Songs of Life, Love, and Death—in French, Italian, German, and English

March 18, 2013

Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano; Tanya Stambuk, piano, perform April 5

TACOMA, Wash. – The Europeans shared much in terms of history, food, and culture. But when it came to really important issues, such as life, love, and death, a broad creative gulf opened up. The musical masters in France, Italy, Germany, and England each had their own interpretations of these universal dramas.

Many of the hues of this legacy can be enjoyed by regional audiences at the upcoming Jacobsen Series concert, featuring Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano, and Tanya Stambuk on piano.

Songs of Life, Love, and Death will be performed Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m., in Schneebeck Concert Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus. Ticket information is below.

The evening will not be chronological in the human sense. Selections from Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio (The First Murder), sung in Italian, will open the night. This is the story of the killing of Abel by Cain, including arias about God’s admonishment of Cain for his sinful act and Cain’s emotional journey as he decides whether to live or die.

Following this will be songs by Henri Duparc, in French, and by Richard Strauss, in German, including Chanson Triste, La Vie Antérieure, Nichts, and Das Rosenband. These contain well-known poetry on the themes of life, love, and death, written by poets including Théophile Gautier, Jean Lahor, Charles Baudelaire, and Hermann von Gilm.

Finally The House of Life includes six sonnets by Ralph Vaughan Williams that are the setting for Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poetic collection of the same name. Sung in English, the sonnets center on the themes of life and love.

Dawn Padula’s career includes performing many of the major operatic roles, solo concert repertoire, and recording sessions with major U.S. music organizations. Her operatic roles have included Mercedes in Carmen, Suzuki in Madame Butterfly, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Meg in Falstaff, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. Originally from Texas she has appeared as a concert soloist with Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Masterworks Chorus, Houston Chamber Choir, Ars Lyrica Houston, CANTARE Houston, and Mercury Baroque. In the Pacific Northwest, she has soloed with the Oregon Symphony and Portland Symphonic Choir (Mozart’s Great Mass in c minor), Opera Pacifica (Rossini’s Stabat Mater), and Seattle Bach Choir (Vivaldi’s Introduzione e Gloria and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass). She also has given a solo Spotlight Concert (Cabaret!) as part of the Second City Chamber Series.

Tanya Stambuk, professor of music at Puget Sound, has performed across the country and internationally as a pianist with Orchestre de Toulouse in France, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Washington’s Olympia Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared on radio in New York City, Moscow, and Croatia, and performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City, Academy of Music in Philadelphia, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago. Stambuk recorded the piano trios of Daron Hagen with the Finisterra Piano Trio, a recording that was named one of the Five Best American Contemporary Classical Releases by National Public Radio. She also won the international piano competition at the Auditório Nacional Carlos Alberto in Portugal.

The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.

FOR TICKETS order online at, or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013 to purchase with a credit card. Admission is $12.50 for the general public; $8.50 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

For directions and a map of the campus:
For accessibility information please contact or 253.879.3236.

Press photos of Dawn Padula and Tanya Stambuk can be downloaded from:

Photos on page: Top right: Cain and Abel, by Titian (circa 1542-44); Above left: Proserpine, by poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1874).

Tweet this: Songs of Life, Love, and Death, Jacobsen Concert @univpugetsound, Friday, April 5

Follow us on Twitter!