Casey Harper and the Unseen Houston Night Light

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Bruce Patterson Ms. Brenda Harvey-Traylor Dr. Theodore J. Carolyn J. Neale Elizabeth Phillips. John Serpe and Tracy Maddox Mrs. Helen A. Shaffer Ms. Birgitt van Wijk Mr. Georgios Varsamis R. Alan York and Frank Lozano Anonymous. The art we make onstage is the foundation for everything we do. Judy and Richard Agee. Schlumberger Dian and Harlan Stai Mr. Fischer Marcia and Alfredo Vilas. For information about joining The Production Funders, please contact Greg Robertson at or grobertson hgo.

Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. Fischer Louisa Stude Sarofim Foundation. Mathilda Cochran Mr. Byron Dyer Dr. Elizabeth Grimm and Dr. Donald G. Photo by Lynn Lane. It was a multicultural event, including not only well known carols. Attracted by the beautiful music, some Houstonians came by to listen or join in. It is available for download, streaming, or as a CD through Pentatone, Amazon, and other outlets. HGOco is proud to host four unique camps for students entering grades K—12, including graduating seniors.

Bush, only months after the passing of his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush. President and Mrs. Bush attended many HGO performances over the years, most recently Carousel in An excited matinee audience welcomed them. The performances coincided with the 16th annual Economic Summit, which was held in Houston.

One performance, on July 7, , was designated as the Presidential Performance and was attended by the president and first lady and other VIPs. President George H. Bush was one of only two former presidents the other being John Adams to have been vice president, president, and the father of a president. George and Barbara Bush will be remembered as genuinely dedicated public servants, passionate boosters for Houston, and active participants in the life of the city. HGO was always thrilled to welcome them to our performances, and we join with the rest of the nation in mourning their loss.

At top right, Mr. Below, Mr. Bush are shown with the cast and conductor of Carousel, Houston has lost one of its great leaders. Whenever we think of this remarkable man, we will have a song in our hearts. She was a devoted longtime colleague and a company person to her core.

At HGO, she was surrounded by artistic temperaments, which are notoriously inept at technology, the field in which Maria had endless patience and a passion for fixing problems. She got the job done, always with a smile. Bank of America believes the arts matter: they help economies thrive, help individuals connect with each other and across cultures, and educate and enrich societies. A thriving economy that has equitable opportunities for all is good for business and for the arts. We share with HGO the vision of making arts accessible to more communities.

Bank of America is honored to join HGO in sharing works like Florencia en el Amazonas— powerful, contemporary stories that resonate with our diverse community. Our lawyers and staff truly believe in the value of giving back, and we especially value our tradition of supporting the arts here in our hometown of Houston. Our longstanding partnership with HGO includes pro bono legal services, special event hosting, board leadership, and support of spectacular productions like the one we are about to experience this evening. Thank you for attending HGO. We hope you enjoy this performance of The Pearl Fishers.

His arrival marked a new era for the company. The musical standards and expectations were raised—exactly what HGO needed at that point in our history. He has been a terrifically supportive boss and colleague. It was unusual—perhaps even unprecedented— that HGO named him as music director before he had ever conducted here.

He had just been named principal guest conductor of San Francisco Opera. No one could have guessed how well he would succeed and where he would take the company in the 20 years to come. Beginning in the —02 season, the HGO Orchestra would play all performances going forward. Patrick knew it would take approximately a decade of working together for the group to become a cohesive opera orchestra, capable of playing the entire spectrum of the repertoire. Patrick has demonstrated an uncanny way of knowing what kinds.

Her schedule is now filled with the great leading Verdi soprano roles, such as Amelia and Aida. He was right. It was his vision that set the foundations for where we stand today, and one of his most significant moments came when he decided to appoint Patrick as music director and give him the resources to build an HGO Orchestra.

That decision is the backbone of our artistic rise through the last 20 years. Under Patrick's baton, the orchestra has evolved into one of the finest ensembles of any opera company. Orchestra—playing Lohengrin in Photo by Tim Tull. Photo by Eric Melear. Over the past seven years that he and I have jointly led HGO, we have all witnessed the breadth of Patrick's musical influences.

The list goes on. He has introduced the company to repertoire and artists we may never have known. As he grew with the orchestra, both became truly world class. Thanks for the great ride, my friend. In an interview for Opera Cues, when Summers had been with the company for only five years, he was asked what stood out to him as significant personal triumphs. I think to make a difference in an American company is the overriding reward, given the dire state of the art in the United States. I do hope that in this country, we will recognize what artistic expression means to a body of people.

Thank you, Patrick! We look forward to many more years ahead. In —a scant five years after HGO premiered Florencia en el Amazonas—it was brought back by popular demand. Kind, gentle, with a childlike gleam in his eye. After all, she was still in the early stages of her career, having been an HGO Studio artist during the —95 season. The bottom part is the lower register and the top part represents the high range.

To sit in that neck and then have to blossom on the top with these glorious high notes can be very difficult. You need to have tremendous command of your body in order to navigate that without taxing yourself. She floated those notes so beautifully. And she speaks impeccable Spanish. Those powers of observation, evidenced at such an early age, have stood her in good stead over the years.

Florencia left Brazil 20 years earlier to pursue her career, and she has triumphed all over the world. Florencia is traveling to Manaus via the steamboat El Dorado with several other passengers, none of. Andrea Puente was the harpist for that performance. So, when it comes to the diva Florencia Grimaldi, he wrote a mixture of strength and isolation into her music. In terms of his own life, where did that come from? You spend a lot of hours alone, and there were periods when he was very isolated.

Only then did he return to Mexico, where he was born. The river is the heart of Florencia—a character you never see but which is always present. He wrote Il Postino for L. He always loved what he was doing at the present. One of those passengers is Rosalba, an ambitious young journalist whose career means everything to her. She admires Florencia most of all for her strength and independence, as someone who devoted herself completely to her art. Florencia has gotten soaked by the river water and she is lamenting how much work she has lost.

The other aspect is tremendous sacrifice of time—time with loved ones. And my. I think if I had performed the role of Florencia. It has been seen all over the United States and in Europe. Times critic Mark Swed, who attended the premiere in Houston, said this in reviewing L.

To provide families and businesses like ours with their own independent investment and asset management resource, rooted right here in Texas. The last to board is the diva herself, traveling incognito. But this turns out to be no ordinary journey, as a storm forces the passengers to confront their deepest fears and longings. Finally, when the boat nears Manaus, it is discovered that no one may disembark because of a cholera epidemic. A full synopsis appears on p.

It was the first opera commissioned from a Latin composer by U. Magical realism suggests that our definition of reality is too narrow and that the fantastical exists alongside and interacts with. Not knowing much about the island of Ceylon—present-day Sri Lanka—the French librettists who likely did not know much about Mexico, either wrote inaccurate details into the story that would go on to affect how we design and perform the opera today. As the world becomes more diverse and more interconnected than ever, 19thcentury art such as this—written with little understanding of the cultural context of its setting— brings to light many questions of cultural appropriation and performance practice in the 21st century.

