No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Mikaela Bennett

“I Won’t Mind” is an incredibly moving song by actor and Tony-nominated composer, Jeff Blumenkrantz. I have always loved this song but developed an even closer connection to the piece when I met Jeff in our production of The Golden Apple at City Center Encores! We ended up performing this song together at my Feinstein’s/54 Below solo […]




 |  Mikaela Bennett

I am a huge fan of Nancy Wilson. The timbre and versatility of her voice is incredible. I love the energy and spirit she brings to this incredibly unique version of this song. “On the Street Where You Live” from the musical My Fair Lady (with music by Frederick Loewe) was originally sung as a ballad by a man, but Nancy Wilson ups the tempo, adds some jazz, and makes it her own!




 |  Steven Blier

When I planned “Red, White, and Blues” I thought I was making a light summer entertainment: 10 French songs, 10 American songs, encore, done. A pitcher of musical sangria. Then I started working on the program, and got a little carried way with visions of sugarplums. “Wouldn’t it be great to do the aria from ‘Mme Chrysanthème’? Gosh, this is the time everyone needs to hear ‘Awaiting You’! Oh, we’re by the water, we should do ‘J’attends un navire’!” The result is that my light repast is more like a five-course meal catered by Lutèce.




 |  Steven Blier

Thursday is the last day I can really work on the songs and push the cast to take risks. On Friday our water breaks as we do our first work-through. Reassurance is the name of the game. On Saturday, contractions start as we have our dress rehearsal. We retreat to our corners. And we deliver the baby on Sunday.




 |  Steven Blier

Unlike some coaches I’ve observed, I don’t tend to start my work by manipulating the surface of the music. Sure, I can be a maniac on the first day about language, because those kinds of errors do need to be nipped in the bud. They take days to repair. But I try not to pick away at musical minutia at the beginning.




 |  Steven Blier

The first day of a project is always fraught with excitement and fear and questions—how prepared will everyone be? Is this program any good? Will all my practicing hang in there in the heat of the moment, or am I going to be a total klutz? But this year’s NYFOS@North Fork residency had more unknowns than usual because I’d hired two people I didn’t really know.




 |  Michael Barrett

Certainly one of our most successful living opera composers, Bolcom has an amazing way of writing arias that sound really American, and still sound like Grand Opera. I hear jazz chords, the blues, and american musical gestures which I don’t have a name for. And it is all somehow spun into soaring operatic melody.