The concert celebrates the festival's newly formed Artist Council with a musical journey that explores the backgrounds, the birthplaces, and the artistic homes of the cast, a team of highly acclaimed singers, ranging from Russia to Canada, and covering a wide swath of the United States.
Where We Come From features performance styles spanning art song, vocal chamber music, blues, music theater, and popular song. The artists include: Paul Appleby, tenor (winner of last spring's Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and praised in Opera News for his "knockout performance" last season with NYFOS); Amy Burton, soprano (featured at the Metropolitan Opera and called "luminous" by The New York Times); Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano (acclaimed for her performances of Kitty Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic at the Metropolitan and English National Operas, and called "genuine magic" by Opera Today); Sari Gruber, soprano ("Sensational." _ Opera Magazine); Dina Kuznetsova, soprano ("A brilliant Tatiana." at the Chicago Lyric Opera _ Chicago Sun); Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano (the Metropolitan Opera artist called "profoundly moving" by The New York Times in NYFOS's Fugitives program last season); James Martin, baritone ("Excellent, engaging." _ The New York Times); and baritone William Sharp, baritone (praised by The New York Times as a "sensitive and subtle singer" and featured on NYFOS's Grammy-winning recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles).
NYFOS's Steven Blier ("A national treasure when it comes to the art of song" _ The New York Times) and Michael Barrett (also General Director of the renowned Caramoor Festival) will be pianists/hosts.
PROGRAM TO INCLUDE:
Paul Simon: American Tune
Franz Schubert: Licht und Liebe
Harry Revel/Noble Sissle: Guiding Me Back Home
John Musto: Don't Hurry Home
Tchaikovsky: Passion is Gone and Was I Not a Blade of Grass?
John Jacob Niles: He's Goin'Away
Stephen Sondheim: Take Me To the World
Gustav Mahler: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
George Gershwin: Our Little Kitchenette
Johannes Brahms: Wie froh und Frisch
Charles Ives: Down East
W. C. Handy: Harlem Blues
Francis Poulenc: Les chemins de l'amour
Kurt Weill: Alabama-Song and Stay Well
Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz: At the Mardi Gras
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Samba classico
Samuel Barber: Sure on This Shining Night
Louis F. Muir: Play that Barbershop Chord
Enrique Granados: Gracia mia
Single ticket prices at Merkin Concert Hall are $40 to $55 and a limited number of $15 student tickets are available by calling NYFOS at (646) 230-8380. Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center is at 129 West 67th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), New York, NY 10023. Discounted 2009-2010 subscription packages are still available as well.
For all ticket information, visit www.kaufman-center.org, or call (212) 501-3330. Visit New York Festival of Song for further details.
NYFOS's upcoming concerts include Great American Songwriting Teams (November 17 and 19) with Broadway and cabaret's Mary Testa, Sylvia McNair and Jason Graae; Killer B's: American Song From Amy Beach To the Beach Boys (January 13), the fifth annual NYFOS@Juilliard at The Juilliard School; The Voluptuous Muse (February 16 and 18) a survey of the last vestiges of lush tonality and decadent Romanticism at the dawn of the 20th century; the first great flowering of French art song performed by America's brightest new vocal stars in The Sweetest Path, part of the Caramoor Vocal Rising Stars program, March 13 at Caramoor and March 16 at Merkin Concert Hall; and The Newest Deal (May 4 and 6) featuring recent American works, including the premiere of the Harold Meltzer song cycle Beautiful Ohio, created for and performed by Paul Appleby.
New York Festival of Song was founded in 1988 by Steven Blier and Michael Barrett. NYFOS is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty, humor and originality, combining music, poetry, and history to entertain, educate and create community among audiences and performers. With a far-ranging repertoire of art songs, concert works and theater pieces, its thematic recitals have included programs from Brahms to the Beatles, from the nineteenth-century salons of Paris to Tin Pan Alley, from Russian art song to Argentine tangos, from sixteenth-century lute songs to new music. NYFOS particularly celebrates American song literature and culture, and specializes in premiering and commissioning new American works, including the double bill of Bastianello / Lucrezia, which premiered in 2008. They have produced five recordings on the Koch label, including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles, as well as the Grammy-nominated recording of Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen on New World Records, and the Bridge Records release of the NYFOS program Spanish Love Songs. NYFOS's concert series, touring programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and educational activities have sparked a new interest in the creative possibilities of the song program, and have inspired the creation of thematic vocal series around the world.