The album, titled and flowers pick themselves, is a collection of 19 new songs by Gordon, including the complete "and flowers pick themselves" (Five Songs for Soprano and Orchestra on Poetry by e. e. cummings)
Helton performs solo vocals on all 19 tracks, with Gordon accompanying on piano. They are joined by the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Raphael Jim_nez, for the 5-track song cycle based upon cummings' work.
Gordon is perhaps best known to opera fans for his Grapes of Wrath adaptation which premiered at the Minnesota Opera in 2007 and was recently released as a live recording by PS Classics. His other works include My Life with Albertine, Dream True, States of Independence, Stonewall/Night Variations, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Only Heaven, Autumn Valentine, Sweet Song and Morning Star. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Betty Buckley, Audra McDonald and Dawn Upshaw.
Helton's career has included leading roles with the San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Opera and Washington Opera. She originated roles in Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place and Hugo Weisgall's The Gardens of Adonis. Ms. Helton currently serves as associate professor of voice (soprano) and director of opera theatre at the Michigan State University College of Music.
The CD track list consists of:
1. Once I Was
2. I Am Cherry Alive
3. My Sister's New Red Hat
5. Little Horse
6. Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!)
7. We Sat Smoking at a Table...
9. An Old Fashioned Song
10. If You Can
11. Spell Against Sorrow
12. Will There Really Be A "Morning"?
13. The Red Dress
and flowers pick themselves (Five Songs for Soprano and Orchestra)
14. i thank You God for most this amazing
15. why did you go
16. Thy fingers make early flowers of
17 anyone lived in a pretty how town
18 who knows if the moon's
19. blessing the boats
The 3 PM concert will be held in Lansing's Molly Grove Chapel, First Presbyterian Church at 510 W. Ottawa Street. Admission is $10; or $20 for entry plus a copy of the CD.
and flowers pick themselves, priced regularly at $14.99, may be purchased at Blue Griffin Records.