Above are some of the Newsletters that Suchi Psarakos and I put out in the first years of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation. During those first years we also kept touch with our constituents with “almost” monthly letters or reports. They often tell of fleeting accomplishments and occasions, but you may find it interesting to browse through them. The Foundation-related activities have been eliminated. I’ve also tried to edit out the outdated items or links to non-existing pages. They are offered in no particular order.
Hickling met with (the late) Perry Lorenzo, education director for the Seattle Opera. A great admirer of song, Lorenzo uses the Lehmann Foundation’s Three American Art Songs in his school presentations. He encouraged us to produce an art song educational video for French classes.
Three American Art Songs was broadcast in February on Hawaii’s public television access channels “Olelo” and is scheduled to be re-broadcast later.
Hickling met with the Orvis Foundation President Grover O’Neill Jr. The Orvis Foundation provided the Art Song Contest Neighbor Island Outreach grant.
Hickling met with Stephen Salters, baritone, who discussed his ideas on educational videos. He also was interviewed for a future Great Songs program.
Hickling worked with David Hachez, a multi-media webmeister from Brussels, who gave advice for video compression for the Lehmann Website.
New Lehmann-related material arrived: Playbills for Lehmann Town Hall recitals with Bruno Walter which will be posted to the Website. These 1943–44 recitals included the complete Winterreise and, hitherto unknown to our research, Mahler songs.
January 2002 Report
The Marilyn Horne Foundation used projected translations for their January recital and gave credit to our supra title endeavors in both their program and their most recent newsletter.
During January, Gary Hickling met with Judith Kellock, soprano, who was in Honolulu to give a recital of contemporary songs and Natalie Limonick, pianist, coach and conductor, who spoke of her recent trip to New York and her experience with the projected translations mentioned above. (She’s almost convinced!)
Our demonstration video on supra titles has been edited. We are not selling our supra title set-up, only showing how one can easily duplicate what we’ve done.
Until a chance reference to a Carnegie Hall appearance by Lehmann, we had no evidence that she had ever sung there or with the New York Philharmonic. Their Archives provided photo copies of the programs in which Lehmann sang. Two of these six performances were broadcast, but unfortunately they don’t have tapes of them. We’ll list these performances on the Website, along with the other Lehmann broadcasts for which we are seeking recordings. The programs will also appear on the Website.
Our demo video Three American Art Songs began its “run” on local community access television. These four broadcasts of the fifteen minute video are well scattered during the viewing days and will certainly reach a new audience.
The Neighbor Island Outreach Project of our local Art Song Contest has developed nicely with recording dates for singers from both Kona and Hilo on the Big Island and good contacts working to organize Maui.
WNYC (New York City’s major public radio station) broadcast the Great Songs program which featured an interview with Dana Hanchard and her CD of “Once Canciones” by Diego Luzuriaga.
December 2001 Report
The digital supra titles demonstration was filmed. As soon as it has been edited it will be made available on the Song! Website. [Now available on YouTube.]
Excerpts from the Art Song Contest Winners Recital were presented on Hawaii Public Radio’s Great Songs, 31 December 2001.
Preparations are underway for submitting our video Three American Art Songs to public access television in Hawaii.
We are editing an audio tape of this year’s Art Song Contest Winners Recital for submission to National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
A date is set in Kona and Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Neighbor Island Outreach of the Art Song Contest. Our contacts on other Neighbor Islands are also developing recording dates and venues.
We purchased a First Day Cachét of the Lotte Lehmann Centennial German stamp of 1988.
Volume one of videos presenting Lehmann’s 1961 master-classes recorded for National Educational Television has arrived from VAI and we will be reviewing it.
Our friend in Munich, Frank Manhold, attended Grace Bumby’s December recital: Homage to Lotte Lehmann. She signed his program and this, along with excerpts from reviews, is available on the Website.
