Valentine's Day and love songs go together like sugar and tooth decay, and mezzo-soprano Ann Hart will perform a valentine concert that should satisfy even the weakest-kneed romantics. Joined by pianist Michael Cordovana, violist Osman Kivrak and the Eakins String Quartet, Hart will sing songs of love. Along with the unifying theme, Hart said, all the pieces in the first half of the show are "sunny Italian songs."
Hart will perform Respighi's "Il Tramonto" which, she said, "is one of the juiciest things he ever wrote." The concert, held at the Kay Spiritual Life Center at American University, will also feature works by Donaudy, Brahms and Berger. Hart, daughter of the late senator Philip Hart, says the performance concludes with a medley of five "really corny songs" from different operettas.
Clearly, Hart doesn't mind the corniness. "I have a fantasy of the audience holding hands and sighing amorously," she said. The evening, which is free , concludes with an aphrodisiac reception of champagne and chocolates.
In addition to celebrating love, the concert celebrates the inauguration of the annualMackinac Island Music Festival in Michigan, which Hart directs. "There are lots of people from here who go to Michigan in the summertime," said the singer. She hopes this concert will help get people interested in and aware of the festival. Hart decided to do a Valentine's concert because the holiday "was on a Friday and it seemed like a good idea," she explained. "I wanted it to be love songs, and I also wanted it to be a substantial repertoire." Asked if this will become an annual event, Hart said, "Why not? That's a good idea."