Recital: Allyson Bennett '22 MM, Soprano

NEC: Williams Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

NEC's students meet one-on-one each week with a faculty artist to perfect their craft. As each one leaves NEC to make their mark in the performance world, they present a full, professional recital that is free and open to the public. It's your first look at the artists of tomorrow.

Allyson Bennett '22 MM studies Voice with Jane Eaglen and is the recipient of a scholarship made possible by the Perkin Opera Scholarship Fund.

This performance is open to in-person audiences, and can also be viewed via livestream.

Watch livestream from Williams Hall

  • Allyson Bennett '22 MM, soprano
  • Jane Eaglen, studio teacher
  • J.J. Penna, piano
  • Grant Houston, violin
  • Mark Tempesta, tenor
  1. Johann Simon Mayr | "Sommi Dei" from Medea in Corinto


    Sommi Dei

    Sommi Dei che i giuramenti de’ mortali custodite:

    Numi, voi che i tradimenti disvelete e li punite,
    Il mio talamo oltraggiato vendicate per pietà.

    Ma che bramo! …ma che spero?...
    Da me sgombra o rio pensiero.
    Ah! quel cor che m’ha ingannato
    La vendetta a me non dà.

    Te solo invoco, possente Amore.
    Mira: del foco, che m’arde il core;
    Favilla il barbaro in sen non ha.
    Se Nume sei, se tanto puoi,
    Muoviti: i miei son torti tuoi;

    Con ambi è reo d’infedeltà.

    Felice Romani

    Highest Gods

    Highest Gods who keep the oaths of mortals:

    Gods, you who unveil and punish betrayers,
    Avenge my insulted bridal bed out of pity.

    But what I long for! …but what I hope for?...
    Free me from thought or heal me.
    Ah! Revenge does not give me
    That heart which deceived me.

    I invoke only you, mighty Cupid.
    Take aim: for the fire, which burns my heart;
    Favilla the savage doesn’t have it in hers.
    If you are Gods, if you can,
    Move: mine are your wrongs;

    With both of us he is guilty of infidelity.

    Translation by Allyson Bennett

    • Grant Houston, violin
  2. Henri Duparc

    Chanson triste
    La Fuite


    Chanson triste

    Dans ton cœur dort un clair de lune,

    un doux clair de lune d’été,
    Et pour fuir la vie importune
    Je me noierai dans ta clarté.

    J’oublierai le douleurs passées,
    Mon amour,
    quand tu berceras mon triste cœur et me pensées
    Dans le calme aimant de tes bras!

    Tu prendras ma tête malade
    Oh! Quelquefois sur tes genoux,
    et lui diras une ballade
    qui semblera parler de nous,

    Et dans tes yeux pleins de tristesses,
    Dans tes yeux alors je boirai
    tant de baissers et de tendresses
    que peut-être je guérirai…

    Jean Lahor


    Connaissez-vous la blanche tombe,
    Où flotte avec un son plaintif
    L'ombre d'un if?

    Sur l'if une pâle colombe,
    Triste et seule au soleil couchant,
    Chante son chant.

    On dirait que l'âme éveillée
    pleure sous terre à l'unisson
    de la chanson,

    Et du malheur d'être oubliée
    se plaint dans un roucoulement
    bien doucement.

    Ah! jamais plus, près de la tombe,
    Je n'irai, quand descend le soir
    au manteau noir,

    Écouter la pâle colombe
    chanter sur la branche de l'if
    son chant plaintif!

    Théophile Gautier

    La Fuite

    Au firmament sans étoile
    la lune éteint ses rayons,
    La nuit nous prête son voile,
    Fuyons, fuyons!

    Ne crains-tu pas la colère
    de tes frères insolents,
    Le désespoire de ton père,
    De ton père aux sourcils blancs?

    Que m’important mépris, blâme,
    Dangers, maledictions,
    C’est en toi que vit mon âme,
    Fuyons, fuyons!

    Le cœur ne manque, je tremble,
    Et dans mon sein traverse
    de leur kandjar il me semble
    sentir le contact glace!

    Née au désert ma cavale,
    Sur les blés dans les sillons,
    Volerait, des vents rivale,
    Fuyons, fuyons!

