Lyric Fest Announces 2015 – 2016 Season

Media Contact
Lari Robling
215 978 6933

Celebrating life, poetry, and letters in the style of art song.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 26, 2015
In this thirteenth season, Lyric Fest expands both its geographic boundaries as well as artistic. Lyric Fest goes west to Pittsburgh with a reprise of Kile Smith’s In this Blue Room in September, and in November heads to Washington D.C. for a collaboration with Dumbarton Concerts exploring the life and creativity of Edgar Allan Poe. Known for its commitment to newly commissioned works, later this spring Lyric Fest offers Sincerely Yours, letters set to music and their stories.

“Art song is often wedded to poetry, but what if the writing was prose?” said co-founding artistic director Laura Ward. “There are already some fascinating song settings of letters, but really not that many. It was a great opportunity to expand the repertoire.”

December offers a new type of program for Lyric Fest, a mini concert happy hour for after-work. This “pilot” happening celebrates the 150th birthday anniversary of Sibelius, on his birthday. It starts with wine and cheese, and eases in and out of a short performance of Sibelius’s spectacular songs.

“So many ideas, so little time!” said co-founding artistic director Suzanne DuPlantis. “Why not offer something during the work week, that is a little different and really festive. A birthday party for Sibelius fit the bill perfectly.”

The season also offers a look at the life of Johannes Brahms, as well as a sunny program of Italian favorites and little known gems, all of the song variety, in La Dolce Vita.

Designed for the aficionado and newcomer to song alike, Lyric Fest is a unique musical offering in the city of Philadelphia. Equally noted for scholarship and entertainment, Lyric Fest presents artists of national and international stature, heard in the intimate setting of song. Tom Purdom of the Broad Street Review calls Lyric Fest , “An irresistible mix of high art and humane feeling…as entertaining as a well managed party.”

Lyric Fest offers reasonable and affordable season subscriptions as well as single tickets online and at the box office.

Program Descriptions
LA DOLCE VITA – The Sweet Life
Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7:30 PM at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 3 PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

Like a fresh breeze on the portico of an Italian Villa, this bubbly program of Italian favorites and little known gems celebrates the sweet things in life— Rossini quartets, Songs of Verdi, Respighi, Bellini and Puccini, Hahn, Neapolitan song, Opera and more. With Jennifer Aylmer, Suzanne DuPlantis, Eric Rieger, Randall Scarlata with Laura Ward at the piano.

THE RAVEN – A Poe Fest (A Co-production with Dumbarton Concerts in Washington, DC) Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 8 PM at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, DC Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 3 PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

A program celebrating the works and life of Philadelphia poet Edgar Allan Poe, featuring the area premiere of The Raven by Nicholas White, scored for five solo voices, string quartet and piano. The concert is rounded out with solo song settings of Poe’s poetic works, and readings from Poe’s prose. With singers Emily Noël, Roger Isaacs, James Reese, Steven Combs, and Suzanne DuPlantis, pianist Laura Ward, conductor Nicholas White, and narrator Duncan Wu.

SIBELIUS CELEBRATES 150 – Mini Concert and Happy Hour
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6 PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, Lyric Fest offers a new concert experience— a half-length program just right for after work to be enjoyed with a glass of wine and nibbles. Celebrate Sibelius’s magnificent songs, considered to be among the finest in the repertory, but rarely programmed in the U.S. on the day of his birth and in true Finnish flair! With Anne Marie Frohnmayer, Anthony Schneider, Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward at the piano. Sung in the original Swedish, Finnish and German.

JOHANNES BRAHMS – Biography in Music
Friday, January 22, 2016 at 7:30 PM at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 3 PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

A semi-theatrical program of Brahms’s life and times, as told through his music and letters, including biographical narration with selections of solo songs, vocal quartets, and duets. With Laura Dixon Strickling, Chrystal E. Williams, Anthony Whitson-Martini and Jonas Hacker, with pianist, Laura Ward and actor, Jim Bergwall.

SINCERELY YOURS… Letters set to music
Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 8 PM at Haverford College
Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 3 PM at the The Academy of Vocal Arts

This program of mostly American song takes a detour from the verse of poets and looks to settings of letters. Each selection is not only a song, but also a story. This is Lyric Fest’s newest commission project, with new works premiered by three Philadelphia composers: Benjamin C.S. Boyle, John Conahan and Thomas Lloyd, joined by composers Juliana Hall, Daron Hagen, Lori Laitman and Logan Skelton. The concert will feature a young song composer competition as well. With singers Kelly Ann Bixby, Andrew Fuchs, Katy Pracht, Keith Phares.

About Lyric Fest
“Compulsively enterprising…” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer) Lyric Fest was founded in January 2003 as a 501 c.3 and is currently led by two of its founders, Artistic Directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward. Dedicated exclusively to the voice recital, Lyric Fest occupies a singular place in the Philadelphia artscape and expands the definition of the song recital by jointly featuring regional and internationally recognized artists. Together they produce a happening that is more than just a concert of songs. The mission of Lyric Fest is “to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to edify, educate, stimulate dialogue, and foster community.”

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