Jul
23
7:00 pm19:00

Passive-Aggressive's Guide to Mother Goose

  • Westminster Presbyterian

An amazing song cycle that delights with wit and creativity. Music & Lyrics by Ross Crean
Finishing with The Pipes of Pan by Edward Elgar
Mezzo-Soprano: Monifa Harris
Pianist: Erina Saito

A concert of wit and childhood memories. The song-cycle, Passive-Aggressive's Guide to Mother Goose, is an adult perspective on the bedtime stories of our youth. 
Ross Crean is a composer of great imagination who's ideas delight while asking you to question what you may often take for granted. This US premier of PA's Guide is by the up and coming Chicago composer Crean who is releasing an operatic recording of The Great God Pan on Naxos America next year. The finale The Pipes of Pan by Edward Elgar is a nod to Crean's new opera The Great God Pan and a satisfying conclusion to this night of story telling. www.rosscrean.com
Monifa Harris, Mezzo-Soprano, has performed regularly in North Carolina and Washington DC. This song-cylce equally favors her unique vocal qualities of warmth and freedom along with her love of fun and theater.www.reverbnation.com/monifaharris
Erina Saito, Pianist, who interprets music with sensitive colors throughout her passionate and captivating performances. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Ms Saito is a soloist and collaborative pianist who performs actively in the Sacramento are.

Westminster Presbyterian Church
Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 7pm

Dramamezzo
Presents

Monifa Harris, mezzo-soprano
Erina Saito, piano

 

Passive Aggressive’s Guide to Mother Goose
                    Words & Music by Ross Crean


The Poor Crooked Man
No One Should Walk Alone With Jill
Hickory,... Dickery,... Dock …?
Little Miss Muffett is a Hipster
The Pied Piper Now Works for DCFS

 


The Pipes of Pan
Words by Adrian Ross
Music by Edward Elgar
          (1857-1934)
    
Thank you!
Lee Hoffman
For your help with facilities and promotion.  Plus your amazing musical input!
Shannon Wong-Lerner
For your help with promotion and constant loving support!
Ross Crean
For lending your wonderful music and taking the time to do that amazing interview about your work!  

 

The Poor Crooked Man
In a crooked house
By a crooked lane,
Lived a crooked man.
Oh, the pain that her must have been in!
He looks so tired!  Maybe you should help him out.
And the crooked cat,
And the crooked mouse
That ran circles and circles around the house, circles and circles around him.
Circles and circles around the house!  Crooked circles!
Must be something in the water...?

No One Should Walk Alone With Jill
I don’t know what happened.  
Certainly wasn’t I who caused Jack to fall!
And no offense, but after all,
When Humpty Dumpty “dismounted” the wall,
He received alot of attention.  
Maybe Jack just wanted the same?
Oh, What was the question?
How can you even dare suggest such a thing?
The handprints on his back were mine,
But it’s cause he kept slowing down on the climb.
He can be a bit of a baby,
But you didn’t hear that from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother.
Okay, I did it, but he wouldn’t let me carry the pail down,     
carry the pail down, pail down, pail down the hill!
Oh why is it always my fault?
He’s a misogynist! He hates women!
Okay, he might not hate them but I think he’s awfully rude
and he’s stupid!
Rrrrr...Oh, whatever!

Hickory,... Dickery,... Dock …?
I’ll get up there when I’m good and ready,
I’m still eating this piece of cheese... You can wait
I’m still… (gasp)(gasp) ...ill
Eating this cheese I’ll only be one more second!
Oh no! It’s my mother!
Hold on.  Let’s just wait.  
Maybe she won’t call back
Hello, Mom.  Can I call you back?
There are people watching me.
I think they’re waiting for me to climb up the clock.
Yep, yep, yep, yep, look, Mom I’v egot to go now.
Okay Bye!  Whew!
Oh, look! Cheese!
Okay! I’m going up!  Hold your horses!
You get it? Because I’m a mouse? No? Not at all?
I’m going!
It’s one o’clock! Are you happy now?!

Little Miss Muffett is a Hipster
Ermahgerd! She is so pretentious! Pretentious!  
Probably a hipster, I’d say!
Besides who wears a hoopskirt nowadays?
And what the hell is a tuffet? “Tuffet”?
Call it “footsool”! Oh here she comes. 
Quick, pretend we don’t see her.  
Pretend I said something witty.  Ha ha ha ha!
Oh, hello, Miss Muffet! Love the outfit!
What a bold choice you are making!
Are you enjoying your curds and whey?
Why can’t she just call it cottage cheese? 
Nobody ever calls it “curds and whey”!
These hipsters can never speak good anyway.
Here let’s take this spider, spider.
Take the spider!
Why else would I have a spider in my purse?! 
For such an occasion such as this! Ha! 
Ha! She just landed flat on her face! Ah!
Her skirt is in the fire place! Ah!
Help! She’s on fire!
Someone try to put it out! Ah! Ha ah ah!

