Branch Fields to Star in Drayton Entertainment's South Pacific
American bass Branch Fields, a star in the world of Opera and Broadway, will be featured as Emile de Becque alongside Chilina Kennedy as Nellie Forbush in Drayton Entertainment's production of South Pacific, the award-winning theatre company confirmed today.
No stranger to the demanding role, Fields understudied the mysterious French plantation owner in the Lincoln Center Production in New York City, sharing the stage with Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara and Skipp Sudduth. The monumental 2008 revival won 7 Tony Awards.
Fields went on to reprise the role of Emile for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Piedmont Opera, and the historic Ogunquit Playhouse, earning stellar reviews and nominations for Best Actor in a Musical by Broadway World Boston and the IRNE Awards.
"This role is very complex, requiring the leading man to possess an elegant dignity, commanding stature, and incredibly rich singing voice," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "We are excited to welcome Branch Fields in his Drayton Entertainment stage debut."
South Pacific will launch the Drayton Festival Theatre with a three-week engagement, May 14 to May 31, before transferring to the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend to open the summer season, June 5 to June 21. The production is proving a popular draw at both theatres, with some dates already sold out.
Fields' impressive credits include five seasons with the New York City Opera, as well as appearances with the Boston Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Jose Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, and many other regional companies throughout the United States.
Fields studied voiced with the great Metropolitan Opera bass, Giorgio Tozzi, who dubbed the singing parts for the character of Emile de Becque in the 1958 film version of South Pacific and went on to play the role in many revivals throughout the 1960s.
"The talent assembled for our production of South Pacific is truly exceptional," says Mustakas. "It's going to be a great season."
Tickets for South Pacific are on sale now. To reserve your seats, visit www.draytonentertainment.com, or call toll free 1-855- DRAYTON (372-9866).