The rescheduled Art Song Contest Winners Recital took place on November 11, 2001 and was very successful. Excerpts will be posted on the Lehmann Website and the Great Songs program of December 30, 2001 will feature the recital.
The final tapes from the Marr Sound Archive at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, arrived and are being cataloged. We now have a complete set of their extensive Lehmann collection.
We are working on a script, lighting, scheduling etc. for a demonstration video on portable digital supra titles for the recitalist.
Dalton Baldwin was in Honolulu and provided many addresses of performers and teachers in Asia.
Many new Lehmann photos are now available in the photo gallery of the Website, as are new translations of her recorded arias and songs.
October 2001 Report
Ned Rorem’s song “I Never Knew” (to LL poetry) is now available for download on the Boosey & Hawkes website: <www. boosey.com> After choosing which of the three keys is appropriate, one can print out the first page for free, but for the whole piece one must pay five pounds.
Preparations and promotions are well underway for the re-scheduled Art Song Contest Winners Recital on 11 November 2001 at 7:30pm in Orvis Auditorium, University of Hawaii, Manoa.
This past month we have received various requests for Lehmann information from around the world, but specifically from England, Belgium and Israel…the latter preparing a live Lehmann tribute.
Dr. Barsewisch, the grandson of the Baron von Putlitz, Lehmann’s first patron, has written with the desire to set the record straight. He had provided Alan Jefferson information for his Lehmann biography which “was totally distorted.” We look forward to the corrections.
“Portraits and Portrayals,” selected photographs from the Lehmann Archive, at the University of California, Santa Barbara are on view there until 19 November 2001. A few hitherto unknown photos from that exhibit can be seen in the PhotoGallery on the Lehmann Website.
Several programs were broadcast in Germany to note the twenty fifth anniversary of the death of Lehmann (26 August 1976). One of them included a filmed interview with Lehmann which we hadn’t seen. It has been converted from PAL to VHS and we plan to place excerpts from it on the Lehmann Website.
We have received another set of tapes of Lehmann recordings from the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Many thanks for the work on this massive on-going project.
September 2001 Report
Gary Hickling finished an article for NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and has mailed it in for their editing.
The Art Song Contest Winners Recital is re-scheduled for Sunday, 11 November 2001 in Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus. The winning singers include: Shelly Breneman, Debra Lynn, Kaweo Kanoho and Heather Roberts. Shelly’s husband was transferred to Washington DC, so she won’t be singing. Heather’s husband was transferred to Portland, Oregon but she will fly back for the occasion. Special guest Phyllis Haines will also sing. See the “Contest” portion of the Song site for the complete program with translations. Note that one of the Winners (Kaweo Kanoho) was the direct result of our April Outreach to Hilo on the Big Island.
Though the Art Song Contest Winners Recital had to be postponed after the terrorist attacks, Honolulu media had recognized the importance of the recital. Midweek’s Kailua insert, Honolulu Magazine and Hawaii Public Radio’s “Of Note” all had articles on the recital. The newly hired Arts Reporter at HPR, Joe Bevelacqua, did a 2.5 minute segment on the Winners Recital and the station was running regular promos. Gary Hickling was scheduled to be interviewed on Gene Schiller’s “Morning Café” and all of this media attention will have to be re-focused on the new date.
Gary Hickling was planning to be in New York City from 16 September to 6 October working with many experts in the art song community. In addition to the people who demonstrated their support during last year’s visit, Mr. Hickling was to have worked with artist representatives, presenters, recording executives, and promoters to put together a mini-convention for January 2002. The object of the mini-convention was to establish some on-going cross disciplinary support for art song. This includes as many people and organizations as possible with a vested interest in the success of classical song. The attacks of 9/11 changed all of these plans. We will review our options at a later date.
Former Lehmann students Luba Tcheresky and Shirley Sproule have continued to send Lehmann-related material and photos.
