August 1, 2019



Media Contact: Suzanne DuPlantis

215 432 5946

Lyric Fest announces its 17th Anniversary Season – 2019/20

Beautifully curated, multi-faceted concerts of song

Lyric Fest celebrates its 17th Anniversary with 7 distinct thematic programs and 15 performances in Philadelphia and its suburbs, New Jersey, New York and California. Lyric Fest’s concerts are curated to include new song and old, sung by a cast of recognized artists, many of whom call Philadelphia home.



The season opens with “The Road Less Traveled,” a special collaborative concert with Singing City, with whom LF has teamed up for other historical programs such as “Music in the White House” and “Journey Toward Freedom – a History of the Civil Rights Movement.”


THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED – in collaboration with Singing City

October 5, 2019, 4PM at Haddonfield United Methodist Church

October 6, 2019, 3PM at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

The Road Less Traveled” offers a timely program that explores world-wide migration and America’s roots as an immigrant nation. In songs of journey and diaspora, welcome and belonging, and leaving home and finding home, the concert features three Lyric Fest soloists. Cuban-born American soprano Maria Aleida joins LF amidst a world tour as soprano soloist with international superstar Andrea Bocelli, and will be featured in songs from Cuba, Ecuador and Great Britain. Korean-born American mezzo-soprano Misoon Ghim is featured in songs of her homeland, as well as Germany, Great Britain, Russia. American baritone Jared Bybee is featured in songs from Russia, Argentina, France and America. Pianist and LF Music Director Laura Ward will be at the keyboard. Singing City Choir with Jeffrey Brillhart, director, will offer choral works on the theme.




On November 4, a Monday night, LF teams up with one of America’s premiere song composers, Daron Hagen (Curtis alumnus) to present its large-scale commission project for 2019/20.


THE ART OF SONG – Daron Hagen, World Premiere

Monday, November 4, 2019, 7:30PM (Composer Talk at 7PM)

at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square

“The Art of Song”, jointly commissioned by LF and The Brooklyn Art Song Society, is Hagen’s new concert-length song cycle featuring the verse of poets that for him have fueled a lifetime of song composition. With more than 40 song cycles to his credit, Daron Hagen here creates a work in the tradition of Rorem’s “Evidence of Things Unseen” and Bernstein’s “Songfest” – milestone compositions from composers at the height of their powers, commemorating a milestone birthday.


The new work is scored for vocal sextet in various solos and ensemble movements accompanied by piano four hands. It will be performed on the composer’s birthday and celebrate his 60th year. The performance will lead off with a composer talk at 7PM.  With sopranos, Justine Aronson and Gilda Lyons, Elisa Sutherland, mezzo-soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, contralto, James Reese, tenor; Steven Eddy, baritone, and pianists Laura Ward and Michael Brofman complete the performance ensemble. The Philadelphia world premiere is followed by the Brooklyn premiere on June 5, 2020.




The oil paintings of Lyric Fest Founder and Artistic Director, Suzanne DuPlantis, will be featured in LF’s first Happy Hour and Mini Concert of the season.


TUTTI FIOR – Happy Hour/Mini Concert with Art Show

Tuesday, December 10, 2019,

6:00PM Reception and Art Show, 7PM Music

at The Moorestown Community House, NJ

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 6:00PM Reception, 7PM Music

at The Academy of Vocal Arts

This concert, happy hour and art exhibit celebrates the art of the flower. Featuring sopranos, Irini Kyriakidou and Elizabeth de Trejo, mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, and Laura Ward, piano, the program puts forth flower songs from many cultures and genres. The evening begins with an elegant reception and exhibition of the floral oil paintings of Suzanne DuPlantis which will be for sale. A portion of the proceeds will benefit LF.  The evening continues with classical song, opera and popular song.



LF will make its first foray to the west for performances in Santa Clara and Silicon Valley in a program featuring California flutist, Ray Furuta.