    Au désert infranchissable,
    Sans parasol pour jeter
    un peu d’ombre sur le sable,
    Sans tente pour m’abriter…

    Mes cils te feront de l’ombre,
    Et la nuit, la nuit nous dormirons
    sous mes cheveux, tente sombre,
    Fuyons, fuyons!

    Si le mirage illusoire
    nous cachait le vrai chemin,
    Sans vivres, sans eau pour boire,
    Tous deux nous mourrions demain…

    Sous le bonheur mon cœur ploie,
    Si l’eau manque aux stations,
    Bois les larmes de ma joie,
    Fuyons, fuyons!

    Théophile Gautier

    Song of Sadness

    In your heart sleeps moonlight,

    a gentle moonlight of summer,
    And to escape this troublesome life
    I will drown myself in your light.

    I’ll forget past sorrows,
    My love,
    when you cradle my sad heart and my thoughts
    in the calm loving embrace of your arms!

    You’ll take my depressed head
    Oh! On your lap sometimes,
    and tell it a ballad
    that will seem to speak of us,

    And from your sorrowful eyes,
    I will then drink from your eyes
    so many of your kisses and so much of your tenderness

    that perhaps I will be healed.


    Do you know of the white tomb,

    Where a plaintive sound floats,
    The shadow of a yew?

    On the yew is a pale dove,
    Sad and lonely in the setting sun,
    Sings its song.

    One would say an awakened soul
    is weeping in unison
    with the song beneath the earth,

    And from the sorrow of being forgotten
    it complains in a coo
    very gently.

    Ah! Never again will I go near the tomb,
    When the night falls
    in its black cloak,

    To hear the pale dove
    sing on the limb of the branch of a yew
    its mournful song!



    In the starless sky
    the moon extinguishes its rays,
    The night lends us its veil,
    Let’s flee, let’s flee!

    Don’t you fear your
    insolent brothers’ anger?
    The despair of your father,
    Your father with white eyebrows?

    What do I care about scorn, blame,
    dangers, curses?
    It’s you that lives in my soul.
    Let’s flee, let’s flee!

    My heart is failing, I tremble,
    And in my breast I seem
    to feel the icy touch
    of their dagger penetrating!

    My mare, born in the desert,
    Over the wheat, through the fields,
    Would fly on the winds of our enemies,
    Let’s flee, let’s flee!

    To the impassable desert,
    Without an umbrella to cast
    a bit of shadow on the sand,
    Without a tent to shelter me…

    My eyelashes will make some shade for you,
    And at night, at night we’ll sleep
    under my hair, a dark tent.
    Let’s flee, let’s flee!

    If the illusory mirage
    hid from us the true path,
    Without food, without water to drink,
    We would both die tomorrow…

    My heart overflows with happiness,
    So, if the oasis should lack water,
    Drink my tears of joy.
    Let’s flee, let’s flee!

    Translations by Allyson Bennett



    • Mark Tempesta, tenor
  3. Samuel Barber | Andromache's Farewell


    Andromache’s Farewell

    So you must die, my son,

    my best-beloved, my own,
    by savage hands and leave
    your Mother comfortless.
    Hector’s valiant spirit, shield of thousands,
    Is death to his own son.

    My wedding day! it was my sorrow
    that day I came to Hector’s house
    to bear my son. He was to be
    Lord of all Asia and not for Greeks to slaughter.

    My boy, you are weeping.
    Do you know then what awaits you?
    Why do you hold me so?
    clutch at my dress? (a small bird
    seeking shelter under my wing.)
    Hector cannot come back
    with his brave spear to save you.
    He cannot come from the grave
    nor any of his princes.

    Instead, from the height, flung down! oh pitiless!
    head foremost! falling! falling! …
    Thus will your life end.

    Oh dearest embrace, sweet breathing of your body,
    Was it for nothing that I nursed you, that I suffered?
    consumed my heart with cares, all for nothing?

    Now, and never again, kiss your Mother.
    Come close, embrace me, who gave you life.
    Put your arms around me, your mouth on mine…
    And then no more.

    You Greeks, contrivers of such savagery.
    Why must you kill this guiltless child?

    Helen! you they call daughter of God,
    I say you are the spawn of many fathers:
    Malevolence, murder, hate, destruction—
    all the evils that afflict the earth.
    God curse you, Helen, for those eyes that brought
    hideous carnage to the fair fields of Troy.

