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March 02, 1952 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1952-03-02

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY SUNDAY, MARUH 2 ,15

Opera

Traditional
Youth Choir
To Perform
When the Festival Youth
Chorus performs May 3 at Hill
Auditorium, they will be continu-
ing an annual tradition as old as
.the auditorium itself.
Prior to the building of Hill, the
May Festival was held on the sec-
ond floor auditorium of old Uni-
versity Hall. The stage was small
and inadequate for holding a'
large group.
* * *
HOWEVER, after the donation
of the new auditorium by Regent
Arthur Hill, larger scale produc-
tions were made possible, and the
Youth Chorus was included in the
first festival at Hill in 1913.
* * *
SEVERAL MEMBERS of the
original youth chorus have since
had grandchildren participating
in the festival.
. "Song Cycle from the Masters"
will be this year's contribution to
the May Festival by the chorus.

HISTORY MAKER:
Varnay To Sing Wagner
Program at 'U' Festival

Astrid Varnay, appearing with
Set Svanholm, tenor, in the tra-
ditional all Wagner program of
the festival concerts, has already
established herself as a maker of
international operatic history.
Aside from being the youngest
soprano ever to have sung such
formidable Wagner roles as Isolde
and the three Bruenhildes with
any major opera company any-
where, Mme. Varnay has sung
more leading Wagnerian roles
than any other artist in the Me-
tropolitan Opera's history.
L A S T SUMMER, she again
made international operatic his-
tory when she became the first
American singer ever to appear as
Bruenhilde in the theatre Wag-
ner built for the famous Wagner-
ian music festivals in Bayreuth,
Germany.
There a tradition of 75-years
standing, Wagner's "no curtain
calls" rule, was broken to allow
her to acknowledge the insist-
ant clamour of the gala inter-

U

I

Duey, Music Professor,
To Be Only Local Soloist
By HELENE SIMON
It's a big step from a frightened four year old boy singing his
first solo in the village parktohthe only local artisttaking part in
the May Festival.
But this is what has happened to Prof. Philip Duey of the School
of Music who is going to be the only "local talent" appearing on the
stage of Hill Auditorium in the same performance with Patricia
Neway, Anton Dermota, and George London.
* * * *
THE GOOD-NATURED PROFESSOR still remembers how he felt
at the age of four "when I was lifted over the bandstand and left gaz-
.ing into a sea of faces."

Mack Harrell1, Met Baritone,
Began Career As Violinist

ASTRID VARNAY
national audience.
Leading dramatic soprano at
the Met for the past tenyears,
Mie. Varnay hasalso achieved
success in the dramatic soprano
parts of the Italian and German
Repetoires. Last season she was
as great- a hit in Verdi's "Simon
Boccanegra" as she was in Verdi's
"Flying Dutchman" and her ap-
pearanceas. "Electra" in Strauss's
opera was unprecedented.
The series of musical events
which catapulted the American
star to world fame began in Italy,
where Mme. Varnay was the first
American singer ever to open the
brilliant Florence May Festival.
Her interpretation of 'Verdi's Mac-
beth brought her a tumultous ac-
claim from the Italian press and
public.

has since become one of the lead-
ing tenors of that company, and
has appeared in almost all the
music festivals in Salzburg, under
such eminent conductors as Tos-
canini, Walter and Furtwangler.
Dermota has also sung opera,
recitals and oratorios in many
leading capitals of the world,
such as London, Paris and
Rome.
Of the many recordings he has
made, most have been with the
Vienna State Opera, and the
latest of these is his singing of
"Fledermaus."
Dermota will also make an ap-
pearance as guest artist with the
New Orleans Opera Company.

"I sang a pathetic song about
a little boy with a mean step-
mother," he said. "It's a far cry
from my present repertoire."
Prof. Duey, the youngest of 11
children, grew up in the rural en-
vironment of a small town in
Indiana. Although all his brothers
and sisters were musically inclined,
he was the only one who made
music his career.
AS A STUDENT at Indiana Uni-
versity, Prof. Duey led "a busy but
rewarding" life. He was awarded
a Phi Beta Kappa key and the
highest honor given for etra-
curricula activities. He graduated
with a Bachelor's degree and a
Masters degree in voice.
After serving as head of the
music department of Butler Uni-
versity in Indianapolis, he came
to the University in 1947. "And
I've been here ever since," he
chuckled.

Mack Harrell, the distinguished
Metropolitan opera baritone who
at the age of-eight imitated opera-
tic soprano arias from the family
record collection, will be heard in
recital here Sunday afternoon.
Although an accomplished sing-
er at an early age; Harrell was in-
spired to study the violin after
attending a concert by Jasha
Heifitz.
* * *
EVEN THOUGH he was suc-
cessful at this, a young violinist
whom he later marr4ed urged
him to resume his singing after
she heard him sing a small solo
part in a glee club performance.
While most singers date their
rise to fame from the moment
the Met waves its magic wand,
Harrell already had two widely
acclaimed continental concert
tours under his belt before his
Metropolitan Opera debut "in
1940.
Harrell recalls his initial recital
in Leiden, Holland with special
affection, however. He began
with a group of six Schubert
songs and became more and more
desperate as after each one there
was not a murmur from the
audience. But his plans of run-

ning off the stage at the end were
thwarted by the ten minutes of
wild applause that followed. Har-
rell learned later that Dutch audi-
ences do not consider it polite to
applaud between songs when there
are several in a group.

11

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The University Musica

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NATHAN
MILSTEIN

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. . dazzling violin virtuoso

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2:30

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Appearing at the Fifty-Ninth Annual
MAY FESTIVAL

Appearing in
TWO GREAT WAGNERIAN WORKS

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