wonderful attribute’s women have and how men cannot resist them.  

The Most Happy Fella premiered on Broadway in 1956. The musical with book, music, and lyrics by Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), tells the story of a romance between an older gentleman and a younger woman. The show is often described as operatic in nature and is regarded as one of the richest musical scores ever composed for American theater.  

In Act 1 of the musical, Amy, a young waitress in San Francisco, has received a love note and decides to answer. A few months later, in Napa Valley, an older gentleman Tony Esposito has been enjoying his letters from Amy, who he calls Rosabella, and happily shows the crowd a picture of his “girlfriend”. As Tony prepares to send his own photo, his sister Marie advises against it as he is too old and unattractive for the beautiful Rosabella. Disappointed, Tony runs into his young, handsome foreman Joe who tells Tony that he plans to leave town and travel in his ballad “Joey, Joey, Joey”.  Tony seizes this opportunity to ask Joe for a photograph as a “memento”. The photo is instead sent to Rosabella – a true catfish story, indeed! The remainder of the musical follows a love triangle between the three characters, as upon her arrival to Napa, Rosabella discovers the truth.  

The Ballad of Baby Doe is an opera by American composer Douglas Moore with libretto by John Latouche. It is Moore's most famous opera and one of the few American operas that remains in the standard repertory. Baby Doe premiered at Central City Opera in Colorado in 1956 and is based on the true rags-to-riches-to-rags story of Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor, the second wife of silver tycoon and US Senator Horace Tabor. 

“Dearest Mama” is drawn from Act I, Scene 4 of The Ballad of Baby Doe. Baby Doe sings her famous “Letter Aria” as she prepares to leave Leadville. She writes to her mother, saying that her marriage to Harvey Doe, the miner, is over. She continues by telling her that she has found her soulmate in Horace Tabor and that they both love each other equally. However, Tabor is married and, torn between her love and what is right, she feels that she must leave. 

The Broadway musical Anastasia, with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is based on the 1997 animated film of the same name. It tells the legend of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, which speculates that when her family was killed in an invasion of the palace by the Bolsheviks in 1918, she somehow survived the attack.  

The musical begins ten years after the tragic event. In Saint Petersburg, a rumor has circulated stating that Anastasia may still be alive. Upon hearing the rumors, two con men Dmitry and Vlad generate their newest con: to tutor a young girl and pass her off as Anastasia in hopes that they may receive a generous reward for finding the lost princess. After several failed auditions, Dmitry and Vlad find Anya, a young woman who has no memory of her past, and select her as their “imposter”. All three are unaware that she is in fact the true Anastasia. In Learn to Do It” Vlad and Dmitry attempt teach Anya how to be royalty through history, dining, and dancing lessons.  


Trouble in Tahiti premiered in 1952 and is a one-act opera written by Leonard Bernstein. The opera takes place in 1950’s suburbia and follows the story of Sam and Dinah, a young couple with a troubled marriage. The plot follows the two as they go about an ordinary day. By the end of the opera, both Sam and Dinah are very aware of their unhappiness.  

“There is a Garden” takes place in Scene Three when Dinah is in her therapist's office. Dinah recalls a dream she had where she is in a garden that has been choked with weeds and has twisted trees all around her. Throughout this dream, Dinah keeps hearing a voice telling her that there is a better and more beautiful garden that has love and harmony. In the dream, Dinah keeps trying to find the voice in hopes that he can save her. Once she finds the voice, the person disappears, and Dinah ends up waking up back to her reality. Throughout the vocal line and the accompaniment, there is a sense of urgency and angst as Dinah recalls the choked garden and trying to find the voice. When the voice is telling Dinah about the beautiful garden, the vocal line and accompaniment both have a sense of peace and calmness. The voice continues to repeat the phrase “a quiet place”. Bernstein ends up using this phrase as the name of his sequel opera to Sam and Dinah’s story, A Quiet Place (1983). 

Oklahoma! is the first of many successful collaborations between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is regarded as a key production in American musical theatre as it deeply solidified the development of the “book musical”, a musical play in which songs and dances are fully integrated into the story. Set in Indian Territory in 1906, Oklahoma! tells the story of farm girl Laurey, the handsome cowboy Curly, and the frightening farmhand Jud. The song “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” opens the show. Curly, who is on his way to visit Laurey, greets the beautiful morning with brimming optimism.  

Tartuffe is an opera in three acts by Kirke Mechem, based on Molière's play Tartuffe, or The Impostor. The comic opera, set in 17th century Paris, follows Tartuffe, a con man posing as a religious guru hoping to dupe a rich Parisian named Orgon. After premiering at the San Francisco Opera in 1980, Tartuffe has since seen over 400 performances in six countries and has become one of the most popular American operas.  

In act one of Tartuffe, Mariane is told by her father, Orgon, that she must marry a man named Tartuffe rather than her true love, Valère. The overly dramatic Mariane and her more practical maid, Dorine, comically sing of the only possible way out of this dilemma -- suicide -- in the duet “No more, pale moon”.  

The Secret Garden is a musical with music and lyrics by Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman. Based on the 1911 novel of the same name, the plot follows Mary Lennox, an orphaned girl, who is sent to live with her mysterious uncle Archibald in Yorkshire, England. Archibald has spent years grieving the death his wife Lily and remains absorbed in this misery. Due to his introversion, his manor is largely managed by his manipulative brother Dr. Neville Craven. In the song “Lily’s Eyes”, the two brothers separately grieve Lily, recognizing that Mary shares her beautiful hazel eyes. As the song progresses, it is evident that both men were in love with Lily.  

Sunday in the Park with George is a Broadway musical that opened in 1984. The show was written by Stephen Sondheim, a distinguished American composer and lyricist known for his many popular works such as Company (1970), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), and Into the Woods (1987). Sunday in the Park is inspired by the pointillist painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, a French post-impressionist artist. The plot tells a fictionalized version of Seurat’s life.  

The song “Sunday” concludes the first act of the musical. George has finished his painting. The beginning words “order, design, tension, balance and harmony” reference George’s plan of action to bring his painting to life. “Sunday” emphasizes the beauty of the painting and the moment it captures along with the feelings associated with a simple Sunday morning in the park surrounded by friends, nature, and the beauty of life itself. 

Last Updated: 11/16/22