Glitter And Be Gay Noten

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Getting “Glitter and Be Gay” to Glitter and Be Gay

I had a ball working with a student on “Glitter and Be Gay” from Bernstein’s Candide this week. We took the song completely apart and got some fun ideas for practice when approaching an song of this technical magnitude.

These were just some of the tools we used to groove the song into the voice in a pleasant and healthy way.

I’d be anxious to learn other fun ways of learning vocal repertoire. What are your go-to examples?

Getting “Glitter and Be Gay” to Glitter and Be Gay

Glitter and Be Gay (from Candide)

Piano, Vocal – Difficulty: difficultComposed by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Vocal. Broadway, 20th Century and Opera. Single piece. With vocal melody, lyrics and piano accompaniment. 14 pages. Published by Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Co. (HL.450020).

Piano, Vocal – Difficulty: difficultComposed by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Vocal. Broadway, 20th Century and Opera. Single piece. With vocal melody, lyrics and piano accompaniment. 14 pages. Published by Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Co. (HL.450020).

 Glitter and Be Gay (from Candide)

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Famous interpretations of GLITTER AND BE GAY

 Barbara Cook was the first Cunegonde. The casting team then had great difficulty finding a suitable person who could manage the high notes. Bernstein selected her personally and coached her for this difficult role. She compared the singing of this piece with an athletic record. On the recording, one no longer feels the drudgery, the joy of singing in this piece is contagious.

You hear another interpretation by Scarlett Strallen. She makes the Royal Albert Hall boil.

June Anderson was the Cunegonde of Bernstein’s 1989 revision. We hear her with Leonard Bernstein himself at the desk.

It is no coincidence that Diane Damrau and Natalie Dessay sang the aria of cunegonde. Both were also famous queens of the night, in whose spirit Bernstein also composed “Glitter and be gay”, the union of parody and coloratura.

Famous interpretations of GLITTER AND BE GAY

One thought on “Getting “Glitter and Be Gay” to Glitter and Be Gay”

These are great, Justin! I also am fond of taking rhythm out of the pitch-learning. Sometimes people rely on a certain rhythmic impetus to get to a particular note, and taking that away can add a new perspective on “how to get there”. On the other hand, one can play with rhythm to CREATE a rhythmic impetus where there is none in the original piece. Both are enlightening.

The variations of articulation are very valuable for “getting the notes into your head”.

One could do several blog posts about the text side of things too. That can be a whole other exploration that helps the song come alive. Cheers, Brian

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Program Notes

Cunegonde’s aria Glitter and Be Gay is a performance of a performance, a show-stopping coloratura solo in which the character describes how she has been „forced to bend my soul to a sordid role“ of being the caged slave of the Grand Inquisitor and Don Issachar. The character switches back and forth between her disgust at her situation and her temptation at the jewelry, furs, and champagne that come with her new status.

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Ratings + Reviews

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A student – high school soprano – chose this to sing because she loves Candide, and it is a big challenge for her. It stays up in the higher register, and really gives her some high notes to stretch for.

Very difficult piano part, but then what else would one expect from Lenny Bernstein? Oh, and the vocal part is exceptionally challenging, too.

Glitter and be Gay is a wonderful song. It is such fun. The arrangment at times is VERY difficult but GREAT if you are like me and Love a good challenge. It is for a Soprano and does goes up quite high. OVERALL LOVE IT!!!!

I think this is such a great song for a soprano who wants to sing the high notes! Its advanced with coloratura passages and a chance to act! Dramatic for sure!

This brilliant aria from Candide is one of the most difficult of Bernstein’s works, and lots of sopranos try to perform it–some successfully, others so successfully. However, if the soprano has the instrument appropriate for this music, slow, methodical work over a long period of time…

will certainly provide the basis for many successful performances–and as a coach/vocal instructor, I can definitely advise you to make sure you get a competent pianist, while you’re at it. Nothing can sabotage a great singer quite so much as a rotten pianist! If I were to recommend another not-so-difficult modern piece of the same genre, I would suggest „Fair Robin I Love“ from Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe.

by Max Derrickson

Leonard Bernstein(Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918; died in New York City in 1990)

In 1759 Voltaire penned his classic tale, Candide, ou L’Optimisme, of a naïve lad’s travels during which he learns some cold life lessons. Armed with his teacher’s advice, “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds,” the young Candide finds this hyper-optimism challenged as he suffers an absurdist litany of tragedies, eventually returning home rather cynical yet wiser. The tale has an ironic charm and humor that still resounds.

Composer Leonard Bernstein identified very strongly with the young Candide, but it took another writer to persuade him to turn Voltaire’s story into music. Author-screenwriter Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) approached Bernstein in 1953 [. . .]

From the outset, though, various numbers have been beloved for the masterpieces that they are, including the showstopper sung by Candide’s sweetheart’s, Cunegonde, “Glitter and Be Gay.” It’s satirical and over-the-top, all the while maintaining [. . .]

Max Derrickson | Program Note Writer | Global | (+351) 938 719 387 | Credits ©2012-2019

Glitter and Be Gay digital sheet music. Contains printable sheet music plus an interactive, downloadable digital sheet music file.

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