It seems that the most glaring inaccuracy is that the characters are called observers of Hinduism, when historically it would have been more likely for them to have practiced Buddhism. Hindus are there, but as a minority; the Kandyan Kingdom was established to protect Buddhism, and over 75 percent of the island has been Buddhist for hundreds of years. GU: The 10—11th century is the major transition when Hinduism was introduced, but, again, it was never a major practice in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil people practiced Hinduism, and they actually ruled Sri Lanka from time to time, but Buddhism had been around since even before B. There is documented history that the Buddha himself visited Sri Lanka three times. Would that be entirely inaccurate? By the time the British colonized in , the northern coastal areas were majority Tamil Hindus; the Kandyan Kingdom was Buddhist and was more inland on the island.

JJ: When the British colonized the island in , the Dutch [earlier colonizers] gave them documents about the Jaffna peninsula. That information seems to have spread in 19th century Europe as representative of the entire island and the whole culture. GU: That has been the case for a long time; the Jaffna area is the. The British suppressed the majority Sinhalese [native Sri Lankan and primarily Buddhist] in order to support the minority Tamil Hindus and create more tension between them.

That has continued even today and is arguably the root cause of the Sri Lankan Civil War [—]. TR: That is probably why, in the s, most Europeans thought Sri. GU: Yes, that would be wrong! They were looking for a place that was far from their reality, and un-French, in which they could set a typical French opera of the period.

If it were being written today, it would be questioned from the outset why three French men were writing an opera about another culture and about a Hindu priestess—is that their story to tell? Now, we would have a very different cultural goal and bring a different set of sensitivities, I would hope, to the chosen setting. This opera was not about authenticity at the time it was written, nor was it even about satire. It is supposed to be a romance in exotic places. What you said has stayed with me; that Gauguin was existing in an imperial time, from a country that was actively colonizing Polynesia—no matter how sensitive or insensitive he may have been with his paintings, he still represented an oppressing culture.


SW: Gauguin became so popular by presenting an exoticism, particularly the imagery of naked Tahitian women. It was hyper-sexualized and strictly from a male gaze. He made these amazing paintings that are now part of a canon, but people at that time thought that this was Tahiti. PS: And then appropriating their culture for his own gain. Can you talk more about that intersection of colonialism, exoticism, and appropriation? PS: The parallelism, the sort of cultural conversation that should happen with that, is that these works put those locales and their culture fully through a white European lens.

That becomes the prism through which you view those places, and,. JJ: And then we incorrectly assume we understand the. GU: No; in both cultural and religious contexts, the Sri Lankan attitude is completely opposed to that. JJ: So the pearl divers also would not have even prayed for assistance with the dive? TR: No, the gods in Buddhism are not there for outside assistance like that. And, also, pearl diving itself is not widely practiced; it became more commercialized under the British colonization, but it is not an important historical tradition.

Knowing that these historical artistic works are created through that white European lens, what can companies do today to produce them appropriately and sensitively? Do we present it exactly how it should have been at that moment, or are we supposed to understand and present it as contemporaries and our interpretation of that? PS: The economics of buying, building, or renting an opera set are also very complicated. Our upcoming production is 15 years old and is one of the few existing sets of The Pearl Fishers we could have rented to fit on our stage at HGO.

Should our starting point be trying to find someone with, in this example, Sri Lankan heritage? SW: Is it the only thing you think about? Is it the first thing? But I do think that the live, acoustic nature of the art form has a broad range of interpretation for what that sound could be—so, being vocally and dramatically suited for a role could be different than how it has been heard before.

I would love there to be a greater diversity of opera singers who can sing all of those major roles—Madame Butterfly, Turandot, etc. Lankan culture. I saw one video of this [the Zandra Rhodes] production, and the appearance is much closer to Sri Lankan culture than other images I saw of other productions. SW: The ideal situation would be that you could find people who could fit any role, not only vocally, but also to present a visual work that makes sense.

We can recognize that this is not necessarily the case because this is a very taxing and difficult and amazing art, which not everybody can do. In an ideal world, yes, we are actually going to find a diverse cast that can present those roles; and it works both ways, that not every traditionally Western role needs to be only white people.

PS: Absolutely. The art of acting—and it is certainly an art—is central to the discussion, and great acting teaches empathy. You take on the words and feelings of another character in order to learn about them and in order to portray them. And that great creativity is part of the reason that we do these works at all.

They are discovered together, and Zurga sentences them to death. In the confusion, he rushes in and frees the lovers. The composer died at age 36, three months after his masterpiece, Carmen, premiered. Carmen, of course, is one of the most popular operas in the repertoire, and The Pearl Fishers is enjoying a modern renaissance: it has been performed more times in the last 30 years than in the previous While the music of The Pearl Fishers is sublime, its libretto is generally regarded as weak and the ending improbable.

Lutcher Stark Foundation. Commissioned in part through a generous grant from Drs. Dennis and Susan Carlyle. Houston Methodist is the official health care provider for Houston Grand Opera. United Airlines is the official airline of Houston Grand Opera. Tenenbaum Jewelers is the preferred jeweler of Houston Grand Opera.

The activities of Houston Grand Opera are supported in part by funds provided by the City of Houston and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts. Published by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. Performing artists, stage directors, and choreographers are represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union for opera professionals in the United States.

Scenic, costume, and lighting designers and assistant designers are represented by United Scenic Artists, I. Stage crew personnel provided by I. Wardrobe personnel provided by Theatrical Wardrobe Union, Local This production is being recorded for archival purposes. I am thrilled to return to Florencia en el Amazonas for so many reasons.

It is amazing to me that more than 20 years have passed since I joined the team that would bring this opera to life. At that time, political and drug-related violence was rampant in that country—from the s into the early 21st century, some three million Colombians were displaced. Anyone who has watched an episode of Narcos has a sense of what it was like then. We were flown into his walled compound deep in the jungle in an open helicopter, protected by guards armed with machine guns.

We landed on a helipad near his grounds and went through the underbrush in a Jeep with our guards. The aura of his very being was like the magical realism that spilled onto the pages of his novels. The sentences that came out of his mouth were as astonishing as the ones he wrote. He graciously helped our team. After our time in his compound, we went on to visit the Colombian state of Amazonas, where the river begins, to experience its spirit and try to capture it for the stage. Once we checked into the aptly named Hotel Anaconda, we went trekking through the jungle, led by a guide who thought it was absolutely necessary that we see a real anaconda.

