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Diamonds in the Rokahr: A collection of gems from French operetta, 1872--1923

Hannah Jo Smith, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


French operetta is a rich source of comic-dramatic music for younger or less-experienced singers. Five popular composers from the post-Offenbach era---Charles Lecocq, Robert Planquette, Louis Varney, Edmond Audran and André Messager---are well-represented in the Rokahr Family Archive (RFA) in the School of Music Library at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. This document presents new editions of arias excerpted from the scores available in the RFA, two contrasting arias for each voice type from each of the five composers. The anthology is a collection of 40 arias, twenty for men's voices and twenty more for women. ^ Chosen specifically for the emerging singer, these memorable tunes foster healthy vocal development and improve musicianship skills without undue demands on the voice. Arias included in this anthology were chosen for their limited range, appropriate tessitura, comprehensible poetry, appealing plotlines and phrase lengths complimentary to the breath energy of younger singers. Arias were excerpted from the larger score and edited for solo performance. Tempo, dynamic and expression markings have been retained; choral interjections and lengthy dance interludes have been removed. Each chapter presents the work of one composer, and includes biographical information, notes on collaboration with librettists, and highlights of compositional style. The musical excerpts are annotated with plot synopsis, simple character analysis, new English translations for study, artwork and photos from productions of these works and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transcriptions to aid young singers in French pronunciation. ^

Subject Area

Music|Education, Music

Recommended Citation

Smith, Hannah Jo, "Diamonds in the Rokahr: A collection of gems from French operetta, 1872--1923" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3203640.