"Les Mis" Update - January 25, 2014 - New Hampshire Theatre Awards
Maxwell McGrath named "Best Actor in a Community Theatre Musical" for his performance as Valjean in ActorSingers "Les Miserables" - Congratulations, Max!!
I am thrilled to announce that tenor Max McGrath has been nominated as Best Actor in a Community Theatre Production by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards. Max will sing "Bring him home" at the awards show on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the Stockbridge Theatre on the Pinkerton Academy campus.
I for one will attend, since that alone is worth the price of admission.
Please see www.nhtheatreawards for for details.
I would also like to commend my other students in the "Les Mis" cast - Peter Boettcher, Matt Kaiser, Laura Prior, and Melany White - for their contributions to a phenomenol effort in six performances, and 2.5 grueling months of rehearsals. But wait! Let 's not forget Cheryl Stocks, also a JE Studio member, who was the tireless producer. Cheryl is a warrior!
EXCITING STUDIO NEWS!
I am extremely excited to announce that ActorSingers of Nashua, NH, has just cast their November 2013 production of Les Miserables, the classic musical now in its 28th year.
All four of my students who auditioned have been cast:
Max McGrath - Valjean
Peter Boettcher - Joly
Laura Prior - Old Woman #4/Ensemble
Melany White - Ensemble
Congratulations to Max, Peter, Laura, and Melany. I could not be more proud, and wish you all "break a leg!"
(or as we say in my world, "toi toi toi").
Please visit www.actorsingers.org for details about the performances.
Where is Janice Singing Next?
On Sunday, March 10, I will be presenting a joint concert with tenor Charles Lindsey in Chester, NH. We are calling it (what else?) An Afternoon of Songs and Arias. Charlie and I will be performing American Songbook and Classical Favorites from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Featured composers are Bernstein & Weill (as you know, two of my favorites), as well as Brahms, Korngold, and Strauss. Charlie and I end the program with a selection of opera arias and duets.
Elizabeth Blood is our fantastic accompanist.
Reservations not required, but the hall is rather small, so plan to arrive on the early side. Hope to see you there!
Venue: Stevens Memorial Hall, 1 Chester Street, Chester, NH
Date & Time: Sunday, 10 March 2013, 3:00 pm
Your freewill donation will be greatly appreciated.
"By Bernstein" - September 29, 2012
With the addition of some new talent to the studio, I am pleased to announce an upcoming review of some of Leonard Bernstein's most beloved theatre songs. Highlights of On the Town, West Side Story, Wonderful Town, and Candide will feature 12 students from my studio as well as three guest artists. Elizabeth Blood is our excellent accompanist. "By Bernstein" will be performed on Saturday, September 29, at 7:00 pm in Philharmonic Hall, 83 Hanover Street, 4th floor, Manchester, NH. Admission is $10. Hope you can attend!
Updated 10.01.2012 - "By Bernstein" was a huge success. Thanks to all my talented students, guest artists, and Elizabeth for a wonderful evening!
Wagner's Ring Cycle revisited...
The month of May brought re-broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Richard Wagner's epic four-part saga of greed, love, lust, and redemption. For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I attended all four operas, shown over a period of 2.5 weeks at Concord's Capitol Center for the Arts. I had seen 3 of the 4 operas at the Met over the last two seasons, and looked forward to seeing the action and singing "up close and personal", which is what one gets in a presentation of this kind. For the most part, I was not disappointed, especially with Siegfried, the one opera I did not see in person. In fact, Siegfried fared best of all in the controversial Robert LaPage production, which has garnered mostly scathing reviews by major music critics the world over. "The machine", as the huge, 24 panel contraption has been dubbed, was not so much a device that took on a life of its own as a mere backdrop for some fantastically realistic projections (for instance, preceding the Siegfried/Mime scene in Act I, you saw a huge parcel of mossy ground just teeming with critters - insects, worms, even snakes - really set the mood!)