I can assure you that once is enough in my lifetime! Eventually, we boarded a riverboat—not unlike the one you will see in the production—to travel a segment of the mighty Amazon. After its world premiere at Houston Grand Opera, the production transferred to other opera houses in North and Latin America. It was the first Spanishlanguage opera to be commissioned by a U. As I revisited the opera with my designers, we decided to rework certain visual elements of the production to bring the opera closer to the world of magical realism.

But as I see this Florencia take shape again, probably the biggest change is in me. The story may be the same, but I am different, so my life experience colors how I perceive the characters and their journey. The opera features three sets of lovers at different stages of their lives. As I have moved through the journey of my own life, my perspective on these characters and their relationships has evolved, and I bring a new depth of feeling, which I hope is evident in the opera you see this time around. The piece is very close to my heart, and I am grateful for each opportunity to share it with a new audience.

ACT I. On the riverbank, Riolobo, a mystical character who can assume many forms, excitedly announces that the El Dorado is bound for the opera house in Manaus. There, the legendary opera diva Florencia Grimaldi, who has not set foot in her native South America for 20 years, will give a concert to reopen the theater. Alvaro and Paula attempt to dine on deck, but misunderstandings about the exotic menu lead only to bitter exchanges. Later, a tempestuous game of cards contrasts the growing affection between Rosalba and Arcadio and the escalating tension between Paula and Alvaro.

A violent storm quickly develops and the ship is carried helplessly in the rushing currents in a downpour of pink rain. Alvaro saves the boat from being crushed by tree trunks but is knocked overboard. Arcadio ably takes the helm but is unable to stop the forces of nature as the ship runs aground. In the quiet after the storm, Florencia wonders whether she is alive or dead.

Arcadio and Rosalba rejoice to find they have survived the storm, but, frightened by the intensity of their feelings for each other, they vow not to fall in love and risk disillusionment. Paula laments the loss of Alvaro, recognizing that the wall between them was pride— not a lack of love. Riolobo once again calls upon the mystical and transformative powers of the Amazon. On behalf of all the passengers, Florencia thanks him for saving their lives and they resume their journey to Manaus. Rosalba discovers that her precious notebook has been ruined in the storm.

Both pairs of lovers are reconciled to their need for each other by the time the ship nears Manaus, but no one is allowed to disembark because of a cholera outbreak. At HGO performances, the excellent natural acoustics of the theaters in the Wortham Theater Center are relied upon to convey sound from the stage and pit. Visible microphones are positioned to record performances for archival purposes. And more to come! Presented by Houston International Dance Coalition. Produced, Directed by Nancy Henderek.

Dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet performing Carmen. Choreography by Marcos Morau. Photography by Klaus Vedfelt. FrEE event. In , he was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Indiana University. Her production of Faust has been seen multiple times at HGO, most recently in Others include Show Boat , the world premiere of The Little Prince and revivals , , Of Mice and Men ; the world premiere and subsequent revival of Florencia en el Amazonas , ; Prince Igor ; Billy Budd and Madame Butterfly ; and many others.

She has served as artistic and general director of the Glimmerglass Festival since and as artistic director of The Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center since She has also served as the artistic advisor to the San Francisco Opera —11 and as the artistic director of the Skylight Theater — Associate Director For information about E. Loren Meeker, please see p.

Set Designer Robert Israel is a set and costume designer for both opera and theater. His work has been seen at HGO as set designer for Fidelio , the original production of Florencia en el Amazonas world premiere in and revival in , and Akhnaten with Richard Riddell, ; he also designed the costumes for Akhnaten. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Obie Award.

In , she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Julie, and The American Plan. Gallen, Switzerland ; Rebecca St. Gallen and Stuttgart ; and the U. Tucker began her career as a painter and installation artist, exhibiting her work at a variety of galleries, such as the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D. This season, he conducted performances of The Nutcracker for the Houston Ballet. Bado holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Alumni Achievement Award, and West Virginia University, and he studied advanced choral conducting with Robert Shaw.

She performed onstage as the solo violinist in Julius Caesar last season and also when the production debuted in Soprano—Rosalba HGO Studio alumna Alicia Gianni —08 has enjoyed successes on both operatic and concert stages, including nominations for. She also has appeared as Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas with L.

Opera and Washington Opera. Her portrayal of Carmen has won her immense acclaim and has brought her to a number of major opera houses, including the Metroplitan Opera; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Arena di Verona;. We at Booker-Lowe, the oldest Aboriginal art gallery in the Americas, believe they create beautiful visual music!

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*FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 'Casey Harper and The Unseen Houston Night Light' [book one of six] captures the precarious life of a wealthy River Oaks. 'Casey Harper and The Unseen Houston Night Light' [book one of six] captures the precarious life of a wealthy River Oaks, Houston Texas, resident, beautiful.

Licensed by arrangement with C. The shoreline is bustling with morning activity as the community prepares to honor the passing of their beloved leader. They dance to celebrate his life and to ward away evil spirits, which they believe will descend upon their island in the absence of a chief. Zurga tells them they must not delay in choosing a new leader.

The villagers unanimously elect Zurga and swear loyalty to him. Nadir swears he has kept the vow they both made to protect their friendship by staying away from her. Nourabad, the high priest, brings a veiled priestess to the village—she is to watch over the island and protect the pearl divers from the demons of the deep. Zurga tells the priestess she must remain veiled and chaste throughout her vigil. If she does so, and if she succeeds in keeping the community safe, her reward will be their finest pearl.

If she fails, she will be put to death. In an outburst, Nadir decries that punishment as too harsh. Neither Zurga nor Nadir realizes she is the same priestess they fought over just months before. The priestess appears and begins her incantation. Roused by her voice, Nadir no longer doubts her identity. He stresses the importance of her vows. As proof of her ability to keep her promises, she tells. The young man she saved gave her a necklace that she wears to this day. The couple declare their love just as a storm breaks out. Nourabad insists that the storm was sent by the spirits as punishment for her breaking her vows, and the community prepares to sacrifice the lovers.

Zurga stops them, declaring that Nadir and the priestess must be released. Zurga finally recognizes her. The storm has subsided, but the village has suffered terrible damage. Zurga regrets the rage and jealousy that made him condemn his best friend. Zurga cries out as he recognizes the necklace. The community prepares for the dual sacrifice. Just as the execution is to begin, Zurga interrupts with news that the town is on fire and exhorts the villagers to run back to the encampment and save their children and their homes.

The lovers gratefully make their escape, and Zurga is left to face the consequences of his actions. Before arriving in Minnesota, he served for two years as assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize by the Aspen Music Festival in , which led to national recognition and a return to the Festival as a fellow. Director E. Loren Meeker is making her HGO mainstage directorial debut after previously working on The Queen of Spades as assistant director; The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni as choreographer and assistant director; and The Marriage of Figaro , Show Boat , and the concurrent production of Florencia en el Amazonas as associate director.

