About Scena Music Publishing

Rachel Harris is a free-lance stage director of operas and operettas. Charles Effler is the director of the opera program at Southeastern Louisiana University. They have collaborated on several university productions since 2008.

Harris discovered Pauline Viardot’s songs while working on her DMA in vocal performance. She eventually sang a Viardot set on one of her doctoral recitals, and presented a shortened, translated version of Cendrillon (in which she also sang the role of the Fairy Godmother and assembled and directed the cast) in lieu of a more traditional lecture recital.

Effler was aware of a handful of Viardot’s songs that appear in French art song anthologies but was unfamiliar with Cendrillon until he met Harris. For the spring of 2013 he mounted a production of the operetta, double billed as Fairy Tales and paired with a one hour version of Humperdinck’s Hansel. Harris completed the translation and Effler orchestrated the score for a small chamber orchestra of 20 players.

Reception to the operetta, the translation and the orchestrations were so positive that Effler spent the summer of that year editing and re-engraving the piano score with the new translation. The pair gave a presentation on the translation and orchestrations at the 2014 national convention of the National Opera Association (which was combined with the 2014 NATS Mid-Winter Workshop).

It is this score that we humbly present for your perusal. You may purchase the score, license the translation for live performances and arrange to rent the orchestrations here.

Dr. Rachel M. Harris is a free-lance opera director based in Baton Rouge, LA. She began her directing career in 1997 working the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Dr. Harris holds a DMA from Louisiana State University, a MM in Opera from Binghamton University in conjunction with the Tri-Cities Opera Artist Residence Training Program, and a BM in Vocal Performance from Fredonia State University. Dr. Harris is a Guest Artist Stage Director for Heartland Opera Theatre, Joplin; The Varna International Opera Academy, Varna Bulgaria; Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond; The Crane School of Music SUNY Potsdam; and a former Guest Artist Director for the University of Utah, Logan. Her free-lance credits include: Opera Louisiane, Baton Rouge; University of Missouri, Kansas City; Loyola University, New Orleans; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Sam Houston State, Huntsville, TX and Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Her award-winning productions have been recognized by the American Prize Competitions in the Performing Arts, the National Opera Association, and the Big Easy, Tribute to the Classical Arts. Her publication: Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot with English Translation by Rachel M. Harris, Scena Music Publishing, has been widely performed throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Active in the National Opera Association, Dr. Harris has served on the Board of Directors, as the Regional Southern Governor, and sits on several committees. She especially enjoys her work as a preliminary/finalist judge for the NOA Opera Scenes and Opera Production competitions.

For more information, her website: http://rharrisdirector.wixsite.com/rachel-harris-opera

Charles Effler has been the director of the opera program at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La. since 2002. He produces, musically prepares the casts and orchestras and conducts performances of two fully staged productions each academic year. Recent productions include the musical revue, It’s Only Life, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, Street Scene, Peter Pan, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Songs for a New World, La Perichole, Fairy Tales: Hansel & Gretel and Cendrillon (Viardot), The Magic Flute, Puccini: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, The Pirates of Penzance, Die Fledermaus, Too Many Sopranos and The Marriage of Figaro.  He holds BM and MM degrees from Southeastern and is also a member of the accompanying staff at Southeastern.

Pauline Viardot (1821–1910), a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue and composer  was born in Paris to the Garcías, a Spanish opera  family led by her father, tenor,  singing teacher, composer and impresario Manuel García. After her father’s death in 1832, her mother, soprano Joaquína Sitchez took over her singing lessons, and forced her to focus her attention on her voice and away from the piano. She had wanted to become a professional concert pianist and had taken piano lessons with the young Franz Liszt. She remained an outstanding pianist all her life, and often played duets with her friend Frédéric Chopin (who approved of her arranging some of his mazurkas as songs). She married Loius Viardot, an author and the director of the Théâtre Italien; he was 39 or 40, she 18. He was devoted to her and became the manager of her career.

Renowned for her wide vocal range and her dramatic roles on stage, Viardot’s performances inspired composers such as Frédéric Chopin, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Giacomo Meyerbeer.

After 24 years Viardot retired from the stage. She and her family left France due to her husband’s public opposition to Emperor Napeoleon III and settled in Baden-Baden, Germany. After the fall of Napoleon they returned to France, where she taught at the Paris Conservatory and, until her husband’s death in 1883, presided over a music salon in the Boulvard Saint-Germain.

Viardot began composing when she was young, but it was never her intention to become a composer. Her compositions were written mainly as private pieces for her students with the intention of developing their vocal abilities. She did the bulk of her composing at Baden-Baden. Her works, however, were of professional quality and admired by Franz Liszt, among others. Between 1864 and 1874 she wrote three salon operas (operas written with piano accompaniment, intended for her students to perform at one of her many musical evenings in her salon) to libretti by Ivan Turgenev, and over fifty songs. Her remaining two salon operas were to her own libretti. It is not known when Viardot composed Cendrillon, but the first performance was in 1904. She also wrote instrumental compositions, often for violin and piano. Among her arrangements are vocal arrangements of instrumental works by Chopin, Brahms, Haydn and Schubert.