Eliasen compiles Strauss concert for Voice Program

Mikael Eliasen will emcee and accompany “By Strauss” — a voice concert that features 10 Voice Program students and work from different Strauss artists.

The students include Monica Dewey, Guilliame Poudrier, Morgan Middleton, Philip Stoddard, Jean-Philippe McClish, Sage DeAgro-Ruopp, Kathryn Henry, Amanda Bottoms, Michael St. Peter and James Smidt, and the recital — at 7:30 p.m. tonight in McKnight Hall — benefits the Chautauqua Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

“There’s 10 really gifted singers. I chose them because I think they’re very gifted,” said Eliasen, a Voice Program coach. “They’re all going to do something special. Ten different songs —  I don’t think anyone is going to stand out more than another.”

One of the largest struggles is teaching music that is largely unfamiliar to students, Eliasen said. Learning new music — especially pieces in German — while working to learn music for a handful of other commitments is a struggle students are used to during their Chautauqua experience.

“A lot of the pieces are in German, so you have to work on the German. You teach them, they go home, they look at the music, they come back and you work on it again,” Eliasen said. “But that is the life. It is also a reflection on how one’s professional life would be.”

Eliasen described the music as melodic and romantic. The program features performances in multiple languages, and Eliasen will provide translations along the way.

“Most of them are love songs — it’s an evening of love,” Eliasen said. “I called it ‘By Strauss.’ But one could have called it ‘An Evening of Love.’ ”