• Music & Theatre

    Accompaniment: Die Männer sind méchant! (Schubert)

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is the accompaniment to a German lied with music by Franz Schubert and poetry by Johann Gabriel Seidl. If you’d like to learn more about this piece and see the poem translated into English, check out this site. FYI: I’m a singer, not an accompanist! I couldn’t find an accompaniment when preparing this piece a few years ago (still trying to decide whether I feel the recording I have of it is good enough to share 😉) and needed something to practice with – so I made this track myself. I hope it helps you when preparing the piece – and if you’d like to download a copy…

  • Academic,  Music & Theatre

    My Fair Lady: Understanding Eliza’s Transformation Through Language

    Hey, guys! For today’s #WeeklyWednesday, I decided to share a practice take I made of a research presentation for one of my courses at #NYU (it’s weird sometimes “performing” or talking alone in my apartment in front of a camera 😉 I think it went pretty well and definitely felt more natural in person!). I hope you enjoy hearing my questions and ideas about Eliza’s development throughout “My Fair Lady” from a sociolinguistics/linguistic anthropology lens – and that it gives you some good food for thought! Things here are going well – just much, much busier than I’d like (it’s not a sustainable pace right now!). Hope you’re doing well,…

  • Music & Theatre

    Mandoline (Dupont/Verlaine)

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is the accompaniment to the French song “Mandoline” – but you can also check out my performance of it here: Paul Verlaine’s poem has been set to music several times – mine is composed by Gabriel Dupont.  You may be familiar with Fauré’s version; and I love Debussy’s (this recording by Diana Damrau is awesome!)! If you’d like to see his poem translated into English, this site does a nice job. FYI: I’m a singer, not an accompanist! I couldn’t find an accompaniment when preparing this piece and needed something to practice with – so I made this track myself. I hope it helps you when preparing the piece…

  • Music & Theatre

    It Was a Lover and His Lass

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a #Renaissance piece by Thomas Morley that was likely composed for the original production of Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It.” Two pages sing “It Was a Lover and His Lass” for Touchstone in Act 5, Scene 3. Shakespeare’s plays included a number of songs, but little information about the music used in his productions has survived. Some pieces were popular songs from the period (particularly the dances mentioned), others had lyrics written by Shakespeare set to an existing melody, and some tunes were likely original for each play. Referencing Ross W. Duffin’s excellent book on the topic (p. 221-223 of Shakespeare’s Songbook), this song is likely…

  • Music & Theatre

    Pardon, Goddess of the Night

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is my arrangement of Patrick Doyle’s lovely contemporary composition for Shakespeare’s lyrics from Act 5, Scene 3, of Much Ado About Nothing. I composed a tag for the ending, as Doyle’s version does not include the final lines of the text. In the original work, this song is performed by Claudio, but in our production at the Coronado Playhouse, music was performed by Beatrice (Danielle Orner), Margaret (Renee Ulloa-McDonald), and Ursula (me 😉). This is one of the many songs in Shakespeare’s plays for which no original music survives (for excellent reading on this topic, check out Shakespeare’s Songbook by Ross W. Duffin. This song is discussed and…

  • Music & Theatre

    O Sweet Oliver

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a #Renaissance piece from Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It. The character Touchstone sings “O Sweet Oliver” in Act 3, Scene 3. Shakespeare’s plays included a number of songs, but little information about the music used in his productions has survived. Some pieces were popular songs from the period (particularly the dances mentioned), others had lyrics written by Shakespeare set to an existing melody (though the name of the melody often was not included), and some tunes were likely original for each play. When Shakespeare used a popular song, it often communicated an additional meaning – a joke or common reference that period audiences would have well-understood…

  • Music & Theatre

    Accompaniment: Al fonte, al prato (Giulio Caccini)

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is the accompaniment to Guilio Caccini’s #Renaissance piece “Al fonte, al prato,” first published in his 1614 work “Nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle.” Here’s a link to a free transcription of the sheet music and to the text for all four verses. Below is my performance of the piece 😊 FYI: I’m a singer, not an accompanist (and certainly not one who can improvise well from figured bass)! I believe I made this accompaniment from a midi file, and it doesn’t have any variation across the four verses (though it traditionally should). I hope it helps you when preparing the piece – and if you’d like…

  • Music & Theatre

    Al fonte, al prato

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is another #Renaissance piece – composed by Guilio Caccini, first published in his 1614 work “Nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle.” Linked here is a free download of the sheet music, and this link has the text to all four verses here. I believe I made my accompaniment from a midi file – I’ve shared it below, if you’d like to sing along 😊 For this video, I’ve combined two performances – the first is from the musical pre-show I designed for Coronado Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” and the second is from my undergraduate senior recital many years ago (I was 18) 😉…

  • Music & Theatre

    The Secret of Happiness

    Happy #WeeklyWednesday! I love this song from the musical “Daddy Long Legs” and really enjoyed making this video – I hope you like it, too!  “Daddy Long Legs” has music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John Caird, based on the charming 1912 novel by Jean Webster (it’s a very sweet read!). You can sing along to the accompaniment I used by clicking here. Thanks to “The Accompanist” channel for the great track! If you like this song, check out “Like Other Girls,” also from Daddy Long Legs 😊 Thank you for watching, and see you next week! #AshleyWagnerArts

  • Music & Theatre

    Come Again (John Dowland)

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a Renaissance piece composed by John Dowland (lyrics anonymous), published in his 1597 First Booke of Songes or Ayres. My performance comes from the musical pre-show I designed for Coronado Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  I won awards from both the Coronado Playhouse and San Diego ACT (Aubrey Awards) for my work on and in the show – for sound design, musical direction, and acting (as Ursula/Balthasar)!  It was a wonderful challenge that has inspired a lot of very enjoyable work!   That production was also just incredibly fun to be involved in, particularly because of the dear friends I made from my “By’r…