• Music & Theatre

    Aveva na gallina capelluta

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is another duet with my adopted sister, Renee Ulloa-McDonald 😃 This video is from a musical pre-show I designed for Coronado Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and this piece is probably my favorite of our duets! “Aveva na gallina capelluta” was composed by Antonio Scandello (1517-1580). I was first exposed to this (and many other early and Renaissance pieces I’ve come to love) while living in Naples, Italy, and singing with an a capella choir (check out their lovely performance of this piece here). That’s another experience I’m so grateful for, and from which I have many happy memories 😊 “Much Ado About Nothing” was…

  • Music & Theatre

    Vecchie letrose

    Today’s #WeeklyWednesday is a duet with my adopted sister, Renee Ulloa-McDonald 😃 This video is from a musical pre-show I designed for Coronado Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and it was so much fun performing these pieces with her!! “Vecchie letrose” was composed by Adrian Willaert and first published in 1545 in Canzone villanesche alla napolitana, no. 5. I’ve seen the text both in Italian and also in Neapolitan; our version is using the Italian text, and you can download the SATB arrangement in Italian for free here. Paul Archer has the text in Neapolitan with a nice translation into English, plus more info about 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

    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

    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…