Event Name: CCM Thinking About Music Lecture Series
Event Locator: 2023-ACBCMS
1:30 p.m. Friday, March 22
The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Thinking About Music Lecture Series
THE PRIMA DONNA AS TEACHER: PAULINE VIARDOT AND HER STUDENTS
Hilary Poriss, Chair and Professor of Musicology at Northeastern University
The silence surrounding 19th-century singers, particularly following retirement, is often deafening. Not only were many of their accomplishments quickly forgotten, but their voices also faded quickly into oblivion. Active just prior to the age of recording, one of the only ways that performers could ensure that their voices would continue to resonate was through their students. Pauline Viardot (1821-1911), one of the 19th-century’s most renowned divas, managed to maintain a rigorous schedule as a pedagogue as professor of singing at the Paris Conservatoire (1871-1875) and in her private studio throughout much of her adult life. In total, Viardot instructed more than 350 men and women, many of whom went on to achieve fame on the international stage (Ada Adini, Désirée Artôt, and Aglaja Orgeni are just a few). In this talk, Poriss will explore Viardot’s relationships with her singers, traces of which are scattered throughout her prolific correspondence. She will address the close connections that Viardot formed with some of her students, tracing her relationships with them through their correspondence. The image that emerges is of a teacher dedicated to perpetuating her own unique style while simultaneously encouraging a group of young artists to invent themselves anew.
Location: Baur Room