Light She was recently appointed co-artistic director at Opera San Antonio. She was born in the United Kingdom and was introduced to the world of fashion by her mother, a fitter for the Paris fashion House of Worth. In , she took her collection to New York, where it was featured in Vogue, and became one of the new wave of British designers who put London at the forefront of the international fashion scene in the s.

Rhodes was made a Commander of the British Empire in in recognition of her contribution to fashion and textiles and has been H G O. She served as chancellor for the University for the Creative Arts in the U. Choreographer For information about Eric Sean Fogel, please see p. Named the Male Singer of the Year by both the International Opera Awards and Bachtrack, Brownlee not only keeps an active performance schedule but also serves as artistic advisor at Opera Philadelphia, helping the company to expand its repertoire and aiding in diversity efforts and community initiatives.

He began this season with two evenings of duets with bass-baritone Eric Owens hosted by the Cliburn, followed by a night of arias at. Abigail Fischer mezzo-soprano. Opera; and with many other renowned theaters around the world. His season also features a stop U. In her first season as a Vienna State Opera ensemble member, she performed over 25 roles. Be a cashier, assist customers with their purchases, and help set up before performances. Guild members are always welcome at monthly board meetings.

Find out more about Guild activities, suggest new programs, and meet board members who work with various programs. Volunteer, gain new friendships, learn more about opera, make a difference, and discover a new side of yourself! Everyone is welcome. Reservations recommended. The spring event will take place at the Houston Racquet Club. Volunteers are needed for planning, securing auction items, decorating, and working the check-out stations.

Completely redesigned! Easier to use! Want information about events or volunteer opportunities? Find it at hgoguild. For more information on Guild activities, visit hgoguild. Denise Simon is a native Houstonian who makes amazing things happen from behind the scenes as the special events operations manager. I recently did a DNA test and found there to be quite the mix, to say the least! I followed my sister as a cheerleader, but the school was strict. We still had a paddle as a part of the punishments that could be— and occasionally were—administered. I was a good, if quiet, student and therefore I never had to worry about that.

It always throws up interesting insights into who we are and where we come from! So tell me about your schools and your siblings. I have an older sister and a younger brother, and we were often the only kids of color in our schools. At elementary school, there were only six of us in the whole school, so we kind of stood out! We saw things while we were at school that stay with you—we witnessed two cross burnings. The black kids were all sent home early, together.

Tell me about where you decided to go to college. I attended U of H and majored in communications. I decided that I wanted to be a DJ. This was around the time of Watergate and I thought that it would be the right course for me. The school had mainly black. So did you? I carried on with school but started to work for Southwestern Bell designing systems.

It was during Affirmative Action, and I was very attractive to them as I was young, female, and black so I ticked a lot of boxes. I did that job for ten and a half years, but it never felt like it was really the job for me. The work was always very physical and hot. Left: Denise as a junior high school cheerleader; Denise's parents. Previous spread from left: Denise at Opening Night, ; with her daughter, Christina; as an elementary student; son Christopher and daughter Christina; Denise with her grandchildren, Taylor and David. Well, I had my family to think about. When Southwestern Bell divested, I decided to take the voluntary termination package.

What was the big plan after working for the same company for so long? I decided that I was going to go to NYC to work. My children were in fourth and fifth grades and I guess I thought it would be a different experience. It was—but not in a way I had hoped. I sent the kids back to Texas quite quickly. I returned to Houston after a year. Was it good to be back? It was, and Guyla and I hit it off immediately. After a few months, she called me to join her. We worked there for about eight years. It was a great time and we loved working together.

I still had a couple of more moves to make before coming to HGO. I left and went to work for Best Buy as a merchandise manager for five years. It was there that I realized I was not really cut out for retail anymore, so when Guyla called me from her new job at HGO it was a pretty easy decision, really. I guess that Guyla had just arrived and was starting to build her team? I believe she was here a year before I got here, and I was very happy to come and join her again.

We built something very special, and since we lost Guyla, we have continued to build the team into a really strong unit. I have loved working at HGO mainly because of the truly fantastic colleagues and chairs that I spend time with. Having been in the corporate world and in sales most of my life, I can say that HGO is a very special place indeed.

Up next, recap & links

A handful of talented young opera singers—the intrepid performers of the touring group Opera to Go! Each singer does a mad dash to get coffee from a drive-through, getting funny looks from other drivers as they do vocal warm-ups in their cars. A brightly decorated van rolls into the school parking lot. Five singers, a stage manager, and a pianist grab set pieces, costumes, and props from the back and hustle them inside. The team comes together in a cafeteria and creates a vibrant fairytale world in a matter of minutes.

Students begin to file in to the cafeteria. Teachers herd them to their spots, reminding them to be quiet. They sit cross-legged and squirming on the gym floor, with their fingers pressed to their lips.

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All eyes are glued to the stage. In about building their communication, collaboration, performances, Opera to Go! Opera to Go! Theresa Catholic School in Sugar Land. The show ends. After the bows, the performers answer questions until the school bell rings. Many of the kids want to know how they can get involved in the arts, both on and off the stage.

The children head back to their classrooms with a song in their hearts. The players scramble to pack up costumes, props, and set pieces back into the Opera to Go! Children wave goodbye from the halls.

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Thank you for making a lasting, positive impression on our students and staff. The Opera to Go! Another gymnasium at another school is filled with lucky children waiting to experience their first opera! Sometimes this group will do three shows in a day. It can be exhausting, but it is worth it. Recess is shorter, schools days are longer, and teachers are overwhelmed.

Traditionally, when opera companies look at this environment, their answer is to invite schools to come and see their art firsthand. But we also know we can do more, i. Enter the teaching artists. In the storm of school culture, there is a ray of sunlight, beaming with creativity and joy—the artists who use their talents to bring art into classrooms and to address social issues through the lens of their craft.

Most often, these residencies consist of two teaching artists from HGOco, classroom teachers, and an entire grade level of students. The goal is to create artistically engaged students and teachers. The effect? A culture of creativity and critical thinking.

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Students recreated the chapters into song, dialogue into arias, and themes into choruses. Spanning 12 sessions, the residency consisted of 3 classroom teachers, 75 students, and 24 classroom hours—and was conducted entirely in Spanish. Students discussed difficult themes from the book, such as fleeing a war-torn country, seeking asylum, and entering the United States as a refugee. Basing their melodies on the moods and emotions of the characters in the book, students composed songs for their class to sing. Most importantly, the students were able to create something they cared about while understanding and empathizing with the experiences of vulnerable people around the world.

Telephone to discuss what an opera immersion residency would look like in your school or community. Music was always part of my cultural upbringing. When I was about three years old, I would watch TV and play along on my toy piano—my mom started piano lessons for me when I was four years old. What drew you to the world of opera?

