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ITALIAN SONG TEXTS
(From the 17th through the 20th Centuries)
By Martha Gerhart
Volumes I and II of the ITALIAN SONG TEXTS contain the song texts from the 17th and 18th
centuries, respectively. (See our Song Texts section of this web site for specific details on these
books). Now that she is finished with the first two volumes, Professor Gerhart is now busy producing volume III, which will contain Italian song texts from the 19th and 20th centuries, combined in one
This staggering project is already well into its fifth year. Our original object was to produce a volume (or maybe two volumes) containing virtually every available* Italian song text from the Baroque through the Contemporary eras. However, after two years of preparatory work, it became more feasable to have four volumes: one each for 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Now we have decided the project can be
completed with three volumes instead of four.With the many innovations inherent in this project, we want to procede carefully in an effort to "get things right the first time." Our first premise is daunting: 1. to enable a student to find the text and IPA of virtually any [published] song in Italian which his/her teacher may assign. 2. If a reader finds a song title or text he/she would like to locate the music for, he/she can refer to the list of [published] sources which will be listed (by number references) along with each song. 3. The publication will include a selection of Neapolitan songs not available elsewhere in this format. 4. All the songs published as a result of the recent interest in "Women Composers" will be included in these publications.
After a career as a vocal coach/pianist based in New York City, Martha Gerhart re-located to Dallas, Texas in 1997 to teach at Southern Methodist University. Since 2004 she has been a free-lance vocal coach/pianist in the Dallas area, visiting vocal coach at the University of Texas at Arlington, and a member of the Dallas Opera's music staff.
Ms. Gerhart was formerly on the music staffs of the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and The San Francisco Opera, and eight times a master coach with the San Frencisco Opera's Merola Opera Training Program. Among the many other performing companies with which she has been associated are the Spoleto Festival, New York City's Mostly Mozart Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, and The Chautauqua Opera. She has presented master classes at many singers' training programs and at colleges and schools of music.
She is the translator of line-by-line translations in many of the Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation's Vocal Library Series, including their Opera Anthologies.
A graduate of Middlebury College (B.A.) and the University of Colorado (M. Mus.), Ms. Gerhart began her professional training in opera as an apprentice student of Boris Goldovsky, studied opera with Luigi Ricci in Rome, and piano with Seymour Bernstein in New York City.
*Availability means not only finding all these songs, but getting permission to use those texts still protected by copyright. In some cases, we expect permission will not be granted, particularly for some of the more contemporary poems. And in some cases, a reasonable amount of time may not allow us to find the grantors of this permission.