Idina Menzel Returns to Cincinnati to Open Riverbend Concert Series


The Cincinnati Pops brings its Signature Sound outside of Music Hall for what is sure to be an explosive 2011 season at Riverbend Music Center, presented by the Pops Series Sponsor PNC. The Orchestra?s summer at Riverbend kicks off June 25 with Broadway superstar and vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel, who returns to the Tri-state after her blockbuster Pops debut in September. The Riverbend season continues with the family-friendly "Red, White & Boom" Independence Day celebration led by incoming Pops Conductor John Morris Russell (JMR) on July 4, the return of Movin' Out star Michael Cavanaugh performing a "Generations of Rock" show on July 23, and closes with the star-studded "Hallelujah Broadway" on August 6. "Hallelujah Broadway" has been featured recently on PBS, and is based on the simple premise that powerful songs can bring an audience to their feet, gladden their hearts and give them something to really feel good about. Tenor Rodrick Dixon, who recently performed in Music Hall as part of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra?s sold-out "Classical Roots: Lift Ev?ry Voice" concert, soprano Alfreda Burke, "Irish Tenors" star Anthony Kearns and the May Festival Summer Chorus join JMR and the Pops for an unforgettable summer evening.

Idina Menzel Returns
The Cincinnati Pops gets its Riverbend season off to a "wicked" good start on Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m. when Tony Award winner and singing sensation Idina Menzel returns following her blockbuster Pops debut last year to perform classic pop, musical theater favorites (including hits from Wicked and Rent) as well as songs from her album, I Stand. Her performances are humorous, heartfelt and powerful. Ms. Menzel broke out as a star in the original Broadway cast of Rent, won the Best Actress Tony Award for her starring role in the hit musical Wicked, and has been seen in movies including Disney?s Enchanted and television shows including the smash hit series Glee, where her recurring role has won her praise and legions of fans. Ms. Menzel?s website:

Red, White & Boom!
The Orchestra celebrates the great American songbook on Independence Day in its annual "Red, White & Boom!" program with none other than incoming Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. Baritone Daniel Narducci, a Cincinnati favorite who toured with the Pops in Beijing in 2005, returns for this firecracker of a concert. He?ll perform the patriotic tunes of yesterday and today. He?ll be joined by Karen Slack, known for her brilliance and warmth in a variety of operatic roles and featured in Tyler Perry?s movie adaptation of For Colored Girls in 2010. The high-energy United States Air Force Prism Brass Ensemble, part of the famed Band of Flight, and the ever popular Cincinnati Studio for Dance "Cloggers" also join the celebration. This explosive lineup marks our country?s birthday with excitement, energy and pizzazz at 8 p.m., Monday, July 4.

Generations of Rock
Michael Cavanaugh, hand-picked by the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, to star in the Broadway hit Movin' Out, broke out in 1999 and hasn?t looked back since. This versatile artist?s career has taken him from piano bars to Broadway to concert halls around the world. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 23, he hits the stage at Riverbend with conductor Bradley Thachuk for an electrifying, all new show featuring classic rock songs of the „70s by Elton John with additional hits by Styx, Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Journey and more – all infused with the big, Signature Sound of the Cincinnati Pops.

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