Prior to the first of these re-broadcasts, on May 7, a local music teacher, Mike Alberici, published an article about his curiosity about opera, and especially Wagner's operas...he obviously wanted to know what the fuss was about. He has subsequently published articles about all four of the operas and his experiences and thoughts about them. I am pleased to report that he was, well, bowled over by the spectacle and the drama. It is thrilling to me when an "opera virgin", especially one who has come to the genre with mostly negative, pre-conceived ideas, experiences a 180 degree change of heart. I so wish that others, who only think of opera as something musty, boring, elitist, and/or just not worth the bother, would give it a chance, especially young people. Except for Mike, and a couple of teenagers who attended Das Rheingold, I am afraid I was just about the youngest person in the small audience.
Mike published some kind words about me in his final article (see below), and if you care to read all of his articles, just go to the Concord Monitor website and enter "alberici".
Thanks, Mike - I am now a Wagner docent.
I was also very fortunate to sit right behind Janice Edwards for Das Walkure. Edwards, an international acclaimed mezzo-soprano, who sang the role of Fricka for the Arizona Opera, recognized me before the show and introduced herself.
"Are you the guy who wrote the article in the Monitor," she asked?
When I replied, "Yes," she immediately scolded me for making fat-lady jokes. (I'll never make that mistake again Janice!)
She was a wealth of knowledge, answering all my questions, providing me with numerous articles about the opera world, and giving me the back-stories of all the cast members.
Janice became my personal docent, holding my hand through The Ring's final three installments. I couldn't have done it without her.
Other 2012 Studio Events
Saturday, 10 March 2012 - "Melany's Melodies" - a program of Melany White's favorite classical and musical theatre songs, with guest artist Matt Van Wagner, tenor; Janice Edwards, piano. Bedford Presbyterian Church, Bedford, NH, 5:00 pm.
Sunday, 18 March 2012 - "Old Chestnuts" - Laura Prior and invited guest artists from the studio including Lauren Friedman, Janet Wittenberg, and Matt Van Wagner sining some of her favorite "Chestnuts" (old songs re-sung, and some new ones, too). Elizabeth Blood, piano. Pinkerton Academy, Derry, NH at 2:00 pm.
2011 Studio Events
NIGHT & DAY - An Afternoon of Song sponsored by the Janice Edwards Studio. Janet Wittenberg, Mezzo-Soprano, Janet Boutin, Soprano (Guest Artist), Barbara Flocco, Pianist. Songs of Debussy, Hahn, Barber, Rorem, Cole Porter, Jason Robert Brown and others. Sunday, October 16, 2011, 4:00 pm, Bedford Presbyterian Church, Bedford, NH. Admission FREE.
HE DONE HER WRONG - Tales from the Bad End of Love - Songs of passion and (self) pity by "done wrong" women, featuring songs from classical, MT, country, and jazz genres sung by singers from the Janice Edwards Studio, including Janet Boutin, Lauren Friedman, Erin Morrison, Anne Orio, Jenny Rainville, Nancy Rosen, Cheryl Stocks, Matt Van Wagner, Janet Wittenberg, and Melany White. Elizabeth Blood, pianist. Our finale is the Cell Block Tango from "Chicago," and Tina Turner's "What's love got to do with it?" Friday, September 16, 8:00 pm, Philharmonic Hall, 83 Hanover Street (4th floor), Manchester, NH. Admission $10.
HIGHLIGHTS OF RECENT SEASONS
Nashua Symphony Orchestra and Chorus - Mahler's 8th Symphony, Sat., November 20 (8:00 pm)/Cary Hall, Lexington, MA; Sun., November 21 (4:00 pm)/Keefe Auditorium, Nashua, NH. This monumental work is a collaboration among the NSOC, Lexington Symphony, New World Chorale and the Boston Children's Chorus. I will be one of eight soloists, singing the role of Maria Aegyptiaca. Please go to www.NashuaSymphony.org for information.
First Church, Nashua, NH: Vocal Masters, April 17, 2011. Through my dear friend and student Matt Van Wagner I recently met the Minister of Music of First Church, Joe Olefirowicz. Joe has invited me to participate in the First Music Concert Series. My program is entitled Vocal Masters, and I will be singing works by Rodrigo, Bizet, DeFalla, Dvorak, Bernstein, and others. Joining me will be pianist Elizabeth Blood and guitarist Berit Strong. Please see www.first-music.org for ticket information. Berit's website is www.beritstrong.com.
Links to Longwood Opera, Manchester Choral Society, Jeffrey Brody and First Church can be found on my LINKS page.