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DECEMBER SONGS Announced At Hershey Area Playhouse

The piece is inspired by Schubert's masterpiece Die Winterreise (A Winter's Journey).

The Hershey Area Playhouse is presenting December Songs, featuring soprano Sarah Zahn and pianist Andy Roberts. The online performances will be held on April 23, 24 and 25 at 7 pm.

Commissioned for the Carnegie Hall centennial in 1991 and inspired by Schubert's masterpiece Die Winterreise (A Winter's Journey), composer and lyricist Maury Yeston's December Songs follows a brokenhearted young woman walking along the snowy paths of Central Park, where she finds the strength to recover and begin her life again.

Zahn and Roberts are longtime collaborators, working on a range of projects, including their first December Songs performance on the Hershey Area Playhouse stage back in 2017. This time, December Songs is available to anyone, regardless of where they reside, through virtual distribution.

"I first discovered December Songs about 11 years ago when a soprano that I respect and admire performed it in New York City. [Yeston] wanted to do an homage to Schubert's piece by writing a song cycle not for a man walking through a forest [as in Die Winterreise], but for a woman walking through Central Park in New York City. And the two song cycles are connected to each other because they both explore the grief of loss of love and how we can come out on the other side of that."

"It's special to get to revisit this with Andy," Zahn continues. "In light of the loss and grief that we've all experienced with the pandemic of this last year, I feel another layer of depth to it. I feel that loss a little deeper, I feel that love a little stronger."

"What I love about playing December Songs is the way it crosses boundaries," says Roberts. "It is inspired by a classical piece, and yet his writing style is a little bit pop, contemporary and Broadway. I enjoy the way he combines those different styles. Sarah first introduced me to this piece, and it's tons of fun working with Sarah. I enjoy hearing her singing it first of all, and I enjoy playing it."

Tickets are $12.50 per individual or $15 per household. To purchase tickets for December Songs, visit hap.booktix.com.


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