31 March, 2018

Prologue from 'The Bite of the Night'

They brought a woman
from the street

And made her
sit in the stalls

By threats
By bribes
By flattery
Obliging her to share
a little of her life
with actors


But I don't understand art

Sit still, they said

But I don't want to see sad things

Sit still, they said

And she listened to everything
Understanding some things
But not others
Laughing rarely,
and always without knowing why

Sometimes suffering disgust
Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again, said

If that's art I think it is hard work
It was beyond me
So much beyond my actual life


But something troubled her
Something gnawed her peace
And she came a second time, armoured with friends

Sit still, she said

And again,
she listened to everything

This time
understanding different things

This time
untroubled that some things

Could not be understood
Laughing rarely
but now without shame

Sometimes suffering disgust
Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again said

This is art,
it is hard work
And one friend said,
too hard for me
And the other said,
if you will
I will come again
Because I found it hard
I felt honoured



— Howard Barker

 

28 March, 2018

Q&A: Talking Camelot with Shakespeare Theater Company

Oh hello: this is my cape.
Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, DC, welcomes Alexandra Silber as Guenevere in CAMELOT.

Alexandra Silber, who has been seen on Broadway stages in Fiddler on the Roof and Master Class, will be featured as Guenevere in STC’s upcoming production of Camelot. She recently spoke to STC about the comparison between Guenevere and Tzeitel, her experience adapting modern adaptations of Greek classics and her thoughts on Camelot.

What’s most exciting to you about bringing the character of Guenevere to the stage at STC?
     The story is about a young leader who is trying to change the way things are through reason, equality, and humanity. That feels beyond timely. Guenevere is the woman at Arthur’s side who shares his vision, and helps him fuel, build and create it. That also feels beyond timely.
Above all, I’m intrigued by the unapologetic examination of three endemically flawed protagonists—all doing the best they can, derailed by their humanity, their ideals, and ultimately, by one another. I adore living inside of and exploring human flaws, darkness, weakness, and shame—we don’t take those things out and look at them enough. Yet our less favorable natures are there, latent within us all, informing all of our moment-to-moment choices and overall lives. Aren’t most of us endeavoring to do what we consider to be “good,” and don’t we all, at some point, fail?

Is there a specific moment or song that you look forward to from the piece?
     I have always felt that “What Do the Simple Folk Do?” is one of the greatest sung scenes in musical theatre—on par with Carousel’s bench scene and West Side Story’s balcony scene (and I’ve played them both!). What makes this musical scene unique is what is unspoken, unuttered. In this remarkable display of a deeply loving, but crumbling couple’s marriage, we see the spark that continues to connect them: their capacity to seek beyond themselves and approach existence with ravenous curiosity. It is the quality that initially enchanted them about one another—the depth and breadth of their discussions create a new era, a new England, and this is their articulate, singular, irreplaceable love language.

     Throughout the course of this deceptively not-at-all-trivial song, we see two souls—a husband and wife—awaken to the reality that their marriage, and likely their vision for a better world, is over. They feel it. They know it. Yet they say almost anything else. This is the last of their “one brief shining moment.”And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there. I have stared into the eyes of someone I loved desperately and known it was over, and not uttered it; hoping that one more conversation, metaphor, or chorus, would delay the inevitable if even for a moment.


Tzeitel. I love her I love her.
What would you imagine Guenevere and Tzeitel meeting would look like?
     Both Guenevere and Tzeitel discover themselves within the circumstance of an arranged marriage. Both are strong-minded, deeply feeling and passionate women, who take great issue with their given situations. Both roil against the lack of agency allowed to them as women, both instinctually fight for their autonomy despite extraordinary pressure to conform, and both, at heart, are deeply principled about the nature of true love.

     I’m certain Guenevere would mine Tzeitel’s experience of having loved one man fiercely the entirety of her life, and Tzeitel would be fascinated by the complexities of Guenevere’s simultaneous loves: her constancy for Arthur and passionate awakening discovered with Lancelot.
I also think their dialogue would be very different if they met as their Act One and Act Two selves! Both women grow tremendously, grow up, change, suffer, endure. I know Tzeitel like a very old friend, and barely know Guenevere at all yet, but I sense a possible bond and hope they’d find common ground and be able to connect and learn from one another.

     The Cosmopolitan magazine answer to this question is: I’m sure they’d talk about their mutually fabulous manes of hair because let’s face it: both gals won the hair lottery.


