No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Theo Hoffman

I spent three hours of my day today listening to my fellow young artists here in LA sing arias for each other, with feedback from our fearless leader Josh Winograde, who’s job is the hiring of singers. These sessions are a chance for us to get up, sing something that may be a total work in progress, and work through our challenges. One thing that Josh says time and time again is to “give us what we want.” I think this is so poignant, and a topic of much debate among modern musicians.




 |  Theo Hoffman

One of the pieces of music that has haunted my mind (and by that I mean made my imagination run wild) since I was first exposed to it is Britten’s “Songs and Proverbs of William Blake”. Written in 1965 for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the piece serves as a meditation on the state of the world and the frailty of man in Britten’s day and Blake’s, about 200 years prior to the work’s composition.




 |  Theo Hoffman

If I felt strange and out of place in the rehearsal room, my discomforts were quelled when we got into the theater. It turns out Verdi didn’t write Macbeth for a rehearsal room, and it is certainly something exhilarating to be onstage in a gorgeous 3000+ seat house hearing these singers do what they do (and doing a bit of it myself), learning from the dark, majestic sect of this art form called Verdi. Here for your listening pleasure is Maria Callas singing Lady Macbeth’s final grand scena, the Sleepwalking Scene, from Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth.




 |  Theo Hoffman

(from baritone Theo Hoffman — Thanks, Theo, for your selections this week!) Today I travel to London to compete in Placido Domingo’s Operalia! Because of his huge involvement in the zarzuela repertoire, there is a portion of the competition devoted to the genre. I’ve had an amazing time preparing two zarzuela arias. Steve Blier helped me […]




 |  Theo Hoffman

(from baritone Theo Hoffman. Theo participated as a 2014 Caramoor Vocal Rising Star in our annual residency at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY.) Today’s post is a throwback Thursday to our Caramoor concert in 2014, Ports of Call. This song was performed marvelously by Annie Rosen and Steven Blier. I […]




 |  Theo Hoffman

(from baritone Theo Hoffman) Jeff Buckley is the king of the heartbreak ballad. Your breakup playlist isn’t complete without “Grace” or “Lover You Should Have Come Over,” not to mention his absolutely definitive cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” His voice is filled with longing and plangency. His unique vocalism is matched by a similar, tender […]




 |  Theo Hoffman

(from baritone Theo Hoffman) St. Louis Blues – Ella Fitzgerald (originally W.C. Handy) I have some incredible memories with this particular rendition of “St. Louis Blues.” The first person who played this for me was my dear friend, collaborator, room mate, and factotum della città, Lachlan Glen. Ella embodies the perfect balance between incredible precision […]




 |  Theo Hoffman

This week’s Song of the Day posts come from Theo Hoffman. Theo is a young baritone who has appeared in several NYFOS Emerging Artist, NYFOS Next and gala programs over the past couple of years, and we’re sure we’ll hear a lot more from him in the years to come. Thanks, Theo! Familiarity – Punch […]