The Pied Piper Now Works for DCFS
The house?  I don’t hate it.  
What’s that smell? So unique! 
Who says living in a shoe would mean you have to live in stink? Oh?  No one?
What’s that sound?  Is it crying?  
How many children have you still?
Can you really fit that many in this
(cough, cough)...charming Espadrille?
Why are the crying?
Was it for behaving badly?
It was because you gave them broth but you didn’t even bother to give them… bread?!
What about this chocolate cake?
Yes, yes, there!  
Saved it for the bridge club, you say?
Oh well, you must know what you’re doing....
May I bother you for a cup of tea
While I use the facilities?
Up the stairs, and to the right?  Cool!
I’ll surely be back quickly, so very quickly!
Hello, kids! (shh!)  I’m Auntie Piper,
How ‘bout we all get out of bed
And let’s all tiptoe to my car outside, 
But...go… very quietly.  
And if we all get out alive.
I’ll buy you chicken nuggets!
We’re so excited getting chicken nuggets.
Bah dah dum bah dah bum dah li dah lah dum!

The Pipes of Pan.
When the woods are gay… in the time of June
With the chestnut flow’r and fan,
And the birds are still… in the hush… of noon…
Hark to the pipes... of Pan!
He plays on the reed that once was a maid… Who broke from his arms… and ran,... 
And her soul goes out to the list’ning glade…
Hark to the pipes… of Pan!
Though you hear, come not hear.
Fearing the wood god’s ban;
Soft… and sweet,... soft and sweet, in the dim retreat,
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
When the sun goes down and the stars are out, 
He gathers his goat-foot clan,
And the Dryads dance with the Satyr rout;
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
For he pipes the dance of the happy Earth
Ere ever the gods began,
When the woods were merry and mad with mirth
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
Come not nigh, pass them by,
Woe to the eyes that scan!
Wild and loud to the leaping crowd, 
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
When the armies meet on the battlefield,
And the fight is man to man,
With the gride of sword and the clash of shield
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
Thro’ the madden’d shriek of the flying rear
Thro’ the roar of the charging van,
There skirls the toon of the god of fear
Hark to the pipes of Pan!
Ours the fray… on and slay…
Let him escape that can!   Ringing out!
In the battle shout,...
Hark to the pipes of Pan!

 


About the Program
The song-cycle, Passive-Aggressive's Guide to Mother Goose, is an adult perspective on the bedtime stories of our youth. Ross Crean is a composer of great imagination who's ideas delight while asking you to question what you may often take for granted. This US premier of PA's Guide is by the up and coming Chicago composer Crean who is releasing an operatic recording of The Great God Pan on Naxos America next year.

The finale The Pipes of Pan by Edward Elgar is a nod to Crean's new opera The Great God Pan and a satisfying conclusion to this night of story-telling.

About the Artists
Mezzo soprano, Monifa Harris, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, raised in Florida by parents of both Jamaican and Guyanese heritage. She holds these family roots close to her heart.  Her superb voice has been described as "thunder coated in honey" and she is sought after for her clarity of diction and warm dramatic expression.  Classical Voice North Carolina praised
Ms. Harris in a review as having "a strong, even voice {that} conveyed the evolution of Miss Todd from staid respectability, through inflamed long-repressed desire, to desolation."  (William Thomas Walker)
During the 71st season of North Carolina Master Chorale, she debuted as alto soloist in A Child of Our Time by Michael Tippet with two choirs and orchestra. She had the opportunity to prepare Carmen with Sing Through Central, under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York, perform the role of Madame Rosa in Donizetti’s opera, Il Campanello di notte with Capitol Opera  Raleigh and Ms. Todd in Old Maid and the Thief with Triangle Opera Studios.  Ms. Harris also performed La Principessa in Suor Angelica with Singer’s Theatre of Washington and has performed as Florence Pike in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring at Meredith College.  She has also performed with Opera Company of North Carolina, North Carolina Ballet, and the Bulgarian Opera Orchestra.
Ms. Harris finished her postgraduate studies at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of North Florida where she studied with Dr. William Brown.  She recently studied with Katherine Kaufman Posner.  Her achievements are not limited to singing opera but include creating Singer's Circle, a new organization of professional and talented amateur singers which provides training and performance opportunities to singers. She also has a voice studio. Other creative musical projects including: "Flying High" with Panayotis Terzakis which highlights spirituals, fusing them with Greek Folk Songs and classical work, as well as Voice Coach/Collaborator/Songwriter for the production "No One Hurts You More Than S/Mother" with Shannon Wong Lerner whose paper "Breath, Voice and Dance" was published in French philosopher Luce Irigaray's book Breathing With Irigaray.  www.monifaharris.com

Erina Saito,pianist,is an artist who interprets the music with sensitive colors and emotions throughout her passionate and captivating performances. A native of Tokyo, Japan,Ms. Saitoisa soloist and collaborative pianist who actively performsin the greater Sacramento area.International appearances include Japan, the United States, and the Orfeo International Music Festival in Italy. She has won numerous compositional and performance competitions and scholarships throughout her life. Most recently, she was featured as the soloist for the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Sierra College Wind Symphony and again with the Sacramento State Summer Symphony. She was also featured in the very first alumi concert at Sac State School of Music where she received her Masters degree in Piano Performance. She studied with renowned teachers including Dr. Lorna Peters, Kirsten Smith, and Richard Cionco.In addition, she has studied with Dr. Natsuki Fukasawa, Kumiko Ishidaira, and Saori Shudo. Ms. Saito is currently a faculty member at Sierra College's Music Department.
When Ross Crean writes music it is not to casually entertain his
listeners. No, instead he writes his music with a driven purpose of
speaking from one heart to another, an attempt at communication that can be understood across the globe. His world is shaped by the reality before him, and he often uses music as his voice to speak out with questions regarding equality and social justice. When one hears his work, they hear stories accompanied by music that stirs you deep, undertones of humanity.

Catch full interview here