Jennifer Rowley premieres “Inspirazione”

This winter, Jennifer Rowley premiered her new recital program Inspirazione at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music with pianist Jason Aquila. Curated by Rowley, the program is based not only on composers who worked their song melodies into their operas, but also represents the music that has inspired her career thus far.

Featuring songs and arias that inspired her career and vocal journey, the program chronologically takes you through the art songs and arias of Bellini, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. The bel canto repertoire started her operatic career after she stepped in for a colleague at the Caramoor Festival as the title role of Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan in 2010. Following, she moves into the Romantic period, singing songs of Verdi which culminate with his aria “Pace, pace mio Dio” from La Forza del Destino, which Ms. Rowley has performed often over the last several seasons on concert stages across the globe. She continues on to Wagner, performing “Einsam in truben tagen” (Elsa’s Dream) from Lohengrin, an opera she considers to be his most Italianate and lyric, and heavily influenced by the writing of Verdi.

The program concludes with “Un bel di vedremo” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, in which she is set to make her title role and house debut at Teatro Verdi di Salerno this April. Of Puccini’s influence on her career, Jennifer mentions in her program notes, “[This] role has inspired me more than any other I have undertaken. Puccini has played a major role in my career,” and Cleveland Classical further reiterated the impact of Puccini on Jennifer, hailing her premiere of Inspiriazone saying:

“The music of Puccini, though, with its heart-forward affect and relatable drama, was where Rowley felt most at home. In three early Puccini songs on the program — which were later developed by the composer into operatic grist in La RondineManon Lescaut, and La bohème — she offered a big, clear singing presence and convincing emotion. Her “Un bel dì, vedremo” from Madama Butterfly (sung by Cio-Cio San, a role that has inspired Rowley “more than any she has undertaken”) was suitably wrenching without seeming maudlin. A highpoint to the evening, it was deserving of the encore that followed, “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi.”


Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)
Malinconia, ninfa gentile, from Sei Ariette, No. 1
Il fervido desiderio, from Tre Ariette, No. 1
Per Pieta bell’idol mio, from Sei Ariette, No. 5
“Casta Diva che inargenti” from Norma

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
From Seste Romanze
No. 1 Non t’accostare all’urna
No. 4 Nell’orror di notte oscura
No. 6 Deh, pietoso, oh Addolorata
“Pace, Pace mio Dio” from La Forza del Destino

10 Minute Pause

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
From Wesendonk Lieder
No. 1 Der Engel
No. 4 Schmerzen
No. 5 Traume
“Einsam in truben tagen” (Elsa’s Dream) from Lohengrin

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Mentia, l’avviso
Sole e amore
“Un bel di vedremo” from Madama Butterfly

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