You have written modern language adaptations of Greek classics. Is there any another classic you’d be interested in adapting?
Seven against Thebes     My passion for re-examining and re-imagining the Greek classics is rooted in a fascination that our societies, regardless of time period or culture, seem to be reliving the same relationships, political struggles, griefs and arrogant mistakes that we have been making since the dawn of examined life. I am obsessed with picking apart the well-known (and sometimes simplistic) myths and zooming in on the psychological microscope on why these familiar icons of Greek lore would make the choices they do. What are the particular nitty-gritty complexities of their relationships, their inner workings? And not only insinuating it into the playing but putting new, sometimes fairly contemporary but always poetically visceral words in the characters’ mouths. I do try to honor the poetic tradition, while also making the language feel more a little more immediate. I’m no definitive playwright, but as an actor, I know that if a phrase in my mouth feels like a missile? I’m getting somewhere!
     My existing adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone is probably the piece I feel closest too, and the one that feels the most currently ripped from the headlines; and, to loop back to answering the question, I have already begun adapting Seven Against Thebes. The play is Aeschylus’ take on the epic struggle between Antigone’s brothers (all of them children of the doomed Oedipus Rex), Eteocles and Polynices, for control of Thebes. I feel like there are some really potent American parallels to micro-factions myopically fighting narrow-minded battles for control their country.


For more information on Camelot, click here.

22 March, 2018

Coulda-been-ku 14

14.

Time stopped in the snow. 
Stay, oh beautiful boy from 
the long-ago bus.


11 March, 2018

Episto-party!

Dear Friend(s), 

In keeping with my one-party-per-month goal for 2018, you are cordially invited to a LETTER WRTING PARTY! That’s *write*—snacks, catching up, adult beverages, and all the fixings for writing beautiful letters to friends, lovahs, your mom, or your senator! 

There will be lovely stationary, pretty pens, and stamps provided, along with food and drink. At the end of the festivities, I will pop them in the mailbox! 

WHO: You, me, us (and Tatiana, of course) 
WHAT: Episto-party extraordinaire 
WHEN: Sunday, March 11, from 4pm-whenever 
WHERE: My house!
WHY: Because there is nothing better than getting an an actual letter in the actual mail. :)

RSVP so I can stock up on stamps 

See you soon, letter-writers, 

Al xo



28 February, 2018

'All that is gold does not glitter' by J.R.R. Tolkien

All that is gold does not glitter, 
Not all those who wander are lost; 
The old that is strong does not wither, 
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, 
A light from the shadows shall spring; 
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, 
The crownless again shall be king. 




23 February, 2018

I Fed Her [Fancy Feast] So Well

And then?!


19 February, 2018

Ask Al: Lightning Round FAQs! - Part 3

1. What is the hardest part of being in the public eye?
This is a very tough one.
There are some muddy lines can sometimes create very real misunderstandings with fans, acquaintances, and certain professional relationships.

[*Cracks knuckles and types manifesto*]

The arts are all intimate businesses, and we don’t deal in numbers, quotas or measurable things, we deal on a daily basis with the innermost workings of humanity, and reveal to the everyday human being the glory of life’s routines, exploring humanity’s full capacity, and revealing some of life’s extremities. We deal daily (and joyfully) with the vulnerability most people spend their entire lives avoiding! And when artists deal with it out in the “real world” transactionally and blithely, it can get confusing. For everyone.

As both an introvert and fiercely private person, it is difficult to feel comfortable about said privacy— particularly in an age of social media where so many people feel (for lack of a better term) entitled to know certain details of your life. Some people feel absolutely comfortable sharing intimate details, and others less so. All variations of that comfort are okay and up to the individual. I believe strongly that the tone, content, and level of intimacy on social media is solely up to the owner of the account, and just because fans want intimacy does not mean it has to be given.

For example you are currently reading my blog. I have been writing this blog for 10 years, sometimes for the purpose of enjoying a creative crucible, sometimes for the purposes of sharing an already-processed experience. However, my inner-most vulnerabilities are mine, and preserved for my close friends and family. The fact that I share selective facts and reflections of and upon life’s ups and downs is one thing, but I do not use this blog (or any aspect of my social media) to actively work through my emotions in real time. I do not share unresolved experiences. Further, and all the sharing is for the purpose of universal connection, not exploitation.

