I’m finishing up my Music minor in Opera this semester, and my last class is “French Literature and Repertoire.” The final project for my class is to create a program of French art songs on a theme. I chose pieces about slavery and captivity to examine human trafficking. I’ve embedded the entire program into my projects section.
Don’t judge my French translations too harshly–I used my semester of French, 4 years of Latin, and facility with Google Translate equally. All photos and poems are in the public domain. The photos are from the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report and the poems are by everyone from Victor Hugo to an unnamed antebellum slave in the American South writing in a French creole:
It was nice to combine two of my passions for a school project, and even nicer knowing I have the final done when we haven’t hit mid semester yet.
“Where the grapes’ slow growth lives;
Without fear of the press, the summer vine matures
Drinking the sweet gift of dawn;
I am like those grapes, beautiful and young,
Though my time is trouble and trouble?
I do not yet want to die.”–André Chénier (1762-1794), “La jeune captive,” song by Victor Massé (1822-1884)