Conductor Randall Craig Fleischer kicks off the NSO season at Wolf Trap with a concert that unites classical sensibilities with pop and rock surprises. His "Broadway ROCKS!" show features the orchestra freshly back from a tour of Latin America, four veterans of Broadway musicals and the City Choir of Washington.
"This show is part of the Bravo Broadway series that John Such and I put together," Fleischer said. "It will be a phenomenal evening of great music sung by terrific soloists. The City Choir of Washington will be very much an integral part of the show as background support. They'll also be featured in 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' the classic rock number sung by the British rock band Queen.
"It's a great rock and roll choral piece that's always listed among the top five recordings of all time, but it's never been performed live. Another song they'll do is 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters.' I've always loved these songs. They open the door to allow audiences to recognize a whole new vocabulary of orchestral music."
Joining Fleischer on stage are Rob Evan, Doug LaBrecque, Morgan James and LaKisha Jones. Evan originated the title role in "Jekyll & Hyde," played Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" and appears frequently as a guest soloist with symphonies worldwide. In addition to singing with the NSO on earlier occasions, LaBrecque starred as the "Phantom of the Opera" in the Toronto cast.
|Where: Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna|
|When: 8:15 p.m. Friday|
|Info: $35 to $52 in-house, $20 lawn; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org|
James's credits include the Broadway revival of "Godspell" and the Broadway casts of both "Wonderland" and "The Addams Family." She was a featured soloist in Bernstein's "MASS" with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. "American Idol" fans recognize Jones as a top four finalist in the 2007 season. More recently, she was in the Tony Award-winning musical "The Color Purple."
An avid composer and arranger, Fleischer's recent works include an arrangement of "West Side Story" for a string quartet and "Symphony in Step," the first and only piece written for a step dance company. He composed it for Step Afrika!, a DC-based company devoted to the unique African-American step tradition. When he is not involved in similarly creative projects or conducting around the world, he and his wife, Heidi Joyce, promote music education through their Cool Concerts for Kids.
"It's kind of refreshing to bring together Broadway rock and classic rock," Fleischer said. "Many of the charts we're using are my own. My first love is the classical works of Brahms, Beethoven and Shostakovich, but I've always been a great fan of rock. In September, I'll conduct my Youngstown Symphony Orchestra in a fusion of 'Purple Haze' by Jimi Hendrix and Stravinsky's classical work 'Rite of Spring.' Each genre tickles a part of your heart and soul."