In high school, I played piano for singers, in the orchestra, and in the jazz ensemble, and sang in the chorus. During my freshman year in college, a graduate student gave me a score to an opera I had never heard of—Treemonisha. Balthrop whose voice studio I had been playing for all year at Howard.

What project will you be working on for HGOco? Anderson in collaboration with Deborah Mouton, the poet laureate of Houston. I approach this project with a great deal of reverence, because Ms. Anderson was such an important figure—not only to African American artists, but also to women. What she had to go through, what she stood for, and what she represents is truly inspiring. Will you share a bit about your relationship with her? One day, the phone rang and it was Ms. We shared the same publicist and she called to see if I would give her classical piano lessons.

After that, she hired me to play in her band for her last West Coast tour. I spent a few years with her on the road and she would often call me just to talk. It was an honor to play during her memorial service and surreal that I was able to work with such a major singer, songwriter, musician, icon, and mogul who spanned many generations and approached so many musical styles with integrity. Anthony G. Carlton, M. CenterPoint Energy James J. Howard Pieper Foundation William E. The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Nabors Industries Shell. They have spent the last month buried in scores, observing rehearsals, singing these operas in coachings and voice lessons, working on the text with their language teachers, and more. It is not uncommon for a professional singer to be learning a new role or reviewing a previous role for future performances while in the midst of performing another role. For many singers, cracking open a new score is a moment of excitement, inspiration, and discovery—and each singer has his or her own process in approaching it.

Some begin by organizing Some start at the end of the opera and work backward until the role is learned and memorized, while others prefer to work in order from the beginning. In operas with recitative, singers must devote a significant amount of time to simply repeating text until it feels as natural and easy as having a conversation in real life. We encourage singers to begin with text and move to music when the text has been internalized, as opera is about expressing text through the musical ideas of the composer.

One cannot sing well until it is easy to speak the text. Fortunately, with the language training given to our singers, they become comfortable with the text fairly quickly and begin to coach their roles musically. A singer spends significant time with a pianist, singing through their role, building memory, and rehearsing until they are consistent. Studio artists typically sing their roles in voice lessons, as well, and often work through dramatic ideas with our acting and movement faculty.

They work on their understanding and pronunciation. As they progress, this process is refined. By the time they leave the Studio, we hope they have found what consistently works for them. Each mainstage singer at HGO goes through a similar process to prepare. In some cases, our visiting artists are singing their roles for the first time, and must go through this process in the very same way a Studio artist studies a new role; even if they have previously performed it, they still have to review and add depth to their interpretation.

Either way, a tremendous amount of study and work happens privately, before the first day of rehearsal begins. Once singers begin rehearsal, their scores are generally set aside while they stage the opera and referred to only briefly for review. As you enjoy performances of these two great operas, take note of the mountain that the singers have climbed to prepare for this day. It is detailed, challenging, and rewarding work, and that work is a big part of the everyday life of a singer.

Drach Endowment Fund. Robert N. Wakefield, and the HGO Guild. Patrick Carfizzi and Dr.

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David and Mrs. Norine Gill. Jackson D. Hicks and Mr. Patrick Carfizzi. Lindsay Kate Brown Mezzo-soprano Mr. Charles G. Nickson Fellow. Ellen R. Gritz and Milton D. Rosenau Jr. Leia Lensing Contralto Drs. Champagne reception at 6 p. Celebration Dinner to follow in the Grand Foyer. For information, contact Brooke Rogers at or brogers hgo.

Purchase tickets online at HGO. Thousands of red roses reflected the red velvet seats of the Wortham. For table, ticket, and underwriting information, contact Brooke Rogers, or brogers hgo. Concert of Arias brings the best of these future opera stars to Houston for the live finals of the competition. On an evening of soul-stirring music that will leave you breathless, enjoy some of the most powerful arias in the opera repertoire—and cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award.

Board member Fred Griffin kicked off the evening from the orchestra pit as guest conductor leading the National Anthem, an Opening Night tradition. A grand fiesta honoring the vibrant culture and creative contributions of Mexico. Over Laureate Society members, opera lovers who have made commitments to HGO in their estate plans, enjoyed dinner and lively conversation after the recital. We rely on you for the rest. As an HGO donor, you will receive exclusive member benefits designed to enhance your opera experience.

Over well-dressed ladies and gents gathered at the St. How did you first get hooked on opera? Tom: We. I had a wonderful teacher who got me excited about opera and Shakespeare. Why do you love Houston? There is so much to do in this town! Why do you support HGO? We also became interested in getting more involved and understanding how things work behind the scenes. Becoming HGO Trustees brings us to another level of knowing the company and spending time with more like-minded people who love the arts. If you were a character from an opera, who would you be? We certainly do here at HGO! Co-headquartered in Houston and New York with 2, employees and 35 international locations, FROSCH has grown from a local agency into a global leader in luxury and business travel since Richard and John A.

Robin Angly, Chairman. The Opera was honored to have the couple chair the Opera Ball. Thomas Barrow, first became subscribers. She also supports the HGO Studio, having underwritten several rising opera stars over the past 20 years. A lifelong lover of music, Jan is past president of the Houston Symphony and has a special affinity for Puccini and Wagner. The Brown Foundation, Inc.

Based in Houston, the Foundation distributes funds principally for education, community service, and the arts, especially the visual and performing arts. She also serves on the Marketing and Communications Committee. Chapman, was a south Texas agricultural businessman and philanthropist. Bob was president of Cooper Industries, a manufacturer of machinery for the oil and natural gas industry until his retirement in In , the company gave a major multiyear grant to establish ConocoPhillips New Kelly Rose Initiatives, a far-reaching program that allows HGOco to develop new and innovative education and community collaboration programs.

They have been active supporters of all HGO special events for many years, from the Opening Night Dinner, which BobbieVee chaired in , to Concert of Arias, which the couple chaired together in He has been a member of the board since and has served on the Executive, Governance, Development, and Finance Committees. Established in , the Foundation has more than a half-century history of giving generously to education, health care, and the arts in Texas, primarily in the Greater Houston area. The Trust was established from assets of The Cullen Foundation to specifically benefit Texas performing arts institutions, particularly those within the Greater Houston area.

Elkins Jr. We are honored that Jenny Elkins and her family have been part of the HGO family for more than 15 years. HGO is grateful for the longtime leadership support of the Houston Endowment, a private foundation established in by Jesse H. Houston Endowment recently supported an expansion of our Opera to Go! HGO is fortunate to have Dr. Barbara Bass and Dr. She didn't know. I tried patience. Let a friendship grow. I tried to keep her, that's what made her go.. A love like hers ain't meant for guys like me Song was written in honor of artist's daughter, Emily.