My real-life vulnerability is reserved for my real-life friends. Not, say, my “Facebook Friends.” My personal definition of the word Friend is “a person who has borne witness to, and held, my innermost life.” Thus, never mistake the behavior commonly known as “friendLY” with the well-earned state of “friendSHIP.”

Ultimately, I am very honored to be in my position, and love to share my heart on my own terms. It is an honor to be known for what I love to do and I endeavor to deserve that honor.


2. If you could write a continuation of any other musical theatre character, who would you choose and why?
You might be surprised to hear this but Chava! I think we can all agree that I’m now intensely involved in this family’s “future story—” I do feel compelled to finish what I’ve started and Chava is the daughter I will always somewhat regret not getting a chance to embody as well. I also find her decision equally as harrowing and thus, compelling. How do you cope with he results of such a decision? How does hers and Fyedka’s marriage fare? So many specific adjustments in that scenario. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve heard the last of Hodel. We leave her at quite a cliffhanger in After Anatevka!


3. Have you always aspired to be a performer or did you have a different dream when you were younger?
I always knew I wanted to be a professional creative— I’m not certain that acting and singing professionally was the epitome of my dream. As a child and teenager, I loved the theatre, felt at home and accepted amongst its “creatures” and had an outlet to explore new worlds, research new ways of life, get inside different people’s minds and heart, and to express so many of my deepest emotions.

I’ve been thinking very deeply about “dreams coming true” recently— possibly because so many people are asking me about it. “Is publishing your novel a dream come true” they will ask, and I don’t entirely know how to answer that. Because of course, it is, I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the wider world, to hold a book-shaped book, with actual binding and  I have written in my hands

The voices on Broadway cast recordings were not only my inspirations but my companions, my teachers; I know many people for whom that is a familiar history. But I felt very much the same about characters in books. I was just as enamored with E.M Forster’s Margaret Schlegel as I was with the book and score of South Pacific.


4. After Anatevka tells the story of Hodel after Fiddler. When you research for a role do you think about what happens to the character after the show ends as well as their backstory or was Hodel an exception?

Hodel was absolutely an exception.

The Broadway community and wider world may know me as the most-recent Tzeitel,  from the 2016 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, but from October 2006 to February 2008, I played Tevye's second-eldest daughter, Hodel, in the last West End revival in London. That experience was, without exception, the most immersive and deeply felt of my artistic life thus far. It was like a “first love—” the kind one never forgets, and imprints itself upon you more deeply than any to follow it. Hodel’s strength and sense of purpose, your complex feminine spirit, her wit and determination, her devotion and loving heart. She offered me a chance to find all of these things within myself, and to grow with them.

While all characters tend to endear themselves to you, Hodel haunted me— remained in my cells like an un-rinseable, inextinguishable fuel. Actors often embody traits of the characters they take on, but few characters weave in and out of the soul until you can scarcely detect the line between the emotional truths of one and the other.


5. What is one piece of advice that you wish someone would have told you while you were in school/college/university?

The path to success is curved.






18 February, 2018

GALentine Lady Tea

Tea party fixings for Galentine's Day
Lovers!

As you may recall from my previous post about the One Party Per Month Plan, my goal for 2018 is to have one party or gathering in my home per month.

Now that I have "come out" about my health journey, I can share a bit more candidly that one of the overall woes was the sensation that my life was getting smaller and smaller. It wasn't all bad. It was, in fact, a necessity of sorts—my wonderful little haven of an apartment became a kind of cocoon for restoration even when I felt like I would never get well, catch up, or feel normal again.

Every moment, every thought, every action, literally every thing was focused on just "getting by"—making certain I had the base amount of energetic wherewithal to get from my home to work, and back again. Hopefully without incident.

I did not have the energy to see friends or conventionally socialize, and even if I had, I wouldn't know what to share with them when the inevitable "How have you been" questions. I am grateful all of it, but I sensed a need to break open once more.

I still have my limitations (not to mention my introvert nature!)—and I realized that going from fetal position to CLUBBING ALL NIGHT was not really going to be my trajectory when it came to "getting back out into the world." (Plus, let's be frank: I'm in my thirties, Y'all. I don't "club" as a verb. Ever. And I didn't at any age but that's not even the point.) Anyway! My goal was to open my life, my heart, re-introduce myself to the world again, on my own terms.

The solution?

Use my own wonderful home! The place that has served me so well as a place of healing and womb-like restoration, can now be a place to gather friends old and new. I vow to throw one gathering or party in my home per calendar month for all of 2018. That will force me to vacuum. And buy crudite. And pause Netflix.

