PLYMOUTH — PSU faculty members Elizabeth Daily and Allan DiBiase will present a program titled Living in the Moment featuring poems set to music, Thursday through Saturday, September 25–27, at the Silver Center for the Arts. Performances are Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall.
The program developed from research Daily conducted during a sabbatical leave regarding how close the speaking voice could be in relation to the singing voice. One result of her investigation was collaboration with DiBiase on a program of poetry read with accompaniment of music by familiar composers and improvisation by DiBiase.
Daily says, “I have so enjoyed the discovery of seeing poems set to music and how even the reading of the pieces can be enhanced with musical accompaniment.” The poems that do not have composed music now have what the performers call ‘textural music,’ which although improvised, provides additional support to the poet’s words.
The program primarily presents music by composers Daron Aric Hagen (1961-) and Ricky Ian Gordon (1956-). Daily says, “Here we have poems set for singers by two contemporary American composers. In our performance, the piano accompaniments and sometimes the melodic lines composed for the singers make up the piano underscore for the spoken poetry.” Poets in this group include Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Parker, Paul Muldoon, Kim Roberts, Jane Kenyon, Alice Wirth Gray, Ray Underwood, Marie Howe and Frank O’Hara. DiBiase improvised the piano underscoring for the poetry of Liz Ahl, William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, May Sarton, Philip Booth, Jason Shinder and Rainer Maria Rilke.
Daily is professor of acting and voice/diction at Plymouth State. She holds a B.A. in speech and dramatic art and a M.Ed. counseling from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned her M.F.A. in acting at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she taught acting and drama appreciation. Her professional work also includes directing, voice/speech coaching and video/voice-over for commercial and educational purposes. She also teaches sign language at PSU and has developed an actor training pedagogy utilizing sign language.
DiBiase is a collaborative pianist in the PSU Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance where he is a frequent recitalist with students and faculty. For many years before moving to Sandwich, DiBiase was a vocal accompanist in recital in the New York metropolitan area. He has worked with Opera North, the Cooperative, the Sandwich Singers, the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts and a variety of freelance engagements around New England. Dr. DiBiase retired from Franklin Pierce University where he was associate professor in philosophy of the arts in the Doctor of Arts program in leadership.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.