You were sent to me by angels up above, I'm certain Along came you to teach me about love You're here to show me what love can be Tribute to the Nile river. Along the Nile The pyramids, Reminded us of ancestors And what they did. Along the Nile My people live Because of all The life it gives Already One By Neil Young. About shared parenting. A relationship or marriage has ended but the couple are still joined or bound by a common interest , their child.

I can't forget how love let me down Your laughing eyes. Your crazy smile. Every time I look in his face I can't believe how love lasts a while But we're already one. Already one. Now only time can come between us. Always By Bon Jovi. A person has a difficult time accepting or coming to terms with the end of a relationship. He feels that his love for the other person will last forever. It's been raining since you left me, now I'm drowning in the flood. You see I've always been a fighter but without you I give up I'll be there till the stars don't shine.

Till the heavens burst and the words don't rhyme. I know when I die you'll be on my mind. And I love you, always This song is about optimism and the power of positive thinking. From the Monty Python film "Life of Brian" this song stands out in stark contrast to the "heavy, political stuff" normally associated with the artist. If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing When you're feeling in the dumps, don't be silly chumps Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing, and Always look on the bright side of life Always look on the bright side of life About regret, taking someone's love for granted, and trying to redeem yourself.

And maybe I didn't treat you quite as good as I should have And I guess I never told you I'm so happy that you're mine. Little things I should of said and done. I just never took the time Always the Cause By Al Stewart. Song is about the Spanish Civil War and the people who fought for the "Cause" of democracy. Still hope won't be denied. There was always the Cause. There was always the Cause Setbacks come at every turn. New ways are hard to learn. Tonight I saw Guernica burn Always Tomorrow By Gloria Estefan.

Song is about optimism, having a positive outlook on life and believing in yourself and others. Instead of just giving up, I use the power at my command I'll face whatever comes my way, savor each moment of the day. Love as many people as I can along the way That's why there's always tomorrow to start all over again This song is a tribute to Sir Thomas More , song deals with the rule of law , the legitimacy of authority, and staying true to your conscience or principles.

Henry Plantagenet still looks for someone to bring good news in his hour of doubt. While Thomas More waits in the Tower of London watching the sands running out. And measures the hours out from here to oblivion in actions that can't be undone So what if you reached the age of reason only to find there was no reprieve? Would you still be a man for all seasons or would you just disbelieve? Look What They've Done to You By Courtney. Inspired by actual events. On February 4, four NYC police officers fired 41 shots at unarmed Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo striking him 19 times and killing him in the entrance way of his apartment.

John Wayne shooters rockin' hard dressed in blue. Abner Louima and now Amadou countless others paid the price for you Song By Phil Ochs. We will fight against disease when the money comes with ease. And when we get together we say hooray for A. If you can't afford my bill, don't tell me you're ill Every day we specialize more and more.

But we really love to stitch the diseases of the rich. We are sure there is a clinic for the poor Amazing By Aerosmith. Song is about the cycle of drug addiction, hitting "rock bottom", and then working towards recovery. When I lost my grip and I hit the floor. Yeah, I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door. I was so sick and tired of livin' a lie.

I was wishing that I would die. It's amazing. With the blink of an eye you finally see the light When the moment arrives you know you'll be alright About Amelia Earhart , an American aviatrix who was one of the world's most celebrated and the first to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean Amelia Earhart flying that sad day. With her partner Capt. Noonan on the second of July. Her plane fell in the ocean, far away Amen By Jewel. According to the artist I wrote this indirectly for Kurt Cobain, but more precisely for the angst he represented.

But even more exactly for the hopelessness so many felt after his death. Where's my golden one? Where's my hope now that my heroes have gone? Pieces of us die everyday Song is about how the hopes, dreams and ideals of many American people have not been realized. New world, new people. New dreams for all of the children. Young country Back in the summer of ' I met a young girl, her heart was in flames War had changed her whole world.

Her daddy died in Vietnam. She lost her husband in Lebanon And she saw hungry people in the streets. Young mothers who could not eat And it all goes on. Yeah, the dreams go on America By Neil Diamond. Song is about immigration and how our country is seen as a melting pot. On the boats and on the planes. They're coming to America Freedom's light burning warm Everytime that flag's unfurled. America, America By L. About the displacement of Native Americans as the white man slowly took everything they had.

You conquered what you called a savage people. Drove them to their knees beneath pointed steeples. You stripped them of their great and noble spirit A politician or public figure , caught in the act. Then they caught you with the girl next door, people's money piled on the floor, accusations that you try to deny, revelations and rumours begin to fly Reporters crowd around your house. Going through your garbage like a pack of hounds Song was written as an inspiration for our American people to never stop striving for peace and prosperity. Dream on children, dream on. Don't let anybody tell you the dream is gone.

As long as there's a God Above. Keep praying we never wake up. Keep on dreaming the American dream American Heroes By Adam Wyle. A response song to the September 11th tragedy in New York City. What a mistake they have made. Take for granted American people today. Within the scene you look around. All the love with both hands out American heroes This parody tours the human history of determining the value of pi. Song is a tribute to the people and cultures who contributed to our understanding of pi.

In the Hebrew Bible we do see the circle ratio appears as three The Chinese got it really keen: three-five-five over one thirteen! More joined the action with arctan series and continued fractions I can't remember if I cried When I read about his widowed bride But something touched me deep inside, The day the music died.

Inspired by actual events , this controversial song includes important political and social commentary dealing with race and the criminal justice system in America. Lena gets her son ready for school. She says now on these streets Charles you got to understand the rules. Promise me if an officer stops you'll always be polite. Never ever run away and promise mama you'll keep your hands in sight The secret my friend.

You can get killed just for living in your American skin American Triangle By Elton John. Song was written as a tribute to Matthew Shepard the victim of a brutal and vicious hate crime. Don't make no sense. I've seen a scarecrow wrapped in wire. Left to die on a high ridge fence It's a cold wind blowing.

This song is about excessive corporate sponsorships and the commercialization of baseball. There's the NBC Peacock right fielder He threw the Exxon's runner out in the dirt And you really can't tell Who's playing for Shell 'Cause they've all got different logos on their shirts It's the sport that built this country A great pitch by any other name and it won't take long to sell you on America's national game Bank America's national game".

America's Unsung Heroes By L.

Keeping Things Whole by Colin Hunt

Song is a tribute to Native Americans. References made to many Native American tribes. America's unsung heroes. The Cheyenne, Apache, Cherokee and Navaho Wanted to only live in peace. For starvation and deprivation of their lands to cease A song of patriotism. Proceeds from the song will aid the Red Cross. America, the land of freedom. Still the home of the brave A song of patriotism and hope. Our flag is up, the stock markets are down. But we're all united from the county to the town. America will survive About achieving success in life and losing jealous friends because of it.

And it's so strange when you get just a little money. Your so called friends want to act just a little funny. They'll blame you He thinks you changed because of a dollar sign A man neglects his wife as he climbs the ladder of success. To gain the world and lose our love is too high a price to pay. A parody song of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise". A satire of Amish culture , with numerous references to specific beliefs and practices.