A new, more easily portable screen has been developed for the project: Supra Titles for the Song Recitalist. It will be demonstrated at the Winners Recital. The event will be filmed and portions showing the Supra Titles in action will be posted to the Lehmann Website.
April 2001 Report
The first outreach program of the Art Song Contest occurred on 14 April, when a pianist, recording engineer and producer flew to the Big Island to record Hilo singers. Twelve wonderful singers performed.
On 2 April 2001 the Lotte Lehmann Foundation supplied the projected translations (supra titles) for the first full song recital in the world. Mary Chesnut sang a recital in Orvis Auditorium at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Over two hundred attended and were pleased by the supra titles.
Another Lehmann researcher has joined our team. Damian Griego, in Vienna, will be sending us material from the Kriegsarchiv (War Archive) and the BundesTheater Verwaltung (The United Theater Administration).
Gary Hickling is taking a course in script writing in order to prepare a script for the next Art Song Educational Video. He submitted a treatment which was approved. On 13 April he turned in the first draft of the script itself. This video will integrate American, English, French, German and Spanish songs into one story line for two singer/actors.
The Fifth Annual Art Song Contest is underway and we have already received many applications. The deadline is 31 May 2001. We have reserved the recording booth at Hawaii Public Radio for interested singers to record their entries on 12 and 19 May.
Luba Tcheresky, a former student of Lehmann, has sent a lot of LL memorabilia which we will be entering into the Website.
We received a tape of the 10 inch Lehmann recordings held at the Marr Sound Archive at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. These were mainly test pressings of commercially recorded songs which have already been published. One interview with Lehmann and Schumann is completely new to our discography.
Gary Hickling interviewed Hugues Cuénod (now in his 99th year!) by phone to Switzerland for a Cuénod Special on Great Songs.
On 9 April, Hickling interviewed Ned Rorem by phone, for a Rorem Special for Great Songs.
February 2001 Report
Various archives have recently begun to offer us Lehmann material. Our contact with the Hamburg Opera, Alfred Kaine, has begun work. Chuck Haddix, at the University of Missouri Kansas City, is preparing some recordings of Lehmann in song and opera. The British Museum has some unique Lehmann interviews etc. and we’ve been in contact with the BBC which holds the copyright.
Robert Crawford is flying to Hawaii from St. Louis from 13-20 February to work on the supra titles (or surtitles) for the vocal recitalist. He has prepared a computer program and many other experts, who have worked with these titles for opera companies of the US and Canada, have been generous in helping with technical questions (portable screen, light weight projector, lenses). We hope to have an experimental working version this month to test with a singer, pianist and an invited audience. We will film the event and make all of our information available on our website for any recitalist interested.
All choral conductors throughout Hawaii have received the Fifth Annual Art Song Contest information. Gary Hickling met with the University of Hawaii chorus director, Karen Kennedy, who enthusiastically endorses the contest and will encourage all her choir members to participate.
Cie McMullen has her fund raising kit together and is ready to contact businesses and corporations. Please let us know the people to phone.
We are preparing to make our second educational video and will film Jordan Shanahan and Mary Chesnut in August singing core song repertoire: Lieder, mélodie and perhaps some English songs.
January 2001 Report
We are investigating the idea of offering a world-wide Art Song Contest on our Website. There already exists a classical music contest on the web, but they concentrate on instrumental performers. The idea would broaden our mission to support the performance and appreciation of Lieder, mélodie and classical song in general.
We have begun the Fifth Annual Art Song Contest by circulating flyers and applications as well as preparing press releases announcing the Contest.
Fund raiser Cie McMullen is writing an article for a local newspaper such as Mid-Week or the Honolulu Weekly. After the article appears, she will use it in her fund-raising approaches to corporations.
We have located a great number of videos that contain performances of classical song. Excerpts from such videos may be used in our next educational video.
