Entitled “Build a Bridge,” McDonald’s first solo effort since 2002 will be available on the Nonesuch label. The 13-track recording will feature songs by Tony-winning Light in the Piazza composer Adam Guettel as well as Elvis Costello, Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Neil Young, John Mayer, Rufus Wainwright and Nellie McKay. McDonald is scheduled to perform songs from “Build a Bridge” during a fall concert tour; venues and dates will be announced shortly.
About her forthcoming recording, singer-actress McDonald said in a statement, “I just choose material that moves me. My hope with this album is that people who are familiar with the artists will enjoy a different take on them. . . . It’s still me. I’m not singing these songs with a different voice or style. As always, I chose songs that I enjoy mining for their emotional gold.”
Doug Petty wrote the arrangements for the CD, which includes such tunes as “Dividing Day” and “Build a Bridge,” both by Guettel, as well as “My Heart,” “Cradle and All,” “My Stupid Mouth,” “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” “I Wanna Get Married,” “Wonderful You,” “God Give Me Strength,” “Bein’ Green,” “To a Child,” “Tom Cat Goodbye” and “Damned Ladies.”
A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also seen on Broadway in Henry IV. The singer-actress made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. The acclaimed actress also co-starred in the NBC series "Mister Sterling” and was recently seen in the WB series "Bedford Diaries." McDonald also made her Houston Grand Opera with a double bill of Send (who are you? I love you) and La Voix Humaine.