But that's just perfect for an Amish like me, Ya know, I shun fancy things like electricity At in the mornin' I'm milkin' cows If you come to visit, you'll be bored to tears We haven't even paid the phone bill in years Hitchin' up the buggy, churnin' lots of butter Raise a barn on Monday, soon I'll raise anutter Among The Living By Anthrax.

This song is said to be inspired by the Stephen King novel, The Stand. Spreading the disease. With some help from Captain Trips, he'll bring the world down to his knees. Power, yes Power! He'll show them all his power. It pulses through his ice cold blood, a whole world to devour! Amoreena By Elton John. From the "Dog Day Afternoon" soundtrack this song is about yearning and desire. Amphetamine Annie By Canned Heat. About the dangers associated with the use of the stimulant drug amphetamines. References made to paranoia and the health consequences of drug use. They call her amphetamine Annie Your mind might think it's flying baby on those little pills.

But you oughta know it's dyin' 'cause speed kills AM Radio By Everclear. Song is a flashback to the 's with references made to am radio, eight track tapes and popular culture of that era. Just picture yourself on a beautiful day. With the big bell bottoms and groovy long hair You could hear the music on the am radio Amusement Parks U. By The Beach Boys. Song is a tribute to many of the fun packed amusement parks across the United States.

You'll crash and burn in the bumper cars at Jersey's steel pier. You'll crack'em up when you stand in front of all the crazy mirrors Disneyland and P. Let's take your car and mess around at the park all day Anagram for Mongo By Rush. A fun tribute to the anagram. The letters of one word in each line of the song are rearranged to form other words. Parade from paradise. End the need for Eden. Chase the dreams of merchandise. There is tic and toc in atomic. Leaders make a deal Miracles will have their claimers. More will bow to Rome Ana's Song By Silverchair. Lead singer Daniel Johns wrote this song after being diagnosed with anorexia.

Only a small percentage of anorexics are males. In my head the flesh seems thicker And you're my obsession I love you to the bones Like an anorexic life Song is about corruption of government and the justice system. Halls of Justice painted green, money talking Related topics: campaign financing , watergate. Angel Dust By Sodom. About the dangerous drug angel dust or as it is also called PCP. References to drug addiction. Searching, hoping for the right connection coz I need it Angel dust.

Need a shot to get me through the day About sacrifice, and the temporary, sometimes circumstantial nature of love. If you would not have fallen then I would not have found you And I patched up your broken wings And I knew someday that you would fly away So leave me if you need to. I'd rather see you up than see you down Angel Of Death By Slayer. Known to have performed pseudo-medical and scientific experiments on many of the victims. Slow death, immense decay. Showers that cleanse you of your life Human mice, for the Angel of Death Sadistic surgeon of demise Destroying without mercy to benefit the Aryan race Song is about the sixteenth century prophet Nostradamus who was believed to have predicted many of the great catastrophies fires, earthquakes, weather disturbances that occured in the twentieth century.

In the sixteenth century there was a French philosopher by the name of Nostradamus. He prophesized that in the late twentieth century an angel of death shall waste this land Angel Of Harlem By U2. This song is a tribute to singer Billie Holiday. So long Angel of Harlem Blue light on the avenue God knows they got to you An empty glass, the lady sings Eyes swollen like a bee sting Blinded you lost your way Artist wrote this song from the point of view of Lynyrd Skynyrd members and what they may have been thinking right before their plane crashed.

These angels I see in the trees are waiting for me. The engines have stopped now. We all know we are going down Angels and fuselage Artist wrote this song for her two brothers, Alan and Shawn, who died from cystic fibrosis. They were angels in waiting. Waiting for wings to fly from this world.

Away from their pain Sometimes the body is weaker than the soul This song is a tribute to Annie Jump Cannon the woman who developed the system for classifying stellar spectra. She was a human computer at the Harvard College Observatory classifying stellar spectra she was the world's leading expert. She created the spectral class system we all love and use today! Annie's Anorexia By The Huntington's. About a "perfect" girl who seems to have everything going for her in life. In reality she is suffering from the eating disorder anorexia. The star of every young boy's dream.

I surely would not have guessed she starved herself to fit that dress She never skipped class in her life but she skipped dinner everytime Annie's anorexic Annie's Song By John Denver. Song was written by the artist as a tribute to his wife Annie. Come let me love you. Let me give my life to you Let me always be with with you A man with a drinking problem tries to remain sober but gives in to his cravings for alcohol. Everybody's having fun, so why be the one left out in the cold? You said you'd never take another drop.

Your craving's big, your liver's shot You've got to dry out But it's martini time Anorexic Beauty By Pulp. Song is about society's unhealthy obsession with weight and how many models have developed eating disorders. We don't need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. All in all it's just another brick in the wall Song reveals a person's disregard for another who is less fortunate. About the importance of community and social responsibility and compassion for the homeless.

He walks on doesn't look back, he pretends he can't hear her. Starts to whistle as he crosses the street seems embarassed to be there Reference to using alcohol as a remedy for solving problems. A person in denial. Countin on a remedy I've counted on before. Goin' with a cure that's never failed me. What you call the disease , I call the remedy. What you're callin' the cause, I call the cure Looking back and reflecting on the significance or importance of one's life and work.

I don't know, I may go down or up or anywhere. But I feel like this scribbling might stay So when you think of me, if and when you do.

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Just say, well another man's done gone Another Spill By Human Greed. Another spill battered environment Sinking tanker, encrusted beaches, dying seabirds coated in oil. Another ecosystem you've just destroyed Antarctica By Al Stewart. Song is about the human desire and urge to explore uncharted lands and regions, in particular, Antarctica. I felt the chill of mystery with one foot on your shore, and then and there resolved to go where no man had before Seduced by this ambition I easily forget, the hopeless quest of Shackleton , the dreamlike death of Scott The Anthem By Good Charlotte.

An anti-establishment or teen angst song about about identity, individuality, and rebellion. At my high school It felt more to me Like a jail cell, a penitentiary My time spent there, it only made me see That I don't ever wanna be like you I don't wanna do the things you do I'm never gonna hear the words you say And I don't ever wanna, I don't ever wanna be I'm gonna get by And just do my time Out of step while They all get in line I'm just a minor threat so pay no mind A protest song about the Vietnam War and government proceedings of that time period.

I'm the fool, I'm waiting. Twenty five years of anticipating. I'm tired of your treating all of my children the same. Spending all that money on a stupid war in Vietnam. When we need it at home. I'm an anti-establishment man Anti-Homophobe By Brutal Truth. Song speaks out against homophobia and homophobics in general. You don't have the right to force your own opinion We believe in freedom. Whatever turns you on An environmental awareness song. Main theme of the song is about recycling and taking care of our planet.