We have been in touch with foreign language teachers associations and the cultural portions of the French, German and Austrian embassies to learn if any teaching videos have been made using classical song. So far, no such material has been located, which means that this is a fertile area for us to pursue. The students will have another method to learn a foreign language and be exposed to classical music at the same time. Lisa Altieri, the producer of our first educational song video is preparing estimates for three new videos:
A. Previously filmed art songs with our own master/mistress of ceremonies and English translation subtitles.
B. A language specific video ( i.e. to help teach German in a foreign language class) using one of our advisers as the star. This could also be possible using local singers instead, or in an additional video.
C. The core classical song repertoire (a Lied, a mélodie, a tonadilla and an English or American song) sung by an upcoming singer.
Robert Crawford in St. Louis and various scientific contacts in Germany, Canada and the US are helping develop the same supratitles now used for opera specifically for the classical song performer.
Second Lehmann Tribute: The first Lehmann Tribute was released by Arabesque Recordings on CD. But times have changed and CDs aren’t so easily available at your corner record store. So we have offered the second Lehmann Tribute. And it’s a prestigious mix of singing and memories with contributions from such Lehmann students as Marilyn Horne, Jeannine Altmeyer and Carol Neblett, from other artists such as Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Hugues Cuénod, and Graham Johnson, and others.
After many years of research, Dr. Michael Kater’s Lehmann biography was released in March of 2008. The meticulous historic setting that he provides adds a new dimension to many aspects of Lehmann’s life.
The Lehmann Chronology, which endeavors to list all of Lotte Lehmann’s performances in opera, recital and master classes, is now available.
The many lieder recordings that Lehmann made in the US have all been gathered together, remastered and released by Naxos. The sixth and final volume was recently completed. These cannot be bought in the US, but can be ordered on line.
Finally, one can now find many Lehmann videos and sound recordings on YouTube.
We continue to build our own Lehmann Archive, whether with purchases or by donations. Recently we purchased a rare program from the 1937 “Ford Sunday Evening Hour” in which Lehmann performed Porgi amor from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Canto die Primavera of Cimera (with the orchestra conducted by Jose Iturbi); Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade and O liebliche Wange by Brahms with Ernö Balogh, piano and with chorus and orchestra Lehmann sang Bayly’s Long, Long Ago.
Another rarity which was recently added to the Archive is a photo of Lehmann taking a bow after a performance of Der Evangelimann with the composer, Wilhelm Kienzl.
Mme. Lehmann’s long time accompanist was Paul Ulanowsky, and his son, Philip sent us a CD-ROM filled with photocopies of over 75 newspaper clippings of reviews from their recitals in Australia, New York, etc.
Long considered undocumented, we were graced by the donation of a recording of Lehmann’s live 1937 Metropolitan Opera performance Die Walküre. Though recorded on acetates and thus not complete, there are many wonderful moments of a truly exciting performance which we plan to make available.
An unusual find was the program from a Toronto recital that Lehmann performed in 1946. Not only was the program a “find” but the songs that she sang were unusual and included Debussy’s Romance and Green, as well as Ferrari’s Le Miroir.
Other recent Archive additions included: A program for the 1935 recital Lehmann gave in Springfield, Massachusetts. A playbill for Lehmann’s 1939 recital at Oklahoma College for Women.
From Lehmann’s student Lois Alba Wachter we received copies of a dedication letter and two drawings by Lehmann of the Marschallin. Lois also provided recordings of some of Lehmann’s masterclasses at the Music Academy of the West.
At the height of her fame in Vienna, the “Radio Welt” magazine of March 17, 1928 featured Lehmann as Leonore on the cover and included an interview with her. We were able to purchase this unusual magazine because of a tip of one of our friends. Many thanks!
Reinhard Spiess, the former director of the Lehmann Archive in her hometown of Perleberg, sent a copy of a 1988 article about Lehmann from the official East German union magazine “Wochenpost.”
The descendants of a fan sent many Lehmann recordings, books and autographed photos from the late 1930s.