BWW Interviews: A Touring Soprano: Audra McDonald Serenades America This Fall
For her current tour, she'll put that repertory to good use. "My programs are a mixture of songs from the American theater songbook from about 1929 all the way up to 2011."
Of course, the tour isn't just about a song selection, or a new recording. Perhaps inspired by her own background, McDonald's performances include support for youth-based arts charities. Here in Kansas City, where she'll perform in the stunning new Moshe Sadie-designed Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, McDonald will be supporting the 50-year-old organization Kansas City Young Audiences.
"One of my main goals as a performer is to inspire young people to get involved in the performing arts. Music teaches children discipline and also the art of collaboration...The performing arts also teaches tolerance, as we all have views on what sounds or looks beautiful. Through arts education, we learn to appreciate our differences."
For McDonald, those differences might include putting a more classical, operatic stamp on her vocal delivery than is usually heard on a musical theater stage. In fact it seems that not since the prime years of Barbara Cook's career has the operatic technique been used so assiduously to convey the emotion of a musical theater text.
And to be sure McDonald's warm, supple soprano, perfect song acting, and amiable stage presence all come together in a beautifully entertaining package that will be warming audiences across the country throughout the fall and into the winter.
Visit McDonald's website for more information on her tour, and on her latest recording.
Photo Credit: ABC / Andrew Eccles