October 10, 2009 7:57:00 PM
The Mississippi University for Women Department of Music and Theatre is sponsoring a guest artist recital Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Artz Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church, 602 Main St., in Columbus.
Soprano Jennifer Cowgill, mezzo soprano Susan Fleming and bass-baritone Paul Houghtaling will perform contemporary American art songs under the title "All Part of American Life." The recital is free and open to the public.
The program will begin with "Collected Poems for Baritone and Soprano" by Virgil Thomson. The text is Kenneth Koch''s "Collected Poems," which consists merely of a series of titles and fanciful one-line poems. Dr. Cowgill will be featured in "At the Statue of Venus" by Jake Heggie. In this piece, an attractive woman is waiting in a museum for a blind date. The program will end with "Bon Appetit" by Lee Hoiby sung by Dr. Fleming. This work is a musical monologue based on the transcript of episode No. 228 of "The French Chef" starring Julia Child. Kevin Chance will accompany the singers for this recital.
"While she sings, Susan will be beating egg whites and mixing up ingredients; it''s really amusing," said Cherry Dunn, instructor of music at MUW. "This is unusual music we rarely get a chance to hear, and they''re all wonderful singers."
Dr. Fleming is professor of voice and head of the voice area at the School of Music at the University of Alabama. Dr. Cowgill is assistant professor of voice at UA, and Houghtaling is assistant professor of voice and director of opera theatre at the University of Alabama.