    Take him then, take him away,
    break his body on the rocks;
    Cast him down, eat his flesh if that is your desire…
    Now the Gods have destroyed us utterly,
    And I can no longer
    conceal my child from death.

    Hide my head in shame;
    Cast me in the ship,
    as to that marriage bed
    across the grave of my own son I come!

    Euripides, translated into English by John Patrick Creagh

  4. Antonín Dvořák | from Cigánské melodie, op. 55

    Má piseň zas mi láskou zni
    Když mne stará matka
    Široké rukávy a šé gate
    Dejte klec jestřábu



    Má píseň zas mi láskou zní

    Má píseň zas mi láskou zní,
    když starý den umírá;
    a chudý mech kdy na šat svůj
    si tajně perle sbíra.

    Má píseň v kraj tak toužně zní,
    když světem noha bloudí;
    jen rodné pusty dálinou
    zpěv volně z ňader proudí.

    Má píseň hlučně láskou zní,
    když bouře běží plání;
    když těším se, že bídy prost

    dlí bratr v umírání.

    Když mne stará matka

    Když mne stará matka zpívat učívala,

    podivno, že často, často slzívala.
    A ted' také pláčem snědé líce mučím,
    když cigánské děti hrát a zpívat učím!

    Široké rukávy

    Široké rukávy a široké gatě

    volnější cigánu nežli dolman v zlatě.
    Dolman a to zlato bujná prsa svírá;

    pod ním volná píseň násilně umírá.

    A kdo raduješ se, tvá kdy píseň v květě,
    přej si, aby zašlo zlato v celém světě!

    Dejte klec jestřábu

    Dejte klec jestřábu ze zlata ryzého;
    nezmění on za ni hnízda trněného.

    Komoni bujnému, jenž se pustou žene,
    zřídka kdy připnete uzdy a třemene.

    A tak i cigánu příroda cos dala:
    k volnosti ho věčným poutem, k volnosti ho  

    Adolf Heyduk 

    My song rings to me with love again

    My song rings to me with love again,

    when the old day dies;
    and when the poor moss
    secretly gathers pearls into its guise.

    My song rings so longingly into the country,
    when my foot wanders through the world;
    only through the vastness of my native puszta
    does my voice flow freely from my bosom.

    My song sounds loudly with love,
    when the storm hurries through the flatland;
    when I am glad, that from lingering in misery,

    my brother dying is free.

    When my old mother

    When my old mother taught me to sing,

    it’s strange, that she often, often cried.
    And now I also tire my cheeks,
    when gypsy children play and sing, I teach!

    Wide Sleeves

    Dressed in wide sleeves and wide trousers

    The gypsy feels freer in than in dolman and gold.
    The gold and dolman constrict his breast;

    His free song dying underneath.

    And he who feels true joy when his song blooms,
    Wish that all the gold in the world would go extinct!

    Give a hawk a cage

    Give a hawk a cage made of pure gold;

    he will never exchange his thorny nest for it.

    To a wild horse, which gallops through the puszta,
    you’ll seldom hitch a bridle and stirrup.

    And so also to a gypsy nature has given something,
    nature has eternally bonded him with freedom.

    Translations by Allyson Bennett

  5. Thank you

    to Jane Eaglen:
    for your never-failing patience and support. I owe most of who I am as an artist today to you.  I could never thank you enough for all you’ve provided me with these past 6 years.  I am so grateful to have found someone as wonderful a soul as you to guide me.

    to Brian Lyson:
    for your kindness and support.  I will always appreciate our language coachings.

    to JJ Penna:
    my wonderful pianist and coach, for your unending kindness and musical guidance.  I am so thankful to have a mentor as incredible as you in my life.

    to Grant Houston:
    my fantastic violinist, for your belief in me from Day One and incredible musicianship.

    to Mark Tempesta:
    my amazing tenor, for your friendship and wonderful artistry.

    to all my NEC coaches and teachers:
    for pushing me to my fullest potential and always believing in me.  I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and compassionate community.

    to my friends and family:
    for always supporting me in all I do.  I love you so dearly and am thrilled to share this program with you all.