Lyric Fest was founded in January 2003 by three distinguished Philadelphia-area musicians:Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo-soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano and Laura Ward, pianist, and was incorporated into a 501 c.3 in that same year. Its directors are dedicated to building an artistically excellent arts organization that revitalizes the song tradition. As the only performing organization in the city dedicated exclusively to the voice recital, Lyric Fest occupies a singular place in the Philadelphia artscape, making an important contribution to our community. Lyric Fest has expanded the definition of the song recital by hiring a number of artists for each concert from a range of experience: regional and internationally recognized artists, who together produce a happening that is more than just a concert of songs.
The strength of Lyric Fest lies in its unique and educational programming, the quality of its artistic product, and the performing artists it attracts. These strengths come together in highly researched programs built around compelling themes and presented in an intimate setting. Spoken commentary and informative program notes make an impact beyond the performance moment. The artists not only sing, but shed light on the larger theme by reading relevant, historic letters and documents, offering pertinent biographic insights into the composers, poets and historical figures or even by sharing personal contexts to the songs. Our audiences routinely say that this engaging aspect of our concerts is what sets us apart, and is often a touchstone for sparked interest and study.