Download the House Programme

Madame Bizet at Home – March 12, 1989 | Walter Hall, Toronto
French songs from Gounod to Poulenc illustrating the life of Geneviève Halévy, who married the composer, Georges Bizet.

date:  March 12, 1989

Geneviève Halévy was the daughter of the opera composer, Fromental Halévy.   Though her first husband, Bizet, died in 1875, Mme Straus (as she became after her second marriage, to the rich lawyer, Emile Straus) lived on until 1926.  She presided over an artistic salon and was a great friend of Marcel Proust  –  in fact, was one of the models for the Duchesse de Guermantes in his novel, The Remembrance of Things Past.  In our concert, songs and piano music spanned the 77 years of her life; excerpts from letters and diaries, and from Proust’s novel, were read by actors Kate Trotter (Mme Bizet) and Jim Mezon (Georges Bizet and Marcel Proust).  This concert was subsequently presented (with French narration) at the Festival Acadien, Caraquet, NB, in August 1995 and again in Walter Hall in March 200 and December 2012.

Song Artist Composer Poet
Les Quatre coins – Esquisse, Op.22/8 (Jeux d’enfants) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges n/a
C’est vous qui me devez de la reconnaissance (Le Nabab) Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Halévy, Fromental Scribe, Eugène
Viens, les gazons sont verts Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gounod, Charles Barbier, Jules
Vieille chanson Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges Millevoye, Charles Hubert
Le Bal – Galop, Op.22/12 (Jeux d’enfants) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges n/a
Chanson d’avril Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Bizet, Georges Bouilhet, Louis
Absence Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Bizet, Georges Gautier, Théophile
Petit mari, petite femme – Duo, Op.22/11 (Jeux d’enfants) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges n/a
Trompette et tambour – Marche, Op.22/6 (Jeux d’enfants) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges n/a
Ouvre ton coeur Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Bizet, Georges Delâtre, Louis
Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges Hugo, Victor
INTERMISSION
La Vie antérieure Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Duparc, Henri Baudelaire, Charles
Apparition (Quatre Chansons de jeunesse) Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Debussy, Claude Mallarmé, Stéphane
Quand je fus pris au pavillon Oland, Erik, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Hahn, Reynaldo Charles d’Orléans
Le Rossignol des lilas Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Hahn, Reynaldo Dauphin, Léopold
Pleurs d’or, Op.72 Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Fauré, Gabriel Samain, Albert
Le Parfum impérissable, Op.76/1 Oland, Erik, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Fauré, Gabriel Leconte de Lisle, Charles-Marie-René
Kaddisch (Deux mélodies hébraïques) Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Ravel, Maurice anon.
Galop (Five Easy Pieces for Piano-Duet) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Stravinsky, Igor n/a
Sagesse Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Stravinsky, Igor Verlaine, Paul
La Belle jeunesse (Chansons gaillardes) Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Poulenc, Francis anon. 17th cent.
Sérénade (Chansons gaillardes) Oland, Erik, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Poulenc, Francis anon. 17th cent.
La Dernière valse (Une Revue…) Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Hahn, Reynaldo Donnay, Maurice / Duvernois, Henri
La Dernière valse (Une Revue…) – ENCORE Fortin, Lyne, soprano; Oland, Erik, baritone; Trotter, Kate, actor; Mezon, Jim, actor; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Hahn, Reynaldo Donnay, Maurice / Duvernois, Henri