The New York Festival of Song and Juilliard Present THE LAND WHERE THE GOOD SONGS GO, 1/15
Joining NYFOS artistic director and pianist Steven Blier is Juilliard faculty member Mary Birnbaum, who will direct the show, and musician Greg Utzig, who will play guitar, mandolin, ukelele, and banjo.
The evening features seven singers from Juilliard, including sopranos Mary Feminear and Raquel Gonzáles, mezzo-soprano Hannah McDermott, tenors James Knight and Alexander McKissick, and baritones Joseph Eletto and Benjamin Lund.
Joining the creative team is Hal Cazalet, a Juilliard alumnus and former student of Mr. Blier. Cazalet is a great-grandson of P. G. Wodehouse, and first introduced Blier to this material in 2001. He went on to star in the original version of this show, which played in London (Wigmore Hall), Washington DC (The Library of Congress) and New York (Kaye Playhouse); with Blier and Sylvia McNair, he recorded a CD of these songs on Harbinger Records. Cazalet will coach the singers and join forces with Mary Birnbaum as director.
I thought the students would enjoy the music-hall feel of the songs, the flavor of vaudeville, the open invitation to comic invention. Kern's music lies well for classically trained voices, a bit higher and less belty than popular song would get in the 1930s and '40s. And the way the material straddles America (Kern) and England (Wodehouse) is a continual source of allure. I am blessed with a beautiful cast of singers, most of whom are new to NYFOS."
Phone: 212-769-7406; www.juilliard.edu/vocalseas
Remaining tickets available on the night of the performance.
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