Lyrics by Shakespeare
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 W 67th St
This NYFOS revival explores the Bard’s influence on music, with songs by Kabalevsky, Poulenc, Sondheim, Dankworth and others, along with readings that complement the songs. full program
Naomi Louisa O’Connell, mezzo-soprano
Matt Boehler, bass
Kathleen Chalfant, actor
Steven Blier, piano
NYFOS opens its 2019-2020 season by revisiting the very first program it ever presented, in 1988: Lyrics By Shakespeare. This highly popular program, which explores the Bard’s influence on music over the centuries, returned last August in a sold-out performance presented by Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
NYFOS brings back two singers who are not only refined vocalists, but also superb actors: mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell and bass Matt Boehler. Both are blessed with a theatrical imagination, and their chemistry with the great actress Kathleen Chalfant and pianist Steven Blier is magical.
Parterre‘s review of the August production praised Boehler as “a bass with an attitude and the goods to back it up” and O’Connell for her “full Kammersängerin cry” which “can sound a bit like, well, Kathleen Ferrier, actually… Heavy gold, deep and room-filling.”
This 75-minute evening illuminates Shakespeare’s classic poetry with musical settings by Berlioz, Dankworth, Kabalevsky, Poulenc, Sondheim, and others.