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Her Light Escape

About "Her Light Escape"

“Her Light Escape” is a program of 16 curated art songs in English that follow one woman's emotional journey of grappling with profound loss throughout the cyclical transitions of a year. The program explores the ways grief is a clarifying force of the human experience, as well as the complexity inherent in grief's touch upon our lives. In every seasonal transition, we are asked to rethink the narratives we tell ourselves about what this new season of life will represent, question which borders truly mark the beginning and end of the story of a life, and audiences will be surprised and renewed by the ferocity, despair, hope, joy, and complexity of this story of the human experience. 

We begin our program with the changing colors and falling leaves of autumn, venture through the harsh elements and episodic slumps of the winter, rejoice in the burgeoning of new life and glimpses of humor in the spring, and arrive in the welcome quietude of warm summer, reflecting on both sentimental moments of the past as well as life's present beauty. The words of master poets such as Emily Dickinson, W. H. Auden, and Robert Frost capture the joy, dejection, wonder, and renewal of a year in a life well-lived through the music of composers such as Benjamin Britten, André Previn, Dominick Argento, and more.


Emily Dickinson | André Previn 

Arthur Maquarie | Roger Quilter 

W. H. Auden | Benjamin Britten

Ranier Maria Rilke | Lee Hoiby


William Shakespeare | Dominick Argento

Wilfred Owen | Lee Hoiby

Robert Frost | Ned Rorem

John Fletcher | Ivor Gurney


Thomas Nash | Dominick Argento

Rupert Brooke | John Ireland

Christina Rossetti | Gerald Finzi 

e.e. cummings | Lee Hoiby 


John Fandel | Lee Hoiby

Robert Hillyer | Ned Rorem

Stanley Kunitz | Tom Cipullo

Anonymous | arr. Benjamin Britten 

Critical Praise for Her Light Escape

“Her Light Escape” is a breathtaking experience…I felt lifted to another plane as this exquisite program unfolded.  Balanced between the familiar and the sublime, the depth of thought and detail that inspire this mingling of poetry and music are exceeded only by the flawless and ethereal performance."

- Gregory Berton 

Board President 

Lincoln City Cultural Center

Audience Reactions to Her Light Escape: 

"The concert was a true delight. An unexpected surprise really. I loved being exposed to this new-to-me Art Song which just as appropriately could be called "Heart Song!" :)

To sing through the seasons of grief and loss with such a voice as yours Emma somehow gave a tangibility to those deep feelings...and the dance of Andrew's fingers on the piano added a deep undergirding depth to each piece."

- Jakki Staat McDonald

Audience Member

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