Keep your planet clean and neat. Put your wrappers in the round bin. Recycle cans that are made of tin Apache By Nuclear Valdez. About the longing for youth and the safety and security associated with childhood. Life was different in so many ways And the wind always blew away my fears Now I'm always looking back. Why happiness got a little off track. Why simple things just disappear. And the wind stopped blowing away my fears Even though I'm lost inside.

Then I'll find my road. I'll find the wind. Find the missing boy within Apache Tears By Johnny Cash. About the mistreatment and painful legacy of Native Americans. Song is about the love and special bond between a father and his infant daughter. And when you turned into two, I was happy when you said I love you. Held you in my arms so tight. I'd never forget the best years of my life April 29, By Sublime. About the Los Angeles Riot that erupted after the announcement of the verdict in the trial of the officers accused of beating Rodney King.

I was participating in some anarchy. First spot we hit was my liquor store, finally got all that alcohol I can't afford Arachnophobiac By Michael Schenker Group. About arachnophobia , the fear of spiders. This is an infestation Changin the sheets won't do! It needs a fumigation And I don't wanna be there when they come out! Argon Mill By Si Kahn. Song is about the closing of a mill and the effect on people's lives. Army Dreamers By Kate Bush. An anti-war song about a grieving mother and her son's loss of innocence.

Mourning in the aerodome Four men in uniform carry home my little soldier Never made it into his twenties. What a waste Army dreamers Arthur, he does as he pleases. All his life he's mastered choices. Deep in his heart, he's just, he's just a boy. Living his life one day at a time Artificial World By J. A song about how we create images of the natural things we love, but don't seem to realize that we are destroying them at a terrifying pace. It used to be a special place to walk among the trees and listen to the falling of the leaves.

But that's no more, its all gone now About self esteem and breaking free of unhealthy relationships. You tried to make me doubt, to make me guess, tried to make me feel like a little less, Oh, I liked you when your soul was bared, I thought you knew how to be scared, And now it's amazing what you did to make me stay, But truth is just like time, it catches up and it just keeps going. And so I'm leaving About job dissatisfaction and feeling or receiving little recognition for your efforts from your superiors.

I'm working at my job More boring by the day. But they pay me. All that time spent at school Glad you gave us your best years About "sock hops" , popular high school dances held during the 's. Well you can rock it, you can roll it. You can stop it and you can stroll it at the hop. When the record starts spinnin' At the hop Atlantic City By Bruce Springsteen. About people struggling to get by and hoping for redemption and a second chance in life. Song also deals with the rejuvenation of Atlantic City , N.

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find. Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back Atomic Power By Uncle Tupelo. Song is about the potential destruction caused by the use of nuclear weapons. Atticus By Doug Hoekstra. Based on a true story. A social responsibility song about the importance of compassion, empathy, love, and kindness. It didn't take much for her to show this man some dignity.

I had to ask myself if I'd danced so gracefully. On the clouds around a corner somewhere in the night. Where angels fly and grown men cry, it's such a pretty sight. A piece of human kindness , unrequited love. A beautiful white pigeon, a charcoal-colored dove. On the corner Attila By Iced Earth. Attitude Dancing By Carly Simon.

About rediscovering oneself, reclaiming a positive attitude and improving your self-esteem and self. You just leave yourself behind Cop a different pose SHine a different attitude from underneath your skin Song raises concerns about the scientific practice of "test tube" babies. We had natural child births From test tube to womb, a new life beginning. Sterile injected but doomed to be freak. Experiment with life, genetic confusion Song relates to social health. About the importance of good friendships and forming bonds with other people. And you need a friend just to be around.

I will comfort you, I will take your hand. And I'll pull you through, I will understand The Auction By Tanya Tucker. Song is about a farmer who loses his livelihood due to high operation costs and poor crop prices. Johnson, we're sorry to inform you. You're request for a second loan has been refused. And the board of directors in the city have instructed us to take the farm from you The fallin' price of wheat's not our concern Authority Song By John Mellencamp.

About nonconformists , rebellion, and the age old adolescent struggle for autonomy, freedom and independence. They think they're so cute when they got you in that condition I fight authority , authority always wins. I fight authority , authority always wins Awakened Tears By Mandy Brakel. Inspired by actual events , song is dedicated to a friend who died from Cystic Fibrosis in The artist is also living with this disease. We were singing and laughing as if life was fine.

Suddenly I felt a tear streaming down my face. I turned around to say goodbye but it was just too late A-Whalin' By Roy Zimmerman. A protest song raising awareness about whaling. We'll wipe out the whales in a couple short years. And then we'll start killing Greenpeace volunteers When the whales have been wiped out from both hemispheres then we can spend our retirement years harpooning and skinning Greenpeace volunteers B top. Song was originally conceived as part of the Lifehouse Project. A teenage angst song, lyrics address a variety of adolescent issues including; acceptance, freedom, identity, independence, and rebellion.

I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven The exodus is here. The happy ones are near. Let's get together before we get much older It's only teenage wasteland Song is about child labor an all too common practice of factories in the early 's during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution.

To their jobs those little one's was strictly forced to go. Those babies had to be on time through rain, sleet and snow Many times those little ones was kicked and shoved around They never learned to read and write, they learned to spin and spool This song is about the Cuban boy Elian Gonzalaz who was at the center of an international custody dispute between Cuba and the United States. The Bay of Pigs or baby Elian. Operation Peter Pan. America the devil's playground. Baby Elian Baby Elian About the extinction of small businesses as corporations slowly kill off specialty stores.

Well, the hardware store was the first to go. Those prices just got way too low. Soon the other stores were closed. And the lights went out on main street. Whatever happened to our little town? Wal-Mart has run it into the ground Daniel Ahlborn. About using alcohol to deal with your problems. Hey bartender. I'm heading for the lost and found. If I have just one more round. So sad to see me this way. Back Off! By Monty Harper. This song was written by the artist for "Project Reach", a program designed to help kids think about cigarette advertising which was aimed at them.

References made to Joe Camel, a marketing tool used by RJ Reynolds in order to get young kids hooked on cigarettes. I run into a camel next to register four. He's wearing a tuxedo and a sneaky pair of shades Buy two packs, I'll give you the lighter free. I said back off camel Song is a tribute to former band mate James Honeymoon-Scott who tragically died from a heroin overdose. Written in response to the massive floods of in the state of Mississippi that killed many and left , homeless. I got up one morning, poor me I couldn't even get out the door Thousands of poor people at that time didn't have no place to go The song is a a not so flattering tribute to President Bill Clinton.

Like JFK but like Elvis too. Wearing those shades playing saxophone. With secrets to hide, sins to atone for About the brutality of incest, molestation and sexual abuse. Bad Connection By Cheryl Wheeler.