I’ve been hearing from friends and former students this past while, and it is such a delight to hear that folks are continuing to sing and create.  One has had a TV pilot accepted by CBS in Hollywood, another is singing in Germany, others are continuing their pursuits in Tokyo, Cleveland, and the Bay Area.

What a delight to be part of these lives and to remember how my teachers influenced me–all the voice teachers, choir conductors, English teachers and my yoga instructor, who said “You think you know your limitations but I can see your potential.”

I learn so much from my students, sometimes I think I should pay them!

Enjoying the quiet time by exercising while memorizing the Bunnies opera.  Such beautiful music and fun–I so rarely get to be funny onstage.

This character is a hoot and I am having a blast learning about her as I try out her lines on my walks,  It also keeps strangers from approaching me, because I am reacting to the music in my head.

So, our set designer, Lisa French, has asked for help with sewing bunnies.  We don’t need 334 of them but could use some help.  Anyone out there handy with a needle?  I’ll send you a patter and you can have a close-up on some rehearsals and our eternal thanks.

334 Bunnies, the opera

Thursday January 26, 8pm Longy School, Harvard Square

Saturday February 4, 4:00 St. John’s in Jamaica Plain

334 Bunnies by Lisa French


This fun, clever and tuneful opera will be seen and heard                      (world premiere!)

Thursday January 26, 2012, 8:00pm at the Longy School of Music, Cambridge MA www.longy.edu

Saturday February 4 at 4:00pm at St. John’s Church in Jamaica Plain, MA www.jpconcerts.org

and Saturday May 19 in Shirley MA at the Shirley Meeting House www.shirleymeetinghouse.org

Francine Trester wrote the words and music.   A charming story about a woman who has too many bunnies and the officer of the law sent to shut her down.  Their musical sparring touches upon a variety of themes: individual freedom, civil disobedience, and the nature of love itself. Appropriate for adults and children, approximately 1 hour long. www.FrancineTrester.com

I play the rather, um, eccentric woman with the bunnies; Donald Wilkinson is Officer O’Hare (get it?) and our orchestra is the Mockingbird Trio with Fran Trester on violin, Scott Woolweaver on viola and John McDonald at the piano.

Sets by Lisa French (a taste of her art, above and at www.lfrenchillustration.com), directed by Brenda L. Huggins

Today I led  260 Senior Citizens singing  “My Girlin harmony at the Elder Expo in Boston.  Can’t get better than that, or can it?

Upcoming:  Classes start soon at Longy, NEC and the United South End Settlements (where the hip Seniors find me on Wednesday afternoons).

High Holidays on Cape Cod–I am the cantorial soloist and cannot resist this chavurah (not a congregation, but a great group) that does NOT CHARGE ANYTHING for High Holiday seats (or even to belong).  How 60’s is that? http://ahycc.org/

Just finished a wonderful conference for singing teachers–New England NATS–where I learned even more about singing cabaret style and using my “non-legit”  voice.  Even (especially) singing teachers want to be able to be non-legit…

Upcoming:  A new piece by John McDonald on Elizabeth Bennet’s shakuhachi recital at Tufts onOctober 16 (3 PM at Tufts)…come to this free concert and find out what a shakuhachi sounds like.

334 Bunnies in January, February and May (Longy School, JP Concerts and Shirley Meeting House, in that order).  More to come!

Saturday, May 7, 4:00 pm,

Mockingbird Trio, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain

Corner of Roanoke and Revere, near Green St. station.

$10 suggsted donation

I am so delighted to revisit the song cycle, Songs of Time, of Love, of Wonder, for this concert.  Douglas Johnson, a long-time friend and colleague from California, wrote this 5-song cycle in 1995 for me, on texts chosen by Aina and me–May Sarton, Emily Dickinson and a Latvian folk poet.  We have recorded these songs professionally (see recordings page if you’re interested).

Now, Douglas is reworking the songs to include a bit of viola in some of the songs, which make it even more satisfying to include on a Mockingbird Trio program.

And we are revisiting Eric Sawyer’s Levertov Songs, along with songs of other composers from our original Poet Power concert.  Because May 7 is Brahms’ birthday (don’t you all celebrate your favorite composers’ birthdays?), we’ll include some of his works as well.

And John McDonald will likely play some of his fabulous solo  piano pieces.

Come join us for a lovely hour of chamber music and still have enough daylight to take a walk in the Arboretum!

please note we have postponed the opera, 334 Bunnies to next year.  It will be a hoppin’ production when it arrives…

Tuesday April 12, 2011, 1:30-2:00pm
Grand Staircase,
Massachusetts State House, Beacon Hill

The Platinum Singers, a group of elder singers with heart, voices and great attitude (see the teaching page on my site for a video of this group) will be performing as part of an art exhibit opening called Violence Transformed. www.violencetransformed.org

One of our songs is “1,000 Grandmothers” written by Holly Near.
The Platinum Singers rehearse weekly at the Harriet Tubman House of the United South End Settlements (www.USES.org). Come hear us or join us next Fall.

By the way, the fellow who made the video about our singing group (which is actually a voice class), Scott LaPierre, recently won a journalism award for his great work. Go Scott!

Mockingbird Trio in Jamaica Plain
Thursday February 10, 2011
$10 suggested donation

Songs about daily life: raccoons in the garbage, messy houses, pets, running late, and of course, love.
Music by Francine Trester, premieres by John McDonald and yours truly, French songs of last century by Charles Martin Loeffler (friend of Isabel Stewart Gardner) and others.
The Trio: Elizabeth Anker, contralto (and piano)
Scott Woolweaver, viola
John McDonald, piano

Save the date: the trio concludes our JP concerts season with the premiere of Francine Trester’s new OPERA:
334 Bunnies
Based on a true story of an eccentric woman who is visited by a policeman intent on shutting down her menagerie.
A lovely, tuneful one-act opera with Philip Lima and Elizabeth Anker, and a trio in the pit, our group plus the composer on violin. With stage set by Lisa French.
Saturday May 7, 2011, 4:00pm at St. John’s Church, Jamaica Plain.
Repeated at Longy School of Music on Thursday June 9 in the evening.

Mockingbird Trio in Jamaica Plain
Saturday November 20, 2010

One lovely hour of chamber music–songs about birds and nature by Francine Trester, John McDonald, and 2 new songs by me!
Suggested donation: $10
We’re doing a series at this lovely church.
St. John’s Episcopal, 7 Revere Street at Roanoke in Jamaica Plain.
Come back in February for Domestic Affairs and in May for the world premiere of “334 Bunnies” by Fran Trester with Phil Lima, baritone and yours truly.

And here’s our new art, by Lisa French:


The most recent recording is out and it is gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Some of the pieces were “in the can” for nearly 10 years and it’s a joy to hear them. We (Magnificat Baroque, 8 virtuoso women singers plus theorbo and organ) recorded the rest of the works of this amazing composer and that CD should be out by Christmas.