If It Sounds Good, It Is Good! April 2016
Music is the heart of storytelling; yes, words convey meaning, but music creates drama and emotion which nothing else can describe. Some of our greatest stories have been told on Broadway, where many have become immortalized in the American ethos. The masterworks of musical theatre invariably have an incredible orchestral score and exceptional singers who bring life to both lyric and line in the act of sublime storytelling. One of those singers is Lea Salonga, an extraordinary artist who defines the artistry of Broadway’s new generation. Ms. Salonga, making her Pops debut, joins the Pops for our April 22–24 concerts. Her legendary break came when she was 17 years old, landing the female lead in London’s debut production of Miss Saigon in 1989. She earned a Laurence Olivier and Tony Award for her work and has since starred in productions around the world, including Les Misérables, Flower Drum Song and Into the Woods. I am thrilled to share the stage with Lea as she performs songs from these productions as well as her contributions to animated film. Yup, she’s a Disney Princess too! Lea lent her singing voice to both Jasmine and Mulan—two of Disney’s greatest leading ladies. For children (and parents!) in the ‘90s, Lea’s voice is as familiar as a good family friend. Lea will be singing “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” and “Reflection” which all speak to universal themes of love, acceptance and family.
On Broadway, the ever-shrinking orchestra is usually relegated to the pit, but at Music Hall, the power and majesty of the Pops is always center-stage and in full “musical Technicolor.” As these are my final Pops concerts in Music Hall before our big (temporary) move to the Taft Theatre for the 2016–17 season, I reflect on all the wonderful times we all have had over the years performing within Cincinnati’s grand lady—hundreds and hundreds of concerts filled with amazing artistry, epic ovations, the shared silence of awe and wonderment, and sheer, unbridled musical jubilation. It continues to be my greatest joy working with such incredible musicians and deeply appreciative audiences. You all are THE BEST. I am thrilled to bring the Pops to the delightful Taft Theatre next season, which has so many special memories of its own, and I am looking forward to keeping the party rolling as our beloved Music Hall gets gussied up for the next hundred years!