A little night music


“Could you draw those drapes, please,” Andrea Holliday, AB’80, directed the Fulton Recital Hall manager, referring to the curtains framing the stage’s rear window. With that the soprano, enveloped in a full fur coat, her hair curled and piled atop her head, announced in front of ten or so early audience members, “I am going to go put my dress on,” and exited Goodspeed Hall’s fourth-floor theater.

Ten minutes later Thomas Wikman, Holliday’s husband and accompanying pianist, ventured out to the hallway calling, “Andrea, the hour has come.” Time proved a relative concern for Holliday. Outfitted in a dark velvet evening gown, she initiated her concert, Night Songs at Midday, with four arias about nighttime, including “Chere Nuit,” written by Alfred Bachelet for soprano Nellie Melba, to whom peach melba and melba toast are also dedicated. Holliday rounded out the recital with a challenge to her pianist husband. Offering four songs by Tchaikovsky, she explained to the audience of 20 or so, “Tchaikovsky was not really a pianist and so did not show them a lot of mercy.”

Meredith Meyer, ’06

Photo: Wikman and Holliday perform.

November 21, 2005