This week’s Song of the Day curator is baritone Shea Owens. An alumnus of NYFOS’s Emerging Artist program and NYFOS Next, Shea is returning to the NYFOS Mainstage next month in From Russia to Riverside Drive: Rachmaninoff and Friends. Be sure to get your tickets today!
from Shea Owens:
I walked out of an audition recently and my manager told me, “Shea, we need to get you some new audition attire.” Apparently I was wearing pants that were just a bit too loose to be considered fashionable. He labeled them “finance” pants, which are only one step away from “lawyer” pants, apparently. A few days later, as I was walking to the tailor to get my new pants hemmed and my jacket taken in, I thought of a piece by Marc Blitzstein that I performed in a recital once— “The New Suit” (better known as, “Zipperfly”). Grant me a suit with a form-fitting coat, and a six-button vest, and a zipperfly . . . The song suddenly carried new meaning for me. One could say it became more suitable . . .
Steven Blier recorded this piece with William Sharp for an album originally released in 1991 titled “Marc Blitzstein: Zipperfly & Other Songs.” (This was another album that I heard and bought immediately, by the way.) The recording is marvelous, and so fun.
Isn’t it funny how songs (and arias and even symphonies) pop in our heads to accompany what’s happening in our lives? Sometimes the Ear Worm I have at that particular moment tells me my mood before I even realize how I’m feeling. I wrote an article about this very topic several years ago for Ovation Magazine. They called it, With a Song in my Head.” I’ll try to dig it up.
Please do! I’d love to read it.
I teach diction courses for singers, and played this last week in class as a jumping off point for a discussion on expressive use of diction. The students loved it, and they learned a lot from a master! For me, the memories of this team in the early days of NYFOS are ever vivid, and having heard them perform this several times, this song is etched forever in my being!