February? Amidst the grey skies and frigid temperatures, I thought a bit of bright sunny civility was in order. Why not have a proper ladies-only high tea for Galentine's Day?

In today's environment of seemingly endless hostility, activism and feelings of helplessness, Galentine's Day honestly seemed to be just the self-care day we, and perhaps all, women need.  We dressed up. We are tiiiiiny sandwiches. We drank tea. Above all, it was a time for us to come together to reflect on goals, dreams, accomplishments, life in general, and the work we still need to do as women. It was not-annoying-or-overly-aggressive Feminism. With a side of Darjeeling.

Here's to the ladies who tea.
Everybody Rise.

HOORAY FOR LADIES!






15 February, 2018

Theater for the People - An Essay for The X Mag

The Power of Women Issue of The X Magazine by TodayTix 

When the storytelling goes bad in society, the result is decadence” — Aristotle

In olden days, as the song goes, theater was the art form of the people. There were no cost barriers keeping people from the theater. It was simply an expected, shared sociological experience.

Theater’s earliest origins extend back to Ancient Greece, where participation in the Festival of Dionysus, a multi-day cultural event, was a requirement of citizenship. Theater was not about celebrities or spectacle; it was about telling stories for the purpose of the public having a cathartic experience together. Aristotle defined it as “the purification of the spirit…by witnessing the playing out of such emotions or ideas on stage.” The result is positive change.

Flash forward several centuries to Renaissance England, where the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries reigned supreme. While plays were commissioned by and performed at the pleasure of the royals, anyone could get a seat or standing room for a few pence and enjoy entertainment in the company of kings and queens. After all, the whole point of theater is to make it accessible to the wider public.

Cut-to 20th century Europe, where Bertold Brecht, the great German playwright and director, established the Berliner Ensemble and made theater accessible to and for the people as an essential tool for the recognition of social injustice, and  as a means of effecting social change.

Today, Broadway has become a purview of the elite, with premium ticket prices skyrocketing to more than $1000 to certain shows. Theater is, at its essence, a thoroughly social art form, therefore it cannot be experienced in solitude. If we can't get people into the theaters — whatever their socioeconomic reality might be — then we are not doing our jobs as theatremakers.

But TodayTix is helping change the perception of and access to theater, particularly through its rush and lottery tickets. While lotteries and rushes have existed for a while, not everyone has the flexibility to wait outside the box office in the morning or enter their name in a drawing at the theater. With the app, anyone can buy rush tickets or enter a lottery. You can even share your entry on Twitter and Facebook to up your chances of winning.  Theater is a social art form, and social media is making it even more accessible.

But more than ever, in fractious times like these when there is great fear and even greater uncertainty, theater can be a place of emotional and societal healing. The people need the theater, and it is more important than ever for every individual, regardless of circumstance, to bear witness. We need to know that we are not alone.

Photo by: Jenny Anderson (IG: @jennyandersonphoto/Twitter: @jennyanina)
 * * *
Link to online article 
For: The X Mag and TodayTix.com
Photo: Jenny Anderson
Styled: Jake Sokoloff in Karen Millen
Hair and Makeup: Austin Thornton

13 February, 2018

Adult-ing - Part 7

Don't hide your like, you guys.
1. Don't allow people to pressure you into dulling your colo(u)rs to make them comfortable.
     From big fancy celebrity to star of your middle school math class—inevitably, something you innately are will exacerbate another human being’s insecurities.
Your intelligence.
Your charisma.
Your talent.
Your eyebrows.
It doesn’t really matter what it is, it I that you possess a quality another does not, and they are kept up at night about it. Something about you (and likely, something you give very little thought to) is going to make someone else think about nothing else and go get alllll crazy envious and Salieri on your ass.

You cannot change who you are, nor should you, and their insecurities are none of your business.
It happens. That’s life.
BUT:
Sometimes, these insecure people are also very pushy, bossy, intimidating, manipulative or otherwise tetchy, and their lack of inner-peace might motivate them to motivate you to hide your gifts/dull your colors/hide your light, to make them feel more at ease.
That part—the hiding your light part?
That is on you.
If you allow yourself to become small, recognize that you have chosen that. Own that you have taken some part in allowing it to happen. Take responsibility and... stop it!

