Jennifer Swanson Night Songs

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 19:30
Friday, Oct. 20, 7:30 pm

Jennifer Swanson Night Songs

Heritage Auditorium, Assumption Hall, 400 Huron Church Rd.

Tickets: Adults/Seniors $20; Students (with ID) $5

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Jennifer Swanson, soprano

Michael Karloff, piano

Trevor Pittman, clarinet



Mandoline       Gabriel Faure (1845-1924)
            Text: Paul Verlaine
Intorno all’idol mio      Marco Antonio Cesti (1623-1669)
            Text: Unknown
Die Nacht        Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
            Text: Hermann von Gilm
Waldsonne       Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
            Text: Text: Johannes Schlaf
Nattsanger       Abbie Betinis (b.1980)
            Texts: Rolf Jacobsen
  1. –Aftenrøden
  2. –Når de sover
  3. Mose, rust, og møll
  4. Lavmælt—
  5. Lyktestolpen
  6. Nattmusikk
  7. Sjøfugl

Bei der Wiege              Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
            Text: Karl Klingemann
With darkness deep as is my woe (Theodora)   George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
            Text: Thomas Morell
Vaga luna        Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)
            Text: Unknown
Sure on this shining night        Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
            Text: James Agee
Selections from The Sex Lives of Vegetables             Leslie Uyeda (b.1953)
            Texts: Lorna Crozier
Scarlet Runner Beans
About this program by Jennifer Swanson
Tonight’s program features Nattsanger (Night Songs), a cycle of seven songs completed in 2008 by Abbie Betinis with texts by Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994). Commissioned by the Schubert Club of St. Paul, MN, the songs were composed for me and set in the original Norwegian for soprano, clarinet and piano. The commission was inspired primarily by my personal desire to connect with the language and culture of Norway, a country to which I have strong family ties. Coincidentally, my maternal grandfather grew up on a farm in the country near Hamar, the longtime home of Jacobsen. In addition to my very personal connection in the country of Norway, I have always been interested in the works of living composers and welcomed the opportunity to directly support the creation of a new work, especially in the art song genre. This will be just my third performance of the complete cycle and, I believe, a Canadian premiere.
In keeping with the texts in Nattsanger, the whole program includes subjects associated with night and darkness: dreams, stars, mystery, secrets, and so forth. Luckily, there is no shortage of songs on these topics, so I chose works representing a variety of styles, languages, and moods. We have songs about the beauty of the night sky and the power of darkness to conceal our emotions and our enterprises. We have a lullaby, songs to the moon, and a final group guaranteed to alter your perspective on one of the major food groups. For this performance, I will present the texts and translations from the stage.


Soprano Jennifer Swanson has performed in opera and solo recital in Boston, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul as well as various locations in the American Midwest and in Italy. She has over 15 years experience teaching singers from a variety of backgrounds with a wide range of goals. Former students have gone on to successful careers in music education, performance, arts administration, and other fields. Many have competed successfully in vocal competitions and are frequently heard in concert, musical theater, and operatic venues. Others have continued to sing as an avocation and experience significant fulfillment by expressing themselves through the art of singing in choirs, churches, community theatre, and other endeavors.

In addition to her most recent teaching appointment at University of Windsor, she has opened a private studio in the Windsor area. Dr. Swanson began her full-time teaching career at Bemidji State University in Minnesota where she taught applied voice, Diction for Singers, Vocal Pedagogy, Survey of Solo Song Literature, Opera Workshop, Survey of Opera and other courses in the music curriculum. In 2012, she joined the faculty at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where her work included applied vocal instruction, Foreign Language Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, Opera Workshop, as well as courses in the liberal arts curriculum. Additional teaching activities have included Bemidji State MusiCamp, the International Music Camp, and the Lake Bemidji Summer Opera Festival.

Dr. Swanson earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois and a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music. In May 2008, she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Minnesota. Her final doctoral recital included the world premiere of Nattsanger, a group of seven Norwegian songs composed for her by Abbie Betinis. Additional studies include three summers at the International Institute of Vocal Arts working with leading conductors, directors, and singers from opera companies throughout the world.

Dr. Swanson sings regularly in recitals and concerts and she is a member of both the Windsor Classic Chorale and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Recent appearances include a solo recital with Stone & Sky on Pelee Island, freelance performances in Detroit, and the Baroque of the Bolivian Rainforest Concert in Iowa.

A frequent prizewinner, Dr. Swanson participated in numerous national and international competitions including the Washington International Vocal Competition, NATS-Boston Chapter Art Song Auditions, and the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition. She was a New England Regional Finalist in the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Auditions. For three seasons, Dr. Swanson was engaged by the Florida Grand Opera in the Young Artist Program and as a featured artist. During that time, she performed extensively throughout south Florida in opera and recital.  Her work included supporting roles in main stage opera productions, lead roles in Young Artist productions, recitals, and concert appearances.

Professional affiliations include the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Tickets: Adults/Seniors $20; Students (with ID) $5
Purchase by credit card:   Tickets may be purchased online at our secure website:  Buy Tickets
At the door: The ticket table will be open at the venue up to one hour prior to the start of concerts for cash purchases.
For information about SoCA concerts, please call (519) 253-3000 ext. 4213.
Trevor Pittman