The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Under Construction

My new best friend Sondra Lee (legendary Jerome Robbins dancer and the original Minnie Fay in DOLLY!) invited me to the Park Avenue Armory to see opera singer Lauren Flanigan (pictured) as part of the "Under Construction" series where artists present new works in various stages of development.
The space was the room pictured below with a grand piano replacing the table and chairs
 The audience was seated in a loose circle around the room interspersed with the musicians: Chris Cooley on piano, Julie Goodale on viola, Nana Simopoulos on sitar, bouzouki, percussion and didgeridoo (yes, you heard me) and Dr. William Schimmel on accordian, bandoneon, melodica and toy piano.
The first half of Flanigan's recital was two works by composer Thomas Pasatieri based on Eugene O'Neill's "Before Breakfast" and the speeches of Lady Macbeth. The second half was "The Unknown/Unsung Kurt Weill",with some surprising takes on familiar material such as "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" and "It Never Was You" (accompanied by a discordant and slightly aggro toy piano) and introductions to material such as "Who Am I Anyway?" (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS), "Love in a Mist", "Nothing Left For Daddy But The Rhumba" (LOVE LIFE), "Romance of a Lifetime", "I Guess I had Too Much to Dream Last Night", "Little Tin God", "You Understand Me"  accompanied by sitar, and "Picture on the Wall" with a haunting virtuoso accordian solo by Dr. Schimmel. Happily, there are plans to record the programme for cd next March.

Above is a video of Ms. Flanigan in action singing the music of Ricky Ian Gordon at a benefit in 1999. As a bonus, Aussie legend Zoe Caldwell introduces her!

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