Don’t do it.
Trust me.
Instead, go about the world being 100% you! Every last scrap of who you are and promise to keep becoming. Don’t get bullied into being small. Don’t apologize for who you are and how you have been gifted. Show compassion for the insecure, they need that more than your obedience, fear or disdain.

2. Pain is the payment for each precious thing.
     You are a result of someone cooking you up for nine long hormonal months, and then screaming as they physically push you out of their body. Ouch. The point? Childbirth is the very first lesson we all get that you are a precious thing, and the woman who physically gave birth to you endured a notoriously agonizing pain to make you come true. Then? As if that weren’t enough a doctor smacked you to make you breath your first breath. A great big smack on the bottom to suck in nature’s very best offering: air. Again: pain for precious things.

     Now I’m not saying you have to turn in to Gollum here, becoming a lean creepy weirdo living alone in a dark cave crying “preeeeciousssss” in order to appreciate how fan-freaking-tastic your life is, but I am saying that all living creatures endure adversity, handwork, setbacks, and blood-sweat-and-tears if they are truly living their lives.

     Nothing is free in this life. From losing 5 pounds to losing a loved one, pain is the payment for each precious thing, and it is not that the adversity hits us, but how we choose to utilize and view that adversity that defines and polishes our characters.


Which brings me to:


3. The Obstacle is the Way

     Choosing the right perspective is so important; you can see life’s challenges as opportunities.  When an unexpected obstacle is suddenly standing in your way, don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by “The Overwhelm;”  take a breather and regroup. The very thing you feel has stopped you in your tracks might just hold the lesson that teaches you to become stronger and better than ever before.


4. Who you ally yourself with is always the paramount consideration of your life.
     The people you keep close to you both intimately and socially will determine the atmosphere of not just your entire life, but crucially, how you feel about, view and think about your entire life. The people we spend our days with shape and inform our experiences, and it is up to us to make certain that those people are positive influences, or, if not, that their negative influence is minimal.

     Above all, be the best neighbor/colleague/acquaintance/friend/child/parent you possibly can be— your influence on those around you is powerful as well.


5. Happiness is not a train station
     On the great train ride that is Life Itself, we keep pulling into stations we expect, do not expect, and sometimes, loathe. (Incidentally? As I write this, I am actually on a train, pulling into a station…) Some of these are expected (first kiss, first love, college, graduation, first heartbreak) and some cannot be avoided (turning 30/40/50, etc), and some we’d do anything to avoid if we could (the death of a loved one, divorce, a health-crisis or financial hardships).

     Have you yourself ever thought "Once I [get the leading role/make X much money/get married/move to Europe/lose 20 pounds] MY LIFE WILL BE PERFECT!"
...Anyone?
Yeah.
Me too.

But one of life’s great truths is that you never exactly pull in to the train stations of “Contentment,” “Happiness,” or “Success.” Those stations are like Shangri La or Brigadoon: sure, you’ve heard of them, and everyone talks about them and wants to get there, but no one has ever really seen them. Why? Because they don’t exist.

     Dear readers, Now, truly is all we have. We must alter our thinking as much if not more than we attempt to alter our circumstances for it is within the confines of our minds that Contentment, Happiness and Success truly exist. You know the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” It applies here: the object remains the same, it is the thinking around that object that changes its value. A job, a partner, a location, a living situation or an annual income provides as much misery or joy as we choose to get out of it.

     So when I say “happiness is not a train station” I mean: there is no definitive moment where you do or do not “arrive” or “make it.” Further, the belief that once we pull in to that station (or cross that finish line) we will finally be happy or at peace is not only a myth, but a recipe for despair.


12 February, 2018

[Real] Rabbi Syme: Continued!

My previous post about [the Real] Rabbi Syme generated a wonderful internet "moment—" one of those lightning-in-a-bottle experiences where the internet proves to be truly connective. I wrote the post in response to questions I received through the course of my book tour, and online: is the Rabbi Syme (Perchik's teacher and advocate) of After Anatevka at all connected to a real person, particular a man named Rabbi Daniel Syme of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan?

