Press Room

Kate Royal’s “Lesson in Love”

Kate Royal’s new album, A Lesson in Love, which will be released in the U.S. on March 8, raises the curtain on a busy spring season for the British soprano in North America, beginning in March when Royal appears with the Boston Symphony for an imaginatively-programmed concert of music inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Soon after, Royal heads to New York to begin rehearsals for her Metropolitan Opera debut in April, and in May she gives a three-city recital tour that will feature the program from the new album.
In the liner notes for A Lesson in Love, Royal explains the wide-ranging repertoire she has collected together, with songs spanning two centuries, three languages and 17 composers:
“‘A Lesson in Love’ is a song cycle that I have devised, telling the story of a young girl’s first experience of love.  The cycle is in four chapters:  Waiting, The Meeting, The Wedding and Betrayal.  You will notice as you follow the texts that this is a monologue sung from the girl’s perspective.  We travel with her on her journey from an eager anticipation of love to her marriage and the sudden and heartbreaking realization that she has been betrayed. … Performing them in this way gives one the chance to really experience the core emotion of each song.  It also gives the poems a place within a larger picture and, I hope, shines a light on these marvellous miniature works.”
A Lesson in Love weaves both favorites and rarities – from German lieder and French melodies to English and American songs – into a tapestry of rich and varied emotion.  The album begins in a state of longing captured by William Bolcom’s “Waitin,” and makes its way to the blossoming of romance and the joy of a love fulfilled.   But pain and anger darken the horizon as our heroine experiences the disappointment and sadness of a broken relationship.  The album comes full circle – with a bittersweet reprise of “Waitin’” for the final track – as the girl finds acceptance and some renewed hope about what her future love life might hold. 
Royal points out in the album notes that “some of these songs are new to me and some are old friends.” All of them feature pianist Malcolm Martineau as Royal’s expert collaborator.
Although opera is a mainstay in Royal’s fast-rising career, she devotes half her season to recital work.  In an interview with London’s Independent, Royal explained, “I am all about direct expression. I enjoy being close to the audience, seeing their eyes, feeling that connection.”  A complete tracklist for the new album follows below, and the soprano discusses it briefly here: 
Royal’s previous albums for EMI Classics included two highly acclaimed programs with orchestra:  the self-titled Kate Royal, with Edward Gardner conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and Midsummer Night, with Gardner conducting the Orchestra of the English National Opera. Newark’s Star Ledger gave the former a four-star rave, noting, “With her cut-glass features and flowing brunette mane, Kate Royal looks like a shrewd, seductive femme fatale out of a James Bond film. But the English soprano, 28, is a serious artist whose debut recital is a gem of variety and emotional resonance.”  Royal also appears this month as the soprano soloist on Simon Rattle’s new EMI Classics recording of Mahler’s Symphony, No. 2, “Resurrection,” with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Royal is singing the “Lesson in Love” program in many recitals this season and beyond, including three performances in North America:  Montreal (May 16), New York (Carnegie’s Weill Hall, May 20) and San Francisco (May 24).  This spring, she will also perform concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (March 25 and 26) and make her debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (April 29 – May 14).  
A Lesson in Love
Kate Royal, soprano
Malcolm Martineau, piano
CD and downloads available March 8, 2011
Track list
1. William Bolcom:  Waitin’ (Cabaret Songs, Vol. 1)
2. Robert Schumann:  Jemand (Myrthen, Op. 25: no 4)
3. Hugo Wolf:  Die Kleine 
4. Franz Liszt: Es muss Wunderbares sein  
5. Claude Debussy:  Apparition
6. Hugo Wolf:  O wär dein Haus (Italienesches Liederbuch No. 40)
7. Hugo Wolf:  Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens (Mörike-Lieder No. 42)
8. Franz Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade
9. Franz Schubert: Rastlose Liebe
10. Paulo Tosti:  Pour un baiser!
11. Trad. arr. Joseph Cangeloube: Tchut, tchut (Chants d’Auvergne: Vol. 4)
12. Frank Bridge:  Love Went A-riding
13. Aaron Copland: Pastorale 
14. Amy Beach: Ah, Love But a Day 
15. Robert Schumann: Lied der Braut I (Myrthen, Op. 25: no 11)
16. Robert Schumann: Lied der Braut I (Myrthen, Op. 25: no 12)
17. Maurice Ravel: Chanson de la mariée (Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques, no 1.)
18. Gabriel Fauré: Donc, ce sera par un clair jour d’été (La bonne chanson, Op. 61: no 7)
19. Richard Strauss: Hochzeitlich Lied 
20. Henri Duparc: Extase 
21. Johannes Brahms: Am Sonntag Morgen 
22. Franz Schubert: Die Männer sind méchant (Vier Refrainlieder, no 3)
23. Franz Schubert:  Du liebst mich nicht
24. Trad. Arr. Benjamin Britten: O Waly, Waly 
25. Hugo Wolf:  Verschling der Abgrund (Italienischen Liederbuch)
26.  Aaron Copland: Heart, We Will Forget Him (Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, No 5.)
27. Anon.: Danny Boy
28. Trad. arr. Herbert Hughes:  I Will Walk with my Love
29. William Bolcom:  Waitin’ (Cabaret Songs Vol. 1)
Kate Royal:  Upcoming Performances in North America
March 25 and 26
Boston, MA
Concert with Boston Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Adès
April 29 – May 14
New York, NY
Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Euridice)
Metropolitan Opera (debut)
May 16
Montreal, Canada
Recital (A Lesson in Love)
May 20
New York, NY (Carnegie’s Weill Hall)
Recital (A Lesson in Love)
May 24
San Francisco, CA
Recital (A Lesson in Love)

Return to Press Room