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Behind the Scenes with Tara Erraught

This post is a part of a series of playlists curated by artists, UMS Staff, and community. Check out more music here.
Mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, who performs in Ann Arbor on March 14, 2014. Photo by Kristin Speed.

Mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught won widespread acclaim in February 2011, first in the title role of a new production of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and next in her unexpected debut as Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. We welcome Tara Erraught for her Ann Arbor debut on March 20, 2014 in Hill Auditorium.

We asked Tara Erraught to share what she’s been listening to lately. Her notes about each song are in italics below the song title.

Tara Erraught: I listen to things that excite me, things that affect me, and in the end, that is the same effect I would like to have on any one audience member!

Full List:

Frank Sinatra: “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams!”
Tara: I am a big Frank fan! Almost every evening returning from work, he is my relaxing buddy!

Frank Sinatra: “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
Tara: Always a great one to pick you up!

Queen: “I Want to Break Free”
Tara: LOVE Queen! This is what I put on when I start a work out at the gym, or get on my bike, to go to work! Unstoppable.

Tina Turner: “River Deep, Mountain High”
Tara: Tina all the way!!!! When you need an energy kick, this is your woman.

Tina Turner: “Son of a Preacher Man”
Tara: My shower song!!!!!

Luciano Pavarotti: “Core ‘ngrato”
Tara: This man is one of the reasons I sing! And his rendition of this, made me learn to sing with my soul!

Claudio Baglioni
Tara: This Italian pop singer, famous in the 70’s and 80’s, I listened to him all the time while I was studying, and I learned Italian through listening to him.

Mozart: Act 1 finale of “La Clemenza di Tito”
Tara: I did not know this until I studied the role, but it is the most AMAZING music.

Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons”
Tara: Baroque Rock music!!! This thrills me to my bones!!!!!!

Listen on Spotify:

Watch a quick interview with Tara:

What did you think about this playlist? Share your thoughts or song suggestions in the comments below.

Behind the Scenes with Rob Drummond

This post is a part of a series of playlists curated by artists, UMS Staff, and community. Check out more music here.
Photo: Harry Houdini (1874-1926) vanishing Jennie, the elephant, performing at the Hippodrome, New York. Photo by White Studio.

We asked Rob Drummond, director, writer, and performer of Bullet Catch (at Arthur Miller Theatre January 7-12) to put together a playlist for us, maybe something having to do with magic. A stunt so dangerous that Houdini refused even to attempt it, the magic trick known as the Bullet Catch has claimed the lives of at least 12 illusionists, assistants, and spectators since its conception in 1613. Drummond explores the history of the Bullet Catch, including the true story of William Henderson, who died in 1912 attempting the infamous trick.

Rob Drummond: This is admittedly an unusual and eclectic mix but then again I don’t trust anyone who only likes one type of music just as I don’t trust someone who only likes action movies or only likes pizza. Common People is my favourite song of all time – I won a talent competition singing it when I was fifteen. Killing in the Name Of is one to lose yourself to in a disco at three in the morning. Al Wilson’s The Snake tells a great story and is really an allegory for domestic abuse, which is hard to pull off in a finger snapping big band style. Elvis is just Elvis. Sinatra, ditto. Magic by ‘The Boss’ is the exit music for Bullet Catch and It’s a Kind of Magic used to be the opening song in the much cheesier version of the show from circa 2008. Cee Lo Green’s joyously incongruous use of the most satisfying of expletive phrases is just a fun fun song. My twin niece and nephews used to sing along with the clean version (Forget You). And lastly, a song from my past as Francie and Josie, the greatest Scottish comedy double act of all time (available on YouTube), sing about the quaint single track transport system enjoyed by my Grandparents and upon which I now travel every day.

“Glasgow Underground” by Francie and Josie:

What did you think about this playlist? Share your thoughts or song suggestions in the comments below.

Behind the Scenes with Steve Lehman

This post is a part of a series of playlists curated by UMS artists. Check out more artist-curated music here.

Photo: Steve Lehman performs (center).

UMS: We’re so excited for your performance in Ann Arbor on November 9. Can you tell our audience a little about the music that you’ve been listening to lately?

Steve Lehman: It’s been a lot of fun composing a new book of music for this amazing group of musicians. This time around, I’ve been working with a specially-tuned vibraphone, live electronics, and the music of Bud Powell, in an effort to create new musical environments for this ensemble of daredevil improvisers. When I’m composing, I’m always on the look out for inspiration in the domains of timbre, harmony, rhythm, and compositional form. Here’s a list of some of my current favorites.

What did you think about the playlist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Best of Artist Playlists


Over the course of the past few seasons, we’ve asked some of our performers to tell us what they’ve been listening to lately. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Jazz pianist Jason Moran winner of Downbeat magazine’s 2011 Critic’s Pick for “Album, Artist, and Pianist of the Year.” He returns in our 2013-2014 season with his Fats Waller Dance Party. Listen to Jason’s playlist

2. Winner of 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist and the 2012 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her album Radio Music Society, Esperanza Spalding. Listen to Esperanza’s playlist

3. Jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists including Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli, and The Roots, Karriem Riggins. Listen to Karriem’s playlist

If you could browse any performer’s music collection, who would it be? Why?