The answer: yes. To briefly quote my previous post:

Fictional Rabbi Syme is based very loosely upon the real-life Rabbi Syme—loosely because my description in the novel is not so much a literal, but more of an evocative recollection and honoring of his influence. Real-life Rabbi Syme and I only spent a collection of minutes together in 2001, but they were crucial minutes. He gave me the gift of delivering the eulogy at my father's funeral service, as well as bearing witness to it when he lead the funeral service, and above all, he gave me an hour of his time months later, reminding me of what was eternal, and chartering a map toward the beauty, strength and individuality my faith. Irreplaceable gifts one can never forget. The influence of Rabbi Syme proves another true-to-life maxim: that we never know the depth of the influence we have upon one another

I then followed this by recounting a crucial memory of the real Rabbi Syme.
Keep in mind that I have not seen, heard from, been in touch with dear Rabbi Syme since 2001. Nearly 17 years.
I pressed "publish." 
I posted the blog's link to a few social media places.
The link was shared on Facebook.
Then again.
And before long?
An email in my inbox was sitting there from the real Rabbi Syme.
This was followed by a save-it-forever voicemail.
And finally, a phone call that, at long last, completed a circle I never even dreamed would reach its resolution.

Then today...

Today I gave a book talk at Temple Beth Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan—only a few miles away from Birmingham, the suburb of Detroit in which I grew up, and in fact, from Bloomfield Hills, where Rabbi Syme and I first met.

My talk went on, and as usual, I concluded with a reading. Whenever one of my book events is located in a temple I like to read the following passage and tell the audience a little about the real Rabbi Syme. How the character came to be and how this was my form of honoring the man who was my father's advocate, and thus, artistically, Perchik's.  I read:
  
     “Free a man of the constraints that limit and inhibit his development, and you have a free human being. Freedom is the natural state of man.” He looked away from the boy for a moment and recalled his youth, his own search for self. “My boy,” he imparted with a ferocious passion that shook them both by the throat, “there is nothing negative about our human potential—do you understand me? God Himself created you the way you are. Do not let anyone in this world convince you otherwise. And you are capable of anything, my boy. There is and shall always be a disparity among the gifts God has granted men, but we all deserve equal consideration. All men, no matter how low, how basic, or how tormented, deserve compassion, dignified brotherhood, and respect.
     “But part of respecting all men is respecting ourselves. Recognizing that God has blessed you. By embracing these gifts, we live as God lives, with love for all He has created—with an open heart.
     “Thus our Sages have said: ‘In every generation, a person must see himself as if he has himself come out from Mitzrayim.’ You, of course, know what Mitzrayim, this Hebrew word used for ‘Egypt,’ means, do you not?”
     “Boundaries,” the boy said quietly.
     “It does indeed—and the effort to free ourselves is a perpetual one.”
     The rabbi removed his spectacles and looked deeply into the eyes of the boy. “I promise you, Perchik: you are a truly blessed child of our Lord. I promise you will find the strength to overcome the oppression of your circumstances. This fight is your purpose—the strength for it inherent within you. Like rocks of salt shaken in water, the turbulence soon asserts itself in perfect order. My boy, you are supported by the greatest parent of them all. As it is He who has endowed you with your gifts, you can be sure that He, therefore, believes in their power. And for the record, my boy, so do I.”

Reader?
The real Rabbi Syme... was there.
In the audience.

Coming up in line as I signed copies of the novel that honors him in character, and thanks him in the acknowledgments, came the real-life, breathing man who bears the name Rabbi Daniel Syme.

We reunited.
Embraced.
Cried.

What other proof do we need that miracles happen?
Because they do.
Happen.






11 February, 2018

New World Symphony Gala

Tonight tonight...
Oh what a night. 

Happy 30th Birthday, New World Symphony.

The New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS), prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 29 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1000 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years.

The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS's extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony and home of the Knight New Media Center.

In the hopes of joining NWS, more than 1,500 recent music school and conservatory graduates compete for about 35 available fellowships each year. The Fellows are selected for this highly competitive, prestigious opportunity based on their musical achievement and promise, as well as their passion for the future of classical music.
What a joy and honor to reunite with Michael Tilson Thomas, and dear friends Jessica Vosk, and Tony Yazbeck.

The set list was as follows:

Overture to Candide
From On the Town: "Lucky to be Me" - Mr. Yazbeck
"I Get Carried Away" - Mr. Yazbeck and Ms. Silber
Coney Island Dream Sequence
"I Can Cook Too" - Ms. Vosk
From West Side Story: "Somewhere" - Ms. Silber
"A Boy Like That/I Have a Love" - Ms. Vosk and Ms. Silber
Symphonic Dances

We flew.
We ate.
We laughed.
We sang.
We danced the night away in Miami.
All with friends.And the universal language of music.










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