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Release: August 23, 2002


Soprano Valerie Errante, a former guest faculty member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will return to the UI campus for a guest recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 in Clapp Recital Hall. With pianist Jeffry Peterson, Errante will present a program celebrating both the beauty and the frivolity of American song, from the turn of the 20th century to the present.

Errante and Peterson have been collaborating on programs of song literature since 1997.

“We have this wonderful tendency to choose highly romantic music, and the first half of our program reflects our romantic souls,” Errante said. “The first set, music of John Duke, celebrates love and all that is held in the promise of the rebirth of spring. The music is joyous and exuberant; a wonderful opening to a fun evening.

“In the second set, we explore the music of four turn-of-the-century American composers, but the texts here are all in German. Again, the music is highly romantic and the settings are extremely beautiful.

“We made a great effort to find a set by an active contemporary composer, and the ‘Songs of Love and Longing’ by Minneapolis composer Stephen Paulus was a fantastic find. The seven poems of the cycle come from a tradition of Japanese poetry, and Paulus has captured the essence of each poem in dramatic and at times, introspective vignettes.

“In the second half of our program, we wanted to, purposefully, break out of our romantic and lyrical mode, and therefore we chose all FUN pieces. Libby Larsen’s cowboy songs are a delightful and quirky set of three songs on cowboy themes. The recipes set by Leonard Bernstein are wonderful to listen to, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating the products of their often startling ingredients. And we close our program with some wonderful settings by Stephen Foster and Charles Ives.

“We enjoy the music and hope that the audience will have as much fun in hearing it as we have in performing it,” Errante said.

Errante joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1997. Previously she had taught at the UI, the Folkwang Hochschule fuer Musik in Essen, Germany, and at Northern Michigan University.

Her singing career has taken her to three continents. After her operatic debut with Michigan Opera Theater, she was selected for the opera studio of the Bavarian State Theater of Munich. She sang more than 30 roles in six seasons as leading coloratura soprano with the opera of the city of Kiel, and has sung guest appearances in opera and concerts in Italy, Israel and Estonia.

In the United States she has performed with the Rochester Oratorio Society, the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, the Cedar Rapids Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony. She has given performances and lecture-recitals of German art songs by turn-of- the-century Munich composers

She has recorded with the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra on Ariola/Eurodisc. Her recording of the songs of Alec Wilder will soon be released by Albany Records.

Errante completed a doctorate vocal performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music. She is a frequent guest at national conventions, presenting lecture-recitals on the German Art Song of turn-of- the-century Munich composers.

Peterson is chair of the program in collaborative piano at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM), where he participated in the International Art Song Festival since its inception in 1981 and founded the Vocal Arts Series. Widely known for his work as vocal accompanist, he has performed throughout the United States and Europe. His recording credits include two collaborations with Yolanda Marculescu and the three-CD “Something to Sing About,” a choral anthology for G. Schirmer. His recent CD with the renowned soprano Erie Mills, “Always It’s Spring,” has met with critical acclaim.

Peterson earned degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois. He received a Fulbright-Hays grant to study Vocal Accompanying at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna, Austria. While serving in the US Peace Corps, he taught at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in San Salvador, El Salvador. Since returning from Austria, he has served on the faculty of the State University of New York in Fredonia.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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