Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Songs (High voice) with piano;


On February 27, 2015, mezzo-soprano JoAnna V. Geffert and pianist Dr. Robin Guy presented a recital of song literature in Davis Hall at the University of Northern Iowa. The program opened with Gioachino Rossini's La regata veneziana, a three-song cycle for mezzo-soprano. The 1858 composition was originally included in volume one of Rossini's Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age), a thirteen volume work containing art songs, dances, choruses, and piano pieces.1 La regata veneziana tells the story of Anzoleta, a young girl observing a gondola race in which her boyfriend, Momolo, is participating. The text, written by nineteenth-century librettist Francesco Maria Piave, begins with “Anzoleta avanti la regata” (Anzoleta before the boat race). Anzoleta nervously worries that Momolo will become lost in thought during the race, and therefore fail to capture the prizewinning red flag. The strophic work shifts back and forth between major and minor tonalities, depending upon what Anzoleta is telling her lover. The piece draws to a close on a resolute A-flat major chord, as Anzoleta urges Momolo to fly past the other contenders and win the boat race. The turbulent waters of the Venetian canal and the furious rowing of the racing gondoliers open the second song of the cycle, “Anzoleta co passa la regata” (Anzoleta during the boat race). As she frantically searches for Momolo, Anzoleta's breathlessness can be heard in the brief but effective passage of eighth rests followed by eighth notes in repetition. The continuous key changes and frequent dynamic shifts in the piece make Momolo's fate seem uncertain to the listener.In the third and final song, “Anzoleta dopo la regata” (Anzoleta after the boat race), Anzoleta is beaming with pride for her newly crowned gondolier. After showering him with kisses, Anzoleta almost giggles her victor's name through varying descending and ascending sixteenth note passages on the text “Momolo.” The shorter B section takes the listener through Anzoleta's experience watching the exhausted Momolo pull ahead to victory. The dynamic levels shift throughout Anzoleta's recounting of the draining tale: from a calm piano at the beginning of the race, to a proud forte as she watches Momolo capture the winning red flag. A gradual crescendo occurs, ending in fortissimo as Momolo is finally declared the winner of the race. A consistent accelerando through the return of the A section then builds to the final trill before the final note, as Anzoleta declares Momolo the best boatman in all of Venice. Rossini's beautiful cycle comes to a close on a resounding, fortissimo F major chord.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Music


School of Music

First Advisor

Jean McDonald, Chair


Download button contains PDF document of the official record for meeting the degree requirements, abstract, and recital program.

Date Original


Object Description

19 audio files + 1 PDF file



File Format


Off-Campus Download