THE ENCHANTED FLUTE – Songs for Flute and Voice

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 4PM
at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

Sunday, March 1, 2020, 3PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

Lyric Fest presents the bright and buoyant flute songs of Pulitzer prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon; New York composer Karl Hinze; and the cabaret songs of Pulitzer and Grammy award winning composer, William Bolcom, in a concert featuring flutist Ray Furuta, soprano Maeve Höglund, mezzo soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, and Laura Ward, piano. Lyric Fest then takes the show on the road to share concerts in California, with performances at Santa Clara University and at Chamber Music Silicon Valley in San Jose, CA.




A Lieder recital inspired by an unusual, touch-stone poem by one of the world’s most renowned poets.



Saturday, April 4, 2020, 4PM at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

Sunday, April 5, 2020, 3PM at The Academy of Vocal Arts

“I cannot tell you how readable the book of nature is becoming for me… my quiet joy is inexpressible.” – Poet and botanist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1786

Goethe’s consummate poem, “The Metamorphosis of Plants” mingles poetry and science and illumines symbolic truths for its readers. LF creates a Lieder recital inspired by this epic work, dedicated to all things botanical. Songs of Schubert, Wolf, Schumann, Brahms, Strauss and more. With Kristina Bachrach, Kathryn Leemhuis, Andrew Fuchs, Randall Scarlata, and Laura Ward, piano.



To commemorate the 120th Anniversary of Kurt Weill’s birth, Lyric Fest offers the next concert in a yearly series that highlights the composers of the Great American Songbook.



Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 6:15PM Reception, 7PM Music

at The Moorestown Community House, NJ

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 6:15PM Reception, 7PM Music

at The Academy of Vocal Arts

This short, satisfying weekday concert features the songs and life of Kurt Weill, a supremely adaptable American Songbook composer. In his homeland of Germany Weill composed in classical and German cabaret style until he was forced to flee to France when the Nazis came to power. In time, he emigrated to the United States, where for over a decade he figured as one of the most distinctive voices in the American popular style. Weill’s most seductive melodies with mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, tenor Joseph Gaines and Laura Ward, piano.







LF has just released “In This Blue Room – Songs of Kile Smith” on Albany records featuring the cycle of the same name with various songs of Kile Smith, many of which were commissioned by LF. In This Blue Room is a jazz inspired work of various solos and duets, settings of the fanciful poetry of Philadelphia poets inspired by the fine art batiks of Laura Madeleine. Other works on the CD: Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins—information, Poems of Stephen Berg—information, There Is No Great and No Small—information, Mark the Music—information. With Suzanne DuPlantis, Daniel Teadt, Jessica Lennick, Jonas Hacker and Doris Hall-Gulati, with pianist Laura Ward.



In addition to LF’s regular season, three outreach performances are offered:


FASCINATING RHYTHM – Songs of Gershwin

Lyric Fest at The Theater at Yellow Springs

Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 4PM

Lyric Fest will be in performance at the Theater at Yellow Springs presenting the timeless songs of George Gershwin with mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, baritone Randall Scarlata, and Laura Ward, piano. Tickets available at the door. Adults $10. Call 610.703.1734.



THE ENCHANTED FLUTE – Songs for Flute and Voice

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 -12PM at Santa Clara University – Music at Noon Series

Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 7:30PM with Chamber Music Silicon Valley


THE ART OF SONG by Daron Hagen, New York Premiere

Lyric Fest with The Brooklyn Art Song Society

Friday, June 5, 2020 at 7:30PM

at the Brooklyn Historical Society

128 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 on June 5, 2020



Lyric Fest’s mission is to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to engage, educate, stimulate dialogue and foster community. LF is committed to expanding the region’s interest in and knowledge of song as an important and relevant art form, and to access through affordable ticket prices. With a growing national reputation for excellence and innovation, LF receives critical acclaim and attention in a number of national publications such as Opera News.


Lyric Fest was founded in 2003 and is currently run by two of its founders, mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, pianist Laura Ward. With the goal of celebrating and revitalizing the song tradition, LF has produced and presented over 100 concerts and recitals featuring more than 200 local, regional and national artists, actors, dancers and choral groups.

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