Commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the cycle is entitled The Seven Deadly Sins and comprises seven works for the soprano and her musicians. Each of the pieces concerns one of the "seven deadly sins": envy, gluttony, pride, greed, sloth, anger and lust. McDonald will also perform the song cycle June 4, 8 and 10; show time is 8:30 PM. Ted Sperling acts as musical director and pianist with Rick Heckman on reeds, Peter Sachon on cello, Brian Koonin on guitar, Dave Phillips on bass and Dave Ratajczak on drums. The June 8 and 10 performances will be recorded for future broadcast on National Public Radio.
Anger is represented by Michael John LaChiusa's "The Christian Thing to Do"; envy by Ricky Ian Gordon's "Can You Look Me in the Eyes?"; gluttony by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' "I Eat"; greed by John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey's "The Greedy Tadpole"; lust by Steve Marzullo and Mark Campbell's "Burning the Sauce"; sloth by Jeff Blumenkrantz's "My Book"; and vanity by Jake Heggie's "Blah, Blah, Me." Concertgoers can also expect to hear McDonald's renditions of "Unexpressed," "Stars and the Moon," "I Must Have that Man," "A Tragic Story," "I Won't Mind," "New Words," "Come Down from the Tree" and "The Light in the Piazza."
A three-time Tony Award winner for her work in Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also on Broadway this past season in Henry IV. The singer-actress recently 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. She also co-starred in the recent NBC series "Mister Sterling.”