CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 17, 2000
Lyric baritone John Muriello to sing Schubert's 'Schoene Muellerin' March
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- John Muriello, a lyric baritone whose repertoire has
extended all the way from J.S. Bach's B-minor Mass to grand opera, Broadway
and Gilbert and Sullivan, will perform Franz Schubert's dramatic song cycle
"Die Schoene Muellerin" (The beautiful milleress) with pianist Todd
Sisley in a University of Iowa faculty recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 30
in Clapp Recital Hall.
Muriello's campus performances have extended as widely as his professional
engagements, including serious European art songs, American pop and Broadway
songs, a light-hearted one-man musical re-telling of Charles Dickens' "A
Christmas Carol" and the direction of musical productions for the UI
School of Music. This will be his first performance on campus of music that
many consider to be the touchstone for serious singers, Lieder, or German
songs, by Franz Schubert.
Schubert was a prolific composer of songs, completing more than 600 of them
in his brief lifetime. Many were written as single, separate pieces, lyrical
settings of individual poems. Although many of these individual songs are
miniature masterpieces, it is Schubert's song cycles -- groups of related
songs that tell a unified, dramatic story -- that are considered the culminating
works of his career.
Both of Schubert's great song cycles -- "Die Schoene Muellerin,"
composed in 1823, and "Die Winterreise" (The winter's journey),
composed in 1827 -- use sentimental language to tell a story of unrequited
love. The poetry is of modest literary quality, but its regular meter, vivid
imagery and strong emotional content suited Schubert's style and inspired
him deeply. Both cycles are popular with singers and audiences alike.
"Die Schoene Muellerin" is the story of a young miller's apprentice
who decides to follow a brook into the valley below. Arriving at a mill he
applies for work, and soon falls deeply in love with the miller's daughter.
He passes a few happy days in the illusion that she loves him also, until
a hunter arrives and draws the admiring attention of the miller's daughter.
In complete desolation and despair, the apprentice finds the resolution to
his hopeless love by drowning himself in the brook.
Muriello joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997. His
most recent engagements include performances as Captain Corcoran in "H.M.S.
Pinafore" and Nathan Hershkowits in "Rags" for Seaside Music
Theater. In the fall of 1998 he made his directing debut with the UI School
of Music production of the musical comedy "The Fantasticks," and
he directed the School of Music production of "She Loves Me" in
Muriello has performed operatic and musical theater roles with Opera Carolina,
the Banff Centre in Canada, L'Opera Francais of New York, Skylight Opera Theater,
Ohio Light Opera and the Southeastern Savoyards of Atlanta. He performed as
the Narrator and Mysterious Man in Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and
Marcello in "La Boheme" for Lyric Opera Cleveland. Other roles have
ranged from Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" to Voltaire in
He has also performed in concert and recital throughout the Midwest and
the Southeast, singing in performances of Vaughan Williams' "Five Mystical
Songs" and "Hodie," the Brahms "Requiem" and the
Bach Mass in B minor.
He was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in North Carolina, in
the Washington International Competition and the Louise D. McMahon International
Song Competition in Oklahoma, and toured two seasons with the Mantovani Orchestra.
Todd Sisley's musical experience has included collaborations with a wide
variety of artists, including saxophonist Harry Kinross White, cellist Carlos
Prieto, the Chester String Quartet, the New York Chamber Ensemble, American
Chamber Opera, Circle Repertory Theatre, the Boston Viol Consort and the Lake
George Opera Festival. He was a musical partner to actress Jean Stapelton
in the New York premiere of Lee Hoiby's "The Italian Lesson" and
"Bon Appetit!" and was chosen by the composer as musical director
of the premiere of his one-act opera, 'This is the Rill Speaking."
Sisley has performed at the Brisbane (Australia) Biennial of Music, and
in recital halls in Amsterdam, Hannover, Heidelberg, London, San Francisco
and Boston, and in Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall in New York. The recipient
of two fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Center and a master's degree
in accompanying and chamber music from the University of Michigan, he is active
as a collaborative pianist in the New York metropolitan area.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Die Schoene Muellerin is pronounced approximately:
dee SHOOR-neh MUE-leh-reen.)