“A Historical Glimpse of Cabaret in its Traditional and Contemporary Forms Through the Music of Satie, Poulenc, Weill, Schoenberg, Britten and Moore”

Presentation with Denise Ritter Bernardini 

Denise Ritter Bernardini is currently on voice faculty at University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Denise has taught at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. Ms. Ritter has extensive Oratorio experience with performances under the batons of world-renowned conductors such as Robert Shaw and John Rutter. She has
performed with orchestras such as Fort Worth Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic the Symphony of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Symphony as well as many other symphonic organizations. Ms. Ritter’s Operatic roles include her recently performed Mother in Amahl and The Night Visitors, La Traviata in
Charlottesville Virginia as Violetta as well as with Master Works Festival, after receiving rave reviews Ms. Ritter was asked to return as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville Virginia. Other leading roles in opera include Hanna in The Merry Widow, ChoChoka in The Cunning Little Vixen, Yum Yum in The Mikado
and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. Her recital work is equally impressive and has collaborated with coaches and accompanists such as Steven Blier, Martin Katz, Marilyn Horn, Julian Kwok, Sherill Milnes and Paul Sperry. While completing her Doctoral degree at the University of Oklahoma Denise studied with the incomparable Marilyn
Horn and Dr. Dolores Leffingwell. Ms. Ritter has been a soloist in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops as well as the Actor’s Club in New York. Ms. Ritter has received several prominent awards, some of which are from the Metropolitan Opera, American Traditions Competition and the Benton- Schmidt Contest and the National Federation of Music Clubs. Ms. Ritter’s upcoming performances include a solo appearance with Ft. Wayne Symphony, Manchester Symphony and Tulsa Symphony as well as a collaborative recital with faculty from University of Toledo. Denise is also artistic director for The Art Song Festival and Workshops held every Toledo Ohio.


The purpose of this presentation is to provide singer, accompanist and listener a historical reference to cabaret songs. Additionally for the singer and accompanist it is a guide to performance practice of selected cabaret songs from the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, written by selected composers who worked from 1900 to the present. The chosen composers are Erik Satie (Dive de l’empire, Je te veux), Francis Poulenc (Torèador, A sa guitar), Arnold Schoenberg (Galathea, Gigerlette, Der Genüngsame Liebhaber, Mahnung), Kurt Weill (Je ne t’aime pas, Youkali), Benjamin Britten (Calypso, Funeral Blues), and Benjamin Moore (See How a Flower Blossoms, Let the Walls Fall Down). The traditions for both past and modern cabaret songs are discussed and demonstrated.

In the last twenty years, there has been a revival of cabaret music and cabaret establishments, especially in New York City. Moreover, an ever-increasing demand for
classical singers to crossover into popular and musical theater genres has caused a rise in the need for further studies in the literature of this genre and its stylistic practices. Classical singers who are trained in the traditional sense of vocal technique find modern performance practice of popular styles such as cabaret difficult to manage. Therefore this presentation